Most Hated Pro-Wrestling Champions

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10. Edge
> Most Hated Wrestler of the Year awards: 3
> WWE debut: 1998
> WWE appearances: 619
> Daily avg. Wikipedia page views: 2,478

Voted “Most likely to win the WWE championship belt” by his high school class in 1990 and inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame roughly two decades later, Edge was one of the most popular wrestlers in sports entertainment during his time in active competition. Initially teamed with childhood friend and wrestling partner Christian, Edge began a heel run in 2004 while pursuing main event status as a solo wrestler. Edge was infamous for his in-ring mind games and dirty tricks. One time he went to John Cena’s home and slapped his father. In another instance he had intercourse with Lita, ex-wife of rival wrestler Kane, on a bed in the middle of the ring on a January 2006 edition of “Monday Night Raw.” This stint earned him the nickname “The Rated-R Superstar.”

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9. Chris Jericho
> Most Hated Wrestler of the Year awards: 3
> WWE debut: 1995
> WWE appearances: 720
> Daily avg. Wikipedia page views: 3,172

Chris Jericho is no longer involved with WWE, but prior to his departure he was known for his rock-star persona. Some of his standout heel moments include reading off a list of holds to “The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko as proof of his superior move arsenal. He was also dragged begging and screaming out of the ring by security after getting the pink slip from Eric Bischoff in a “loser gets fired” match. Most notably, perhaps, was the night he beat both The Rock and Steve Austin to become the first ever Undisputed WWE Champion. Jericho was voted Most Hated Wrestler of the Year by PWI readers in 2002 and 2008, and he was second runner-up in 2009.

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8. Jerry Lawler
> Most Hated Wrestler of the Year awards: 4
> WWE debut: 1993
> WWE appearances: 1,123
> Daily avg. Wikipedia page views: 1,646

Lawler first provoked national ire during a 1982 feud with comedian Andy Kaufman, which climaxed on the set of “Late Night with David Letterman,” when Lawler slapped the comic out of his chair in the middle of a televised interview. Lawler continued to hone his heel persona after joining the WWE in 1992, forming rivalries with the likes of Bret “Hit Man” Hart and The Miz. As an announcer and wrestler, Lawler remains a major presence in the WWE, making intermittent appearances throughout the fifth decade of his career.

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7. Hulk Hogan
> Most Hated Wrestler of the Year awards: 5
> WWE debut: 1993
> WWE appearances: 79
> Daily avg. Wikipedia page views: 6,055

Few wrestlers have had a greater impact on the world of sports entertainment as Hulk Hogan. Hogan was the face of the WWE during its expansion from northeastern territory to global juggernaut in the 1980s, achieving mainstream appeal and crossover popularity. Taking advantage of his growing popularity, Hogan appeared in movies, “Saturday Night Live,” and even the covers of cereal boxes. Hogan’s role model status made it all the more devastating when in 1996 he, along with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, formed the New World Order in an effort to take over the WCW. Hogan’s debut as a villain is widely regarded as one of the most powerful heel turns of all time, signaling the shift to edgier, more realistic storylines.

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6. Ken Patera
> Most Hated Wrestler of the Year awards: 4
> WWE debut: N/A
> WWE appearances: N/A
> Daily avg. Wikipedia page views: 264

A former Olympic wrestler and strongman competitor, Ken Patera gained popularity as a heel throughout the 1970s and 1980s through stints in the AWA, NWA, and WWE. In 1980, he enjoyed the unique distinction of being the only wrestler to simultaneously hold the WWF’s Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship and the prestigious NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship.