Great Managers in Wrestling

Wrestling Managers

The professional wrestling business is definitely missing managers. Guys and ladies who could help talent get to the next level. In the era I grew up in managers were big deals. They did a lot of the talking for the wrestlers and really helped the heels get heat. New wrestlers got instant credibility by their associations with level managers. So I decided I would share with you some of my favorites of all time.

Now this list is in no particular order or trying to assign any kind of ranking. Basically if I was putting together a Mt Rushmore of managers who would be the candidates to sit next to Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. The Brain will not be a part of this list because he stands alone to me in the legendary of corner men in the business. The people I will talk about in this piece are the people who come right up under that Heenan level status.

Sherri Martel

Sheri Martel and Shawn Michaels

There has never been a manager like Sherri Martel in professional wrestling. Whether you know her as Queen Sherri, Sensational Sherri or Sista Sherri; she has been a successful manager in any company with any wrestler she has been with. Because her wrestling background she was never afraid to throw punch on the behalf of her clients. Sherri was trained by the Fabolous Moolah broke into the business in Tennessee and was managed by Jim Cornette early on. She has always been associated with the top guys in the business. Working in the AWA with Doug Somers and Buddy Rose or in the WWF with Ted DiBiase and Randy Savage she always got her guys to the top. That is why when trying to launch a young Shawn Michaels solo career the WWE put him with Sherri to give him some credibility. Her stellar career as a manager and as wrestler led her to the WWE Hall of Fame.

Paul Heyman

Heyman Manager

One of the few guys out there still practicing the art of managing is Paul Heyman. Thanks to CM Punk everybody now wants to add the term “Paul Heyman Guy” to their resume. Past Heyman guys are a who’s who in the wrestling business. The man with the big mobile phone has been tearing up ringside since the 1980’s. His time as promoter and booker sometimes over shadows his stellar career supervising his wrestlers.

Mean Mark and Heyman

In a career that is almost 30 years long we have seen Paul do it everywhere. The AWA, WCW, ECW and WWF/E have all been better because of his efforts. The man who had managed Mean Mark before he became The Undertaker has taken us on great ride. Through the magic of YouTube I would suggest going back watching some of his work with the legendary Dangerous Alliance that included a young Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Rick Rude and Bobby Eaton. I could do an entire article about Paul and I probably will. His work now could easily make him the number 2 manager of all time when it’s all said and done.

Jimmy Hart

Hart Foundation and Jimmy

The “Mouth of The South” Jimmy Hart is one of the most colorful characters in the history of professional wrestling. The man was named manager of the year 2 times in his career (1987 and 1994) by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, is always ready with his megaphone. From the world of Rock N Roll as a part of the group The Gentrys, Hart was brought into the world pro wrestling by Jerry Lawler. Jimmy Hart has to have managed the most tag team champions in WWF/E history. The Hart Foundation, Money Inc, The Nasty Boys all found tag team gold working with Hart. He also was the manager of the Honky Tonk Man during his legendary Intercontinental Title run. Jimmy has never been afraid to be the outrageous one to distract the referee so one of his guys can get the advantage. There is Hall of Fame list attached to Hart that includes even the Immortal Hulk Hogan. If you ever want to see the genius at work I recommend watching Wrestlemania 3. He is all over the place making his presence felt.

Jim Cornette

Jim Cornette and Midnight

There has never been a greater tag team feud in wrestling than the Midnight Express versus the Rock N Roll Express. The man at the center of that is none other than Jim Cornette. The “Momma’s Boy” from Louisville, KY has been a staple in the wrestling business for over 30 years. Cornette got into the business as a photographer and then he started working for the one the best promoters of his time Jerry Jarrett. Starting in the Tennessee territory Cornette first got with the Midnight Express in 1983 and started carrying that infamous tennis racket. Jim might be one of the most entertaining men to ever touch the microphone. He can talk about anything and make it worth listening to. Jim has worked in WWE/F, WCW/Jim Crockett Promotions and even managed in his own company Smoky Mountain Wrestling. The “American Spokesperson” for WWF Champion Yokozuna, Cornette brought his southern flair to fans up north. Also while in the WWF he created “Camp Cornette” that included Vader, The British Bulldog and Owen Hart. Cornette has been a success everywhere he has been. If he is around you better watch out for the racket.

