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Wrestling lives and dies by its storylines, and no story is complete without a good villain. That’s why Peacock’s recently released docuseries “WWE: Evil” is so dang compelling; as much as WWE fans love to hate the bad guys in the ring, they’re often just as beloved (if not more so) than the good guys.
Peacock’s eight-episode series takes an intimate look into the lives and careers of eight different WWE Superstars who aren’t and were never afraid to take a walk on the darker side. While each of these Superstars’ stories is unique and compelling, now that episodes are running every Tuesday night until May 5 on USA Network, we at USA Insider felt it necessary to figure out which episodes are the best of the best. After all, wrestling is a competition, and not everyone can be a winner.
Here are the five best episodes of Peacock’s “WWE: Evil.”
1. Episode 2, The Miz
Mike Mizanin was in the spotlight long before he ever stepped into the ring, and the second episode of “Evil” starts off the bat by explaining what makes The Miz so unlikable. Turns out, it’s a tactic he first perfected while starring in the reality series “The Real World,” in which he realized just how much attention he got when he behaved as obnoxiously as possible and played at imitating WWE Superstars.
Years later, the Miz personality — cocky, sneering, and perpetually self-aggrandizing — lends itself to wrestling fans’ hatred for Mizanin in and out of the ring, and to the popularity of the USA series “Miz & Mrs,” in which he stars alongside his wife, Maryse Ouellet. If you love to hate a Superstar, look no further.
2. Episode 3, Sasha Banks
Five-time Raw Women's Champion and 2020 “Sports Illustrated” Wrestler of the Year Sasha Banks has worked long and hard for her reputation as one of the baddest of the bad. Her signature, colored hair — ranging from magenta to neon green — and “Boss”-themed sunglasses and rings have set her apart for years as much as her “come at me” attitude.
This episode of “Evil” dives deep into Banks’ origins as a wrestling-obsessed kid who adored watching All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling and came up in the independent circuit, all of which contributed to the single-minded focus that’s made her a modern WWE legend. Her determination led her to be a driving force in the WWE as one of the two first women of color to compete in WrestleMania. Featuring interviews with her long-time rival and fellow WWE Superstar Charlotte Flair — who she fought in the first-ever WWE pay-per-view event headlined by women — as well as her cousin, rapper Snoop Dogg, this episode is the perfect look behind the curtain into one of contemporary wrestling’s greats.
3. Episode 4, Brothers of Destruction
As one of the greatest tag teams of all time, The Undertaker and Kane simply had to make this list. However, the episode detailing their rise to infamy starts its timeline before The Undertaker was ever birthed from the bowels of WWE hell. By far the most dramatic of the series, this episode sets up the Biblical proportions of the Brothers’ storyline with gusto: From the Undertaker himself (Mark Calaway) having mixed feelings about the gimmick designed by WWE CEO Vince McMahon to the rise of a once-in-a-generation tag team, you’ll get it all.
The rise of Kane (Glenn Jacobs) is where things get especially interesting. The pageantry was unlike anything that came before, and helped redefine what evil and true fear could look like in the WWE.
4. Episode 7, Ric Flair
There’s a reason Ric Flair is known as “The Dirtiest Player in the Game.” The personification of greed and wealth, Ric Flair ruled the ring for decades, and his legacy continues today in his equally evil daughter, Charlotte Flair. As a 16-time world champion, Flair never shied away from his opulent lifestyle, which made him an enemy of not only his opponents in the ring but the fans as well. Viewers loved to hate him, and that’s what made him so compelling from the very beginning.
Several episodes of “Evil” question how Superstars toe the line between their in-ring personalities and real life, and no one ignores that line as blatantly as Ric Flair. The interviews with Flair himself (Richard Fliehr) are especially compelling as he relives his biggest moments and grins his way through memories of the glory days in the ring.
5. Episode 8, Roman Reigns
As current Universal Champion, there’s so much attention on Roman Reigns (Joe Anoa’i) that WWE fans might be tempted to skip this episode of “Evil” — but don’t. Reigns’ rise to Superstardom has been a generational innevitablity, but interviews with the man himself reveal more depth to the story.
Born into the Anoa’i wrestling family, Reigns has shifted between several personas over the years; he’s been the good guy fans hated and the bad guy they loved to hate. You’ll hear his fellow Superstars marvel at Reigns’ innate star power and the determination with which he takes to the ring. However, it’s his honesty about his battle with leukemia over the years that truly sets this episode apart. His recent and triumphant return as the Tribal Chief feels like even more of an accomplishment, and we can’t wait to keep watching.
Catch Peacock's "WWE: Evil" every Tuesday night until May 5 on USA Network at 10 p.m. ET. You can stream all episodes on Peacock.
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