Special Report

The Most Hated Pro Wrestling Champions of All Time

Pro Wrestling is a spectacle filled with heroes, villains, unexpected twists, betrayals, and lots of violence. Professional wrestlers are both performers and athletes. They take the hits and perform insane moves and acrobatics all while staying in their larger-than-life personas.

Like any good drama there has to be a protagonist and antagonist and sometimes the ones that play the villains are even more iconic in the long tradition of professional wrestling.

To determine the most hated wrestlers, 24/7 Tempo ranked all wrestlers to ever win the Most Hated Wrestler of the Year from Pro Wrestling Illustrated, an international magazine dedicated to professional wrestling, since the award was first given in 1972. Wrestlers were ranked according to a point system based on first place, runner-up, second runner-up, and third runner-up awards.

Some of the people on this list are household names for pro wrestling fans and nonfans alike. They’ve done more than just affect pro wrestling and have transcended into pop culture icons.
In wrestling lingo, a “face” is the good guy and a “heel” is a bad guy. Many wrestlers often go through “turns,” switching between the two throughout their careers.

Heels are the villains who do things like fight dirty, insult fans, and cross the line when trading insults. These guys love to be hated. Professional wrestlers are known for their over-the-top personalities, signature moves, and dirty tricks.

Professional wrestling is a big business that has evolved and consolidated over the years. World Wrestling Entertainment, the biggest company in the biz, grossed over $750 million in revenue the first three quarters of 2021 alone.

Some of the names on this list helped to build the WWE empire and continue to see it prosper. Like any business, it’s seen plenty of ups and downs over the years on its way to the top. After a dispute with the World Wildlife Foundation, the conglomerate had to make some changes — these are companies forced to change their names after a scandal.

Click here for the most hated professional wrestling champions

Methodology

To determine the most hated wrestlers, 24/7 Tempo ranked all wrestlers to ever win the Most Hated Wrestler of the Year from Pro Wrestling Illustrated, an international magazine dedicated to professional wrestling, since the award was first given in 1972. Wrestlers were ranked according to a point system based on first place, runner-up, second runner-up, and third runner-up awards. Points related to awards given to a faction were divided amongst the wrestlers in the faction at the time of the award. In the case of a tie, the wrestler with more first place award wins was favored. Where a tie persisted, the wrestler with more daily average Wikipedia pageviews was favored. Data on average daily Wikipedia pageviews are based on the period of November 12, 2018 to November 11, 2021.