It’s a well acknowledged fact that the WWE blurs the line between good and evil with their characters by making their heels relatable and their heroes do terrible, terrible things (i.e. kidnapping, grand theft auto, assault with a deadly weapon). Some people like these kind of characters with “shades of grey” but I for one would like a little more black and white when it comes to identifying who is a role model and who isn’t. Won’t somebody please think of the children?
Well, I’m thinking of the children, and what better way to direct WWE’s creative team toward character models that are both age appropriate and horrifyingly evil than to go to the greatest source of childhood nightmares for the past 50 years? That’s right, we’re going to mine the crap out of the Disney villain’s roster and see which ones would fit in the WWE Universe best.
5) Stinky Pete
Film: Toy Story 2
Background: Now I know that Stinky Pete – the devious old Prospector of the “Woody’s Roundup” gang – is technically a Pixar creation, but Disney has owned the rights to all Pixar's characters since day 1, so officially he’s part of the Disney villain's roster. So let’s not get bent out of shapes on schematics, okay? Because no matter his origins, we can all agree that Stinky Pete is a piece of stinky shit.
Stinky Pete was the member of the roundup gang that had it worst. He was the butt of every joke, the imbecile that lit the wick of every explosive, and sounded like a mix between Jed Clampett and Barney Fife. However, the toy that was based on the TV show character was actually a well spoken intellectual with a knack for manipulation and pick ax violence. It also didn’t hurt that he was voiced by Kelsey Grammer, who has cornered the market on smart sounding evil doers with his legendary portrayal of “Sideshow” Bob Terwilliger on “The Simpsons.”
Motivation: Stinky Pete was evil because he was a toy that had felt the sting of rejection from fickle children, and it made him bitter and cruel. Although, you can hardly blame a child for not wanting a Prospector toy. Getting Stinky Pete instead of Woody for Christmas is akin to expecting a Turbo Man but getting his faithful sidekick Booster instead (nobody likes Booster).
Role: Stinky Pete’s strengths don’t exactly lie in the physical realm, since he’s a fat old man and all. So while he wouldn’t be a great wrestler, he’d be an amazing heel manager akin to the Grand Wizard or Bobby Heenan. He could even have his own stable of blue-collar working class villains, and interfere in matches with his trusty pick ax. With his ability to cut to the core of his opponents emotionally, and his talent to maneuver events in his favor, Stinky Pete would be the ultimate stinky manager every heel would want in his corner.
4) The Sheriff of Nottingham
Film: Robin Hood
Background: The Sheriff of Nottingham was the unsympathetic and crooked law enforcer that abused his power by taking advantage of the weak and poor. When it comes to cheap heat, the Sheriff has it in spades. He was fat, lazy, and embezzled from nearly every business in Nottingham. His debauchery knew no bounds. Not only did he steal from the church, he even robbed the church mice. The mice. That’s f**ked up.
Motivation: The Sheriff’s driving force was twofold; greed (naturally) and an insatiable urge to capture Robin Hood. He went to ridiculous lengths to try and trick Robin Hood into walking into his net, but more often than not his plans would backfire. This would in turn make him more angry and desperate, and willing to go down much darker routes to capture his foe. He was going to hang a friar for God’s sake. Short of setting fire to Sherwood Forest, I don’t know how much worse he could get.
Role: An authority figure, possibly a GM or the Commissioner of WWE. The Sheriff isn’t an ultimate power figure; he’s more of a pawn of the powers that be that holds his station in too high of regard. In the film he was slightly more than a puppet for Prince John, even though he probably would have overtaxed and abused the townspeople without those orders. The Sheriff would be an ideal authority figure that would try to topple the hero, always come up short, and have to explain to his boss why he doesn’t have control of things. Sure, he’d need to be thrown a bone every now and again to justify his position, but all in all he’d be best used as a guy desperate to keep his job so he can continue to abuse his power.
3) Shere Khan
Film: The Jungle Book/TaleSpin
Background: Shere Khan was the big dog in the yard, or more accurately the big tiger in the jungle in both The Jungle Book and the spin-off cartoon “TaleSpin” (where animals did human things, whacky!) Khan was the guy highest on the food chain, and liked to flaunt that fact. In The Jungle Book he roamed the jungle hunting the man-child that had invaded his territory, and in “TaleSpin” he was the CEO of a major company that would do anything to turn a profit. No matter what the universe, Shere Khan was powerful, feared, ruthless and terrifying. Think Gordon Gekko, only with literal claws.
Motivation: His status. Shere Khan didn’t care a whole hell of a lot about things like learning how to make fire (he hated fire) like King Louie or being as lazy as possible like Baloo, but he did give a big shit about this new creature that could potentially create the one element that could take him down (it’s fire, try to keep up) with his bare hands and possibly usurp him as King of the Jungle. Khan’s greatest fear wasn’t getting burned, it was losing his standing. And there’s nothing more dangerous than a tiger that feels like it’s backed into a corner. Just ask Siegfried and Roy.
