The British cast of characters is limited compared to the American. That is to say in my own, admittedly limited, experience. So far I have seen the following villains that I recall:
A shaved green dwarf: Clearly a villain, especially since he was fighting a handsome hero. Nevertheless, the dwarf 'succeeded' in tying the hero's limbs into a knot. A small alien from another planet. Think of the Mekon in Dan Dare or an evil genie escaped from a sinister bottle.
Giants: five or six, generally depicted as mean, stupid, lumbering and glowering, though the Norfolk based Pit Bulls, including the 30 stone Bulk, were local heroes. Not so much heroes in, say, Suffolk. Prototype: the local Ogre of Smeeth, to be defeated by gallant Tom Hickathrift.*
Flash Harrys: Sometimes Americans, sometimes Italians or Frenchmen. Foreigners are generally Flash. They brag, scowl and cheat. There are exceptions. Nordic types are generally heroes.
Narcissists: Similar to Flash Harrys but for the fact that they are possibly gay or hint at gayness. There has clearly been a homo-erotic aspect to wrestling in different places at different times. There were wrestlers such as Adrian Street, Bobby Barnes and the camp, ballet dancing American genius, Ricky Starr, but gayness is less of an outsider issue now so old camp is new camp, presenting itself between a different set of inverted commas - or so I suppose from the outside and I might be wrong. All the same, it would be hard to see a new Danny LaRue or even Lily Savage, starting from where they started. Time moves on. When I was Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, in 2000, preparing to write the wrestling novel that was not to be, I put some wrestling photos up in my office and people asked me if I was gay. I have yet to see a camp or narcissist wrestler in mucho macho Norwich.
Death mask variants: Locally we have the baseball-bat wielding, black and white painted demon, the Kendo Nagasaki samurai model, Count Bartelli, Dr Death himself, the Mummy and others. Partly Hollywood, partly horror film. I haven't yet seen a vampire, a werewolf or a fully fledged zombie but there's always hope. Meanwhile there is the relatively small store of gothic and UK Halloween. The masked are there to be unmasked. Essentially they are leading double lives. Baseball Man dramatically unmasked himself last week. A little bathetic at times. (Kendo was never unmasked as Peter Thorne of Crewe, but as a man with a tough scalp tattoo, in effect another mask.)
The rabbit or coward: Acts hard, pouts and runs or is simply there to be a rag doll to be thrown about. Cheerfully booed by the crowd.Helplessness is hard. You can't play it up.
Bad ganglang boss: Long leather coat, sunglasses, jewellery, or more likely would-be gangland boss. Drugdealer, possible paedophile.
These are the main types of villains. The heroes are less interesting in that there are fewer models. Clean-cut and handsome will do, though if you are local you can be the deepest-dyed villain and you'll still be hero. As dear Mr Best (Bestashvili) our Georgian landlord in London explained to me in 1973, the reason the huge statue of Stalin was still standing in Tbilisi at that time was that though he might have been a bad man, he was, nevertheless, our bad man.
There is, interestingly, a special place for the biker hero, probably best represented by Johnny Brookside, long-haired, slender, spectacularly athletic, born out of heavy metal. Heavy metal tends to be the medium for everything. Wrestling, apart from Ricky Starr, is a heavy metal world.
Female wrestlers can be either heroes or villains and switch more readily from one to the other. The local brand still serves, but as I wrote earlier, the catfight is not exploited in sexual terms. It is simply Rough Girls fighting between themselves. It's What Really Goes On When They Are Not Being Ladylike. But after the fighting and snarling they can switch sweet back on, should they want to.
What to make of this and the dramas they engage in? Next time. And I'll add a couple of links and pictures.