Now some may feel that I left some guys out but the list had to stop somewhere. Trust me I know that guys like Gary Hart, Slick, and Mr Fuji are worthy of mention and maybe will get discussed at a later time. For now these are the managers that I felt most impacted my viewing experience.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr


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The Bad Guy is a Hall of Famer

Scott Hall HOF

Razor Ramon was one of the most colorful characters of the Pre- Attitude Era 1990s. Originally brought in a heel character fans began cheer him. The success of this gimmick was a result of hard work of a veteran wrestler who had come into his own. Razor Ramon had a real name it was Scott Hall. The success of the Razor character was only the beginning after that he would go on to help change the wrestling business as we know it. That is why this year Hall will be the newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2014.

Scott was a 6ft 7in guy who broke into the business in 1984 in Championship Wrestling from Florida where he learned from legends like Dusty Rhodes, Barry Windham and Hiro Matsuda. After leaving Florida he went to work in Jim Crockett Promotions for a brief stint and in 1985 he made his way up to Minnesota. That is where he began working for the American Wrestling Association (AWA). The territory was owned by the legendary Verne Gagne, who wanted to push Hall to be big as Hulk Hogan. Hogan had recently left to the WWF and Gagne saw a big guy with huge muscles that he wanted to mold as a replacement.

Hall worked in the AWA as the tag team partner of Curt Hennig, who most WWE fans know as Mr. Perfect. They won the AWA tag team titles and competed against teams like Buddy Rose and Doug Somers. Hall got to really polish his wrestling skills working with Hennig who was a 2nd generation star. After parting ways Hall had a singles run where he had AWA title shots against Stan Hansen and Rick Martel but never captured the title. Gagne wanted to give Scott the strap but Hall declined because seen that the territory was on the way down and did not want to be known as the guy with the title when the territory died.

In 1989 Hall left the AWA and bounced around to different territories. He went down to Puerto Rico in 1990 and worked for Carlos Colon’s WWC. He even captured the WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Title. In 1991 Hall made a move to WCW where he a previous stint. He was brought in this time as the Diamond Stud was managed by Diamond Dallas Page. Hall actually started to get a little push and the Stud character was enough to catch the attention of WWE who brought him in 1992. That’s where Razor Ramon began take flight.
Razor was unlike any WWF character before him. The company introduced him through a series of vignettes that featured this tall Cuban style character that spoke like the famous Tony Montana character from the movie Scarface. Armed with his gold chains and trademark toothpick Hall made his debut on Superstars of Wrestling and destroyed a jobber. Razor broken in as a heel and aligned himself with Ric Flair by interfering in his title match with Randy Savage. He would then team with Flair and face Savage and his tag team partner Mr Perfect who replaced the Ultimate Warrior in the match. Warrior was recently fired from the WWF. That firing opened up a big opportunity for Hall who went on to face Bret Hart for the WWF title at Royal Rumble in 1993. Although he lost the match to Hart, Razor was still in the main event.

Throughout 1993 Hall had a big year as he began a slow face turn starting with his feud with the 1-2-3 Kid and later Ted DiBiase. He then won a 20 man battle royal to win his 1st of four Intercontinental Championships. Which lead to a match with the man whom the title was stripped from Shawn Michaels. To determine who the real champ there was was a legendary ladder match held at Wrestlemania X. That ladder match to this that still stands as one of the best matches in Wrestlemania history. During his time in WWF Hall made friends with Michaels, Kevin Nash (Diesel) and Sean Waltman (1-2-3 Kid) and later HHH whom became known as the Kliq.

