While every sport has its colorful personalities, there may be no sport that relies more heavily on the personalities of its participants than professional wrestling. Many of WWE’s biggest stars — most recently Dave Bautista, John Cena, and Dwayne Johnson — have been able to successfully parlay their wrestling personas into mainstream careers in entertainment — they are among the growing list of athletes who hit it big in Hollywood.
One of the most difficult personas to pull off in wrestling is that of the villain. Pro wrestlers adopt either a heel or face character role. While a face is the good guy wrestler in a match, the heel, or bad guy, provokes heat from the audience by cheating, fighting dirty, and behaving in an otherwise unsportsmanlike manner.
Many of the most hated villains began their careers as faces. Hulk Hogan, for example, turned heel in 1996 after a long career as a fan favorite. He then revealed himself as the mystery third member of the New World Order that was attempting to take over World Championship Wrestling. Other former faces who are now among the most hated wrestling villains include Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Bret Hart, and André the Giant.
To determine the most hated wrestlers, 24/7 Tempo ranked all wrestlers to ever win the Most Hated Wrestler of the Year award from Pro Wrestling Illustrated, an international magazine dedicated to professional wrestling.