Top 50 villains in wrestling history

#30 Jerry Lawler

Make no mistake — Jerry “The King” Lawler was once as despised as he is now beloved. Honing his notorious acerbic wit in his hometown Memphis, Tenn., during the 1970s, Lawler declared himself the savior of wrestling. But he wasn’t all talk — The King employed foreign objects like a steel chain to win matches, often assisted by his managers Sam Bass and Jimmy Hart.

Lawler brought his brand of villainy to WWE in 1993 by brutally attacking King of the Ring winner Bret Hart. The two kings battled for more than two years in one of WWE’s most heated rivalries, with Lawler constantly scheming his way out of matches with the “Hit Man.”

No target was safe from “The King,” who even invaded Philadelphia’s ECW Arena in 1997. Settling at the broadcast booth, Lawler became one-half of the iconic Attitude Era commentary team, often sympathizing with WWE’s biggest baddies, much to the frustration of Jim Ross. — Z.L.