NWO Hall

After 1996 Hall made a move that would change the wrestling world forever. He left the WWE to rival promotion WCW and became a part of the now infamous NWO (New World Order). The NWO changed the face of wrestling and greatly heated up the already intense Monday Night Wars. The addition of Hall and later Nash and Hulk Hogan gave WCW an 84 week advantage in the ratings battle with the WWF. Hall bringing that “Bad Guy” image that was ultra cool to teenage fans helped take the wrestling business to new levels.

Hall stayed with WCW until the companies close in 2001. Although he was not always present due to personal issues he was having. Hall made a brief return to the now WWE in 2002 when the NWO was rebranded but also left shortly after. He made a few appearances in TNA over the year and returned to WWC in 2007 for a brief stint. Hall is now semi retired and still makes appearances on the indie circuit. He has now focused the career of his son Cody Hall. Scott is a legend and well deserving of his Hall of Fame honor.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr
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Mr T Joins The Hall

MR T HOF 2

The WWE has always had a good relationship with the world of pop culture. This year in the Hall of Fame, our celebrity inductee is the man who started it all. Mr T will be honored and we are all wondering what took so long. The man who helped headline the first Wrestlemania and take the company to the next level will now get its highest honor.

Mr T HOF

For some of you younger readers Mr T was one of the biggest television stars of the 1980s. He was on the hit show The A Team. He was more than just that he was a cultural revolution. Mr T had him own cartoon and cereal. His involvement in the biggest event in the history of wrestling was a huge boost to the business. Mr T also did not just compete and the 1st Wrestlemania but came back to face nemesis Roddy Piper at the 2nd Showcase of The Immortals. We at Ring Time Pro Wrestling can’t wait to hear Mr T’s induction speech.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

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Carlos Colon Joins The Hall of Fame

Carlos Colon HOF

The WWE is rounding out their 2014 Hall of Fame class. They have added legendary Puerto Rican wrestler and promoter Carlos Colon to this year’s class. Although a surprise he is a deserving member of this year’s class. Colon started his career in 1966 in the United States wrestling in the eastern part of the country. In 1973 Colon returned to his native Puerto Rico and started Capital Sports Promotion with fellow wrestler Victor Jovica.

The promotion was successful and created a lot of stars from the Caribbean. The created guys like Black Georgie, Barrabas and Miguel Perez Sr. The biggest star of the promotion became Colon himself who became a hero. He was also able to attract a lot talent from the United States such as Ric Flair, Randy Savage and Stan Hansen to come perform in the promotion. Colon had a very famous match with Ric Flair in 1983 were he defeated Ric Flair. His most famous feud was with WWE Hall of Famer Abdullah “The Butcher”.

Carlos feuded with Abdullah for almost two decades. Carlos ended his in ring career to focus on training his sons as professional wrestlers. He is the father of former WWE Superstar Carlito and current performer Primo. He is also the uncle of Primo’s tag team partner Epico. Colon will make a nice addition to the WWE Hall of Fame.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

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Paul Bearer Joins The Hall of Fame

Paul Bearer in HOF

The 2014 Hall of Fame Class is shaping up to be one of the best ever. It was announced on Monday Night RAW that Paul Bearer aka Percy Pringle will be the newest member added to this class. It is a much deserved honor to one of the greatest managers that has ever done it. Most of us are familiar of his career with The Undertaker but Pringle has had a long and storied career in the world of sports entertainment.

His real name is Bill Moody and started his career in Texas. Starting his career as a wrestler on the independent circuit he then left wrestling to become a licensed mortician. In 1984 he made his way back to the business as a manager in Florida Championship Wrestling and WCCW. Known as Percy Pringle he managed guys like Rick Rude, a young Steve Austin and Mark Calloway before he became known as the Undertaker. In 1990 he came to the WWF to take over The Undertaker’s managerial duties from Brother Love. Throughout the 90’s he and Taker would terrorize the WWE.

