I thought we would look at WrestleMania’s greatest and most successful heels. So put on your Macho King crowns and let’s go. When I think of great WrestleMania heels my first thoughts are guys like Triple H, André the Giant, and Vince McMahon. The early Mania heels were united against Hulkamania. Piper, the loud mouthed villain, tried to bring down Hulkamania before the first WrestleMania came about. Piper teamed with Mr Wonderful to take on Hogan and Mr. T. A mix up caused Piper’s body-guard, Bob Orton to slam his cast into the noggin of Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff. Although Piper lost this match, it didn’t stop him from continuing to hit back Hogan and his allies. By WrestleMania II, Piper was challenging Mr. T in a boxing match. Piper lost to T and began a journey toward a face turn.
Without Piper Hogan had a new villain that he couldn’t pin. Bobby the Brain Heenan was a different kind of rival, he was a manager, not a wrestler. Their would be no way (at the time) for Heenan to take that belt off Hogan by himself. Luckily Bobby was The Brain, and even though he wasn’t the strongest man in wrestling, he was the smartest. Heenan started signing, and managing big name talent to take out Hogan. At WrestleMania II, Heenan brought in the 500 pound King Kong Bundy to rip the WWE Belt off Hulk Hogan. Bundy took on Hogan in a steel cage match for the WWE Title. Bundy would be taking on an already injured Hogan, but still lost. Worse than the Bundy loss was Hogan’s assault on poor Bobby Heenan. Heenan would ally with other heels and unleash his own stable against Hulk Hogan and to get Hogan’s WWE Belt. After Heenan and Paul Orndorff failed to gain the Belt, Heenan looked for something bigger.
WrestleMania III was the first WrestleMania where the main event was bigger than any of the other main events of that year. Bobby Heenan had signed André the Giant, Hogan’s former friend. This match is still talked about, and is called the match where André finally passed the torch to Hogan (I think Harley Race would need to pass that torch?). Hogan gave André a scoop slam, and ended André’s title shot with a leg drop. After Andre was pinned by Hogan, Heenan lost his “Most Valuable Heel” status.
WrestleMania IV was The Million Dollar Man’s time to bring home the WWE Championship. Except DiBiase didn’t count on Hogan giving him a chair shot during the main event. Ted DiBiase lost his match against Savage, and Savage became the winner of the vacant WWE Belt. Eventually Savage would turn heel on Hogan. Like DiBiase, Savage was still a main eventer without the WWE Championship. Each man would have grudge feuds with their respective opponents for the next few WrestleManias, before Savage would turn face then turn commentater, while Million Dollar Man would retire sometime after WrestleMania IX.
WrestleMania X would begin the showcase for what WWE called “The New Generation”. Heels like HBK, Yokozuna, and Owen Hart would run amok across the WWE. In this period, Owen Hart would reach the most success at WrestleMania. Winning against Owen’s rotten brother Bret Hart. Owen would then win The WWE Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania XI with his new partner, Yokozunia. After WrestleMania X HBK proved he was going to be The Main event. HBK lost his match for the title against Diesel at WrestleMania XI, but HBK would main event again at WrestleMania XII, and win the WWE Title for the first time. During this time Owen would join Camp Cornette (under manager Jim Cornette), and team against his old tag partner, Yokozuna, and his team. Owen won. At WrestleMania XIII Owen and The Bull Dog entered as the WWE Tag Team Champions, and defeated the team of Mankind and Vader. Owen would return as a heel at WrestleMania XV. He would also return as one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, with his partner Jeff Jarrett. This team would easily take care of their opponents.
Sadly Owen Hart passed away before WrestleMania 2000. There was a new heel Boss named Triple H, and he would be the first heel to enter the main event as WWE Champ, and leave as WWE Champ. Triple H would go on to be the WWE version of Ric Flair (and at one point mentored by Flair). No matter what WrestleMania you watch, you get the feeling that Hunter Hearst Helmsley is in control. Triple H has beaten some of the WWE’s biggest heroes. Those who have defeated Triple H at WrestleMania, can never rest too long before they start to regret their win. Every WrestleMania that Triple H competes in, will usually have him gain the backing of a powerful ally. The McMahons, DX, are Evolution all helped Triple H maintain his Mania reputation. That is why Triple H will come home WWE World Heavyweight Champion from WrestleMania XXX.