Are Managers Back and Will it Work? Submitted by LoneLee on 09/20/2018 at 08:04 PM
First let’s recognize it’s called a manager! Not advocate, associate, valet, or promoter. Lio Rush referred to himself as a Manager! Ok, I’ll stop screaming now. It has almost been a taboo word in WWE for many years and without a doubt viewed to the masses as a lost art. The re-emergence of this appellation and concept can only help current and future stars of the brand in all forms. In this refined era of wrestling it has the potential to be more impactful than ever before…or a complete flounder.
In the defining years of wrestling, the manager had always been a mouthpiece for the voiceless and would, more often than not, interject themselves physically into a match. They generate excitement and sway all the accumulated heat for their representative. Naturally, anyone possessing this sort of charisma is scarce during this day and age. Obviously, the first person to come to mind is Paul Heyman. I argue that no one can conduct himself with such a convincing "volley" of factoids as Heyman, even dating back to his days as Paul E. But as history has also proven, Heyman isn’t a miracle worker.
Just placing a good mouthpiece with a talent isn’t always a home run or else Curtis Axel would be in the midst of record-setting world title reigns. There are many factors to consider when pairing talents. The first being that less is more.
The likes of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Jimmy Hart are on almost everyone’s Mt. Rushmore of managers, but who were their most memorable clients? Their careers spread their managerial work far and sometimes thin to the point they couldn’t be identified at just one wrestlers’ side. A testament to their talent for the times but to the modern era it risks over exposure and redundancy. Imagine one be all, end all client that a promoter says, “this is my guy, my choice, and here’s why!” It solidifies one person or team as a big deal and a must-see attraction.
There is also a such an occurrence of being too good at generating heat or the wrong kind. Vickie Guerrero is a prime example. Most of her reaction reflected on herself rather than who she would be representing. Overshadowing the talent doesn’t do anyone favors in the end. It makes the wrestler interchangeable, obscure, and the manager if not an in-ring competitor, can never truly give a pay off to the heat. It is imperative that a manager MUST endorse the wrestler, accentuate their latent abilities, and share the reaction from the crowd. There is only one person I see executing these skills magnificently on the current roster. Zelina Vega.
This also brings me to the final essential quality of all manager pairings, good chemistry. Andrade Almas has always been a fantastic athlete, that’s nothing new. Zelina Vega will remind you of that in a way that evokes the jealousy and at the same time subtle admiration from the crowd. The story of her rejuvenating a lost fire to the degraded talent of Almas gave him the determination and the spotlight he seeked when coming to the WWE. Her direct and calm promos compensate for his shortcomings on the mic. She’s even able to get physical in matches under believable circumstances. Overall, they appear to enjoy each other’s company when working together.
Natural chemistry can be a powerful quality when climbing the ranks in any industry. Do I see that in the pairing of AOP and Drake Maverick? Absolutely not! Can the small loud-mouthed Lio Rush bring a similar kind of excitement to the bland Adonis, Bobby Lashley? I’m curious to see. Imagine someone with the genuine eloquence of Corey Graves shaping a Lars Anderson or Shayna Baszler to be the superstar that he can no longer be. WWE is finally starting to acknowledge the assistance and value a mouth-piece can bring some of the weaker speaking talents based on the successes of Vega, Heyman, and the booming period of a once lost practice.
Who are some pairings you would like to see in the future?