Most Hated Pro-Wrestling Champions

Source: 21082116@N08 / Flickr

30. Lex Luger
> Most Hated Wrestler of the Year awards: 3
> WWE debut: 1993
> WWE appearances: 51
> Daily avg. Wikipedia page views: 1,844

Named as an homage to Superman villain Lex Luthor, Lex Luger is one of the most reviled figures in professional wrestling. Luger made his professional wrestling debut with the NWA in 1985 and with Jim Crockett Promotions in 1987, where he joined the Four Horsemen, one of the original heel stables. While Luger spent most of his career as a villain and was the third runner-up for Most Hated Wrestler of the Year in 1987 and 1989 and the second runner-up in 1991, he made a memorable face turn in 1993. He would even go on to be voted Most Popular Wrestler of the Year by PWI readers that year.

Source: Miguel Discart / Wikimedia Commons

29. Alberto Del Rio
> Most Hated Wrestler of the Year awards: 2
> WWE debut: 2010
> WWE appearances: 341
> Daily avg. Wikipedia page views: 1,094

Working as a mixed martial artist and luchador early in his career, Alberto Del Rio honed his heel persona while wrestling in Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre promotion in Mexico. Del Rio debuted in the WWE on “SmackDown” in 2010 as a heel, embracing his persona of an arrogant luchador with aristocratic roots. Del Rio began his WWE career in a feud with beloved babyface Rey Mysterio, which ended with Del Rio’s defeat of Mysterio in a two-out-of-three falls match in early 2011. Del Rio was the first runner-up for Most Hated Wrestler of the Year in 2011 and the second runner-up in 2012.

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

28. Vince McMahon
> Most Hated Wrestler of the Year awards: 2
> WWE debut: 1993
> WWE appearances: 753
> Daily avg. Wikipedia page views: 5,556

Chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, Vince McMahon is largely responsible for the WWE’s rapid rise in popularity in the 1980s and pro wrestling’s shift towards greater spectacle and higher production values in the Attitude Era of the 1990s. While McMahon was mostly a behind-the-scenes presence throughout his first decade as CEO, the third-generation wrestler was thrown into a storyline at the now infamous Montreal Screwjob in 1997, when Bret Hart spit on McMahon from the ring after losing a controversial match. The surprisingly muscular McMahon embraced his role as villainous boss, eventually forming a long-running feud with blue-collar hero “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. McMahon has continued to draw heat in main storylines in the modern WWE, feuding with CM Punk, Triple H, and his own children.

Source: Mandy Coombes / Wikimedia Commons

27. Owen Hart
> Most Hated Wrestler of the Year awards: 2
> WWE debut: 1993
> WWE appearances: 202
> Daily avg. Wikipedia page views: 2,311

A second-generation wrestler with a background in amateur competition, Owen Hart enjoyed success as both a face and a heel in the WWE until his career was tragically cut short by his accidental death in 1999. Hart made a major heel turn in 1993, when he attacked his older brother Bret out of jealousy after a “Survivor Series” match. The feud continued over several matches in 1994 and was finally resolved in a March 1997 edition “Raw,” when Bret stepped into a match between Owen and his brother-in-law British Bulldog, appealing the two to remember their family values and reunite the Hart Foundation stable. Hart was the runner-up Most Hated Wrestler of the Year in 1994 and the second runner-up in 1997.

Source: GaryColemanFan / Wikimedia Commons

26. Big Van Vader
> Most Hated Wrestler of the Year awards: 2
> WWE debut: 1996
> WWE appearances: 86
> Daily avg. Wikipedia page views: 1,796

Weighing in at over 400 pounds, Big Van Vader was one of the most reviled monster heels in the history of sports entertainment. Vader was known for his intimidating size and gravity-defying aerial maneuvers, including his signature moonsault — a high-impact backflip splash launched from the top rope. Vader feuded with some of the biggest stars of his era, including Sting, Ric Flair, and Mick Foley — which resulted in the now infamous match in which Vader disfigured Foley by ripping off his ear.