Role: Shere Khan’s talents would be bests used as the top dog in the WWE landscape. Possibly the long standing champion, like Ric Flair in his heyday. The guy that was good and knew it, and could back it up with the Gold on around his waist. Not an opportunistic like Edge or a flat-out cheater like JBL, but a guy that is legitimately the best in the world and could out wrestle you, or out brawl you, and didn’t mind bragging about it. Pit him against an up-and-comer on a hot streak (not Mogli though, because Jesus Christ was that kid the pits) allow Khan to show some vulnerability. Put out the idea that maybe God can bleed. Then show the ferocity and lengths Khan is willing to go to keep his position. It’s a classic tale, but it’s a tale that works.
Background: Jafar was the maniacal vizier to the Sultan of Agrabah, a wizard, and an all around douche bag. He spent the majority of his life pursuing a lamp containing a wish granting pain in the ass. He was a master of disguise, a deceiver, had a complete disregard for human life, and one hell of a snazzy dresser. Always in the company of his comic relief parrot Iago, Jafar could make you laugh one second and cower in fear the next. Probably the most terrifying thing about Jafar was his slyness, as he was able to slither his way to the right hand of power with such effortless grace. As far as big bads go, this guy is one of worst.
Motivation: Unlike the other villains on this list, Jafar is the only one that is truly evil in the traditional sense. He’s a sociopath of the highest order, and uses whatever means necessary to achieve his one desire: Power. Jafar doesn’t understand things like courage and love, but in his mind he has no need to. All he wants is what he feels is owed to him. The entitlement alone makes him villainous, but the lengths he goes to obtain his goal (brainwashing, torture, kidnapping, implied rape, murder etc.) is what makes him a really terrifying threat.
Role: First off, he’s a middle eastern so he’d automatically get boo’d. It’s just the natural order of WWE’s “America ra ra” fanbase, but that’s not what would make him a great heel. Every now and then you need a villain whose sole reason for being is to create chaos for the sake of his own gains, which is exactly what Jafar would do. Jafar wouldn’t settle on just being the champion. Why think so small? He’d be going for the real prize; the WWE itself. Jafar is exactly the type of scheming asshole that would create a cult of easily manipulated Superstars to do his bidding, and generate anarchy in the WWE. Think nWo, only with more flat-out leader worship and less spray paint. Couple that with Iago in the role of his big mouthed trumpet ala Paul Heyman, and you’d have the ultimate evil entity for a diamond in the rough to overthrow.
Film: Beauty and the Beast
Background: No one’s slick as Gaston, no one’s quick as Gaston, no one’s neck is as incredibly thick as Gaston’s, and no one is more egotistically and wonderfully deluded as Gaston. The suitor of Belle – town weirdo – Gaston is the guy that has been successful at everything he’s ever done, and has let it go to his head in spectacular fashion. Not exactly evil, but really far from good, Gaston is the idol of all meatheads that think might = right. He has allowed his vanity to corrupt him to the point of near insanity, and yet the people of his village love and admire him no matter how terrible he treats them. He’s pretty much the Rock, only Gaston’s songs are ones you want to hear. He’s a misogynist, a bully, and all around piece of shit. Gaston is the best, and the rest is all drips.
Motivation: Vanity. Gaston’s greatest love is Gaston, and if you don’t recognize how incredible he is, than you two are going to have a problem. Gaston may seem dumb but he’s deviously clever, and when he puts his mind to it (a dangerous past time) he concocts plans that are terrifyingly sinister. To win Belle’s hand in marriage, what did Gaston do? Did he pursue her in a respectful way? Did he treat her as his equal? Did he try to win her heart with random acts of kindness? Or did he have her father committed to an insane asylum, and the only condition for his release is Belle's total submission to his desires?
Yep, it’s the last one. Gaston is a horrible person.
Role: Gaston is the embodiment of the heel that trumpets himself as the greatest thing alive, but in reality is just a cowardly jerk. He’s a dirty fighter (remember, no one bites like Gaston) a liar, and an opportunist. He fights without honor, and doesn’t care who he hurts to get what he wants. Gaston is pretty much the archetype of every wrestling bad guy that flaunts their muscles and thinks they’re God’s gift for the past 20 years. If Chris Masters can make a name for himself doing that shtick, imagine what Gaston – the ultimate meatheaded asshole – could do? He’d be the best cowardly heel in the world. Add his trusty sidekick LeFou to play the much suffering Ricardo to his Alberto Del Rio, and you’ve got a recipe for greatness.
Keep in mind that this is my list, and you’re free to disagree with it. I love Disney probably more than I do wrestling, so these choices didn’t come lightly. I tried to add variety to the roles they could play, which is why some of my favorites (Captain Hook, Ursala, and ultimate Queen of Evil Maleficent) were left off, simply because I couldn’t find a place for them. If you disagree, who would be your top 5 and why? What kind of role in WWE would they play? Let us know in the comments.
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