ViRTUE's RAGE: Wrestling Needs More Managers Submitted by Virtue on 07/02/2017 at 08:24 PM
July 2, 2017
In the history of professional wrestling, there have been so many all-time great managers: Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji, Paul E. Dangerously, Captain Lou Albano, Classy Freddie Blassie, Paul Bearer, Sensational Sherri, JJ Dillon, Jim Cornette, Paul Ellering, and more. Sorry Miss Elizabeth fans, but I consider her simply a valet. It honestly would be way too hard for me to rank them in a top five or ten format because they were all great in their own unique way. My personal all-time favorite is none other than Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. He was the epitome of everything a wrestling manager should be. He had the look, the timing, the verbal skills, and he could even take a bump when necessary. As head of the Heenan Family, he managed the likes of Andre the Giant, Ravishing Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, Ric Flair, Nick Bockwinkel, the Blackjacks, Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Harley Race, Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff, as well as others. Now that is some serious clout of all-time great professional wrestlers. In many cases (but not all), the role of the manager in wrestling is to be the mouthpiece for the talent. There is no question that Heenan is one of the best promo guys in the history of the business. I do not even think he was capable of botching a promo. If and when he did, it always seemed natural, like he was supposed to get flustered due to the current situation of his clients. Let’s take a look at some of Heenan’s greatness:
Another one of my favorite wrestling managers of all-time is Paul Bearer (William Moody). In my opinion, his early Paul Bearer days greatly helped shape the Undertaker into the Phenom that he eventually became. As a matter of fact, PB also did the same for Kane. If you take PB out of the Undertaker and Kane equation, I truly believe their careers could have taken an entirely different path and perhaps not been as grand. I think PB made the Undertaker great and made Kane very good. Sure, Undertaker would have still likely reached most of his career achievements because of Vince McMahon’s adoration for him, but I think without PB as his manager in the 1990s, he would have vastly lost some of his oomph. The whole mystique of the Undertaker and Kane were directly influenced by PB’s work in their respective initial runs. I think PB’s best work during his career was when he was used to introduce Kane into the WWF storylines, ironically against the Undertaker. I think PB was so great, without him, the Kane Vs Undertaker angle would not have happened. If it did, it would have sucked balls. Let’s also not forget about the great turn PB had on Undertaker at Summerlam ’96 when he joined Mankind. Now here is some of PB’s great work:
For the remainder of this edition of ViRTUE’s RAGE, I would now like to list the top three WWE talents (not named Paul Heyman) who should transition into full-time onscreen managers. I will give James Ellsworth an honorable mention because he is at least drawing pretty decent heat by basically being Carmella’s manager. However, the entire Women’s MITB scenario has definitely helped the heat. Titus O’Neil also seems to possibly be transitioning into a manager, but we will see how that goes. I will also give him an honorable mention as the modern day Slick. Okay, here we go. Be sure to Tweet me or leave comments below because I know some of you may disagree with me. I would also like to hear who you think could potentially be managers…
3) Austin Aries: Yes, I know Aries is only 39 years old and has more mileage left regarding his in-ring career; however, he screams the definition of what a heel wrestling manager should be. He’s short, well groomed, well dressed, and very articulate. I could see him paired up with a few taller wrestlers such as Baron Corbin, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, and Big Cass. When a taller wrestler always has a short manager by his side, it always makes the wrestler look even bigger and more larger than life. Why do you think WWE once hired Harvey Wippleman (Bruno Lauer)? He managed wrestlers like Adam Bomb, Giant Gonzales, the Warlord, Bertha Faye, and Sid Justice. Hell, perhaps Aries could even be used in a mentoring role with certain Cruiserweights and form a small stable. In time, he could have a retirement match against his main student, ultimately losing and then sliding over into a full-time onscreen manager. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived could then be dubbed as the Greatest Manager That Ever Lived.
2) JBL: That’s right! It seems that many of you strongly dislike his commentating work. So what better way to draw heat than have JBL form a faction and serve as their wealthy manager? Perhaps they could be called the Stock Exchange or the Cabinet? Obviously, I do not have to defend JBL being used as a manager because he has all the tools required to do so. It is a given that as soon as he opens his mouth in the middle of the ring, he is probably going to draw major heat. I will leave it up to your imagination as to what wrestlers he could manage. One day, I could hear JBL say, “Shut-up and listen to me. Stand up and give me your undivided attention…….I am a managing God!”
1) Enzo Amore: And finally, I want to talk about good little Enzo Amore. Yes, there is room for a baby face manager/mascot in wrestling. He has energy, pizazz, an outlandish wardrobe, and the perfect cheerleading mic skills. The guy can even make himself cry on demand. Enzo would be the perfect mouthpiece for any baby face that is having trouble getting over with the live crowds, at least in management’s eyes. Some wrestlers that come to mind are: American Alpha, Luke Harper, Mojo Rawley, Zack Ryder, and Tye Dillinger. I could even one day see Enzo work as a heel, but I think his true drawing power is his current iteration of an over-the-top, goofy-haired, smack talker. Whether baby face or heel, Enzo can also work the stick on a serious note. Those qualities are why I think Mr. Amore could become the next great wrestling manager. Oh, and he can take ragdoll like bumps and sell getting beat downs with his eyes and facial expressions. You just simply can’t teach that…
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