Top 5 Wrestling Heels of the ‘80s, by Eric Borawski + Jay Galvin (Pure Heel)

Pure Heel at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, 2018. (Photo: MArk X Miller)

Wrestling and hardcore punk go really well together, but you don't have to tell Eric Borawski and Jay Galvin that. The vocalist and guitarist, respectively, are both members of Pure Heel, a band that marries both of the aforementioned mediums in a fun way. Based in Buffalo, NY, Pure Heel formed in 2015 and features former members of such bands as Despair, Disengage, Buried Alive, and Face the Panic. Earlier this year, the quintet released the amazingly titled King Kong Bundy EP.

Since they're authorities on the subject, I asked Eric and Jay of Pure Heel to put together a list of their Top 5 Wrestling Heels of the '80s. -Carlos Ramirez

#5. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Behind every great heel puppet is a villain pulling the strings. Who other than the best: Bobby Heenan. Notorious for his quick-witted personality and interference tactics in matches, Heenan was no stranger to regularly catching heat from the crowd. He knew how to get under your skin, he knew how to fill seats. "I’m a legend in this sport, if you don’t believe me ask me."

#4. Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka

Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was a frequent adversary to "Rowdy" Roddy Piper who was a fantastic worker in the ring and really took American wrestling to a new level with his high flying, top-rope antics. He also had an impressive physique mixed with a 1000 yard stare and a less-is-more approach on the mic that made for an absolute killer of a heel persona.

#3. The Iron Sheik

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, aka The Iron Sheik, was a brilliant wrestler with a knack for getting under the skin of American wrestling fans with his “Iran number one" chant. Sheik's break your back and make you humble attitude was everything that surrounded a great heel in wrestling. Post wrestling, his Twitter account is a work of art unto itself. 

#2. Ric "The Nature Boy" Flair

The franchise. The leader of the Horsemen. We’re talking about the Rolex wearin', diamond ring wearin', kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin', limousine ridin', jet flyin' son of a gun that is the Nature Boy. With a nod to Gorgeous George, Ric Flair epitomized the heel role with his lavish robes and womanizing, while being able to break your legs with a crippling figure 4 leg lock. Honestly, who’s easier to hate than the successful playboy jock. WOOoOoO!

#1. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper

For my money, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper is the best. His work on the stick is second to none with an amazing presence in the ring to back it up. Able to verbally annihilate any opponents with a precision that Triumph the Insult Comic Dog would kill for, Hot Rod was a true master of the craft. Treading the line of sane and maniac, you could feel the tension through the television screen. Piper was the essence of PURE HEEL. Although Hot Rod has left us, his promos will live on forever.


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