Paul’s being an actual real life mortician added a little extra to The Undertaker character. Also during this time he was not only Taker’s manager but during a split lead several of his adversaries. Bearer was a big part of the introduction to the WWE for stars like Mankind and Vader. No other superstar introduction was bigger than the revealing The Undertaker’s brother Kane. Kane went on to develop to a superstar with a Hall of Fame resume himself. Paul Bearer will be missed and is worthy of this honor.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

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RIP Nelson Frazier

King Mable

Earlier this week the Pro Wrestling community lost one of its family members. Nelson Frazier who you may know as Mable, Viscera or Big Daddy V passed due to a heart attack. The 1995 King of the Ring winner was part of the tag team Men on A Mission. He was one of the superstars who were with the WWE before, during and after the Attitude Era.

He was a large man who was able to reinvent himself over the years and entertain fans all over the world. During that time besides winning KOTR he was also able to become a tag team champion and Hardcore Champion. Upon his final run with WWE in 2008 Nelson retired to his hometown of Memphis, TN with his wife Cassandra. He also made appearances on the indie wrestling scene.

Funny how things change in a week, on the Ring Time Podcast I was saying Happy Birthday to the man and joking about one of our Facebook exchanges. Now on the most recent episode I was saying RIP one of the coolest guys in the wrestling business. Nelson you will be missed by the Ring Time family and fans around the world.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

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Lita Joins The Hall of Fame

Lita Hall of Fame

On Monday during RAW the WWE announced its newest member of the 2014 Hall of Fame class. Lita will be inducted the night before Wrestlemania into the WWE Hall of Fame. Lita was huge part of the Attitude Era rolling with the Hardyz and after that with Edge. We also would not want leave out her beginnings with the Legendary Essa Rios…lol.

Lita along with Trish Stratus were a part of what maybe one of the greatest eras in women’s wrestling. Along with stars like Jacqueline, Molly Holly and Ivory these ladies were pushing the boundaries and having wonderful matches. Their contribution gave the WWE another edge over rival WCW during the Monday Night Wars. Lita’s aerial assault was the first of its kind and has never been matched again. This is a well-deserved honor for a very talented performer.

Written By

Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

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RIP Mae Young

Mae Young

The wrestling world lost a true legend today with the passing of Mae Young. She was a true trailblazer and gave a life time of entertainment to pro wrestling. Mae began her career right out of high school and toured all over the North America. She worked for Stu Hart in Canada and in the Memphis Territory. Mae really helped women expand their role in the profession during World War II. She also helped train another legendary woman, her friend the Fabulous Moolah.

Mae Young 2

In the late 1990s and early 2000s during the Attitude Era, Mae got to enjoy a second life in her career. Showing incredible comedic timing the skits with her and Moolah were always funny. She is probably best known for having a baby that turned out to be a hand with Mark Henry. Mae will be missed by wrestling fans around the world.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

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Ultimate Warrior 1st in 2014 Hall of Fame

Ultimate Warrior

The WWE announced during RAW last night the first entrant into the 2014 Hall of Fame. The Ultimate Warrior will now be able to call himself a Hall of Famer. There was a lot of internet speculation that the Warrior would go in this year but I definitely wouldn’t have pegged him as the first person announced for the hall. I actually held out some doubt that he would go in because of the relationship that he has had with the company over the years. It is no accident that we have not seen him on WWE programming in over 18 years.

Warrior vs Hogan

Now of course there was some confusion over the decision to induct the Warrior. Especially since guys like Randy Savage and Jake Roberts are not in the Hall of Fame yet. There is actually a list of guys that I could run down that I think are more deserving. He is not even the best Bladerunner of all time. It’s funny that even the WWE has a 90 minute DVD that pretty much trashes the guy’s reputation. So I am going to go the other route and make a small case for the man from Parts Unknown.
With Wrestlemania being in New Orleans this year he does have a connection to the area. The Warrior spent some of his early career working for Bill Watts down that territory. Despite his shortcomings and difficulty to do business with, the Warrior is still a very iconic character in the history of professional wrestling. He was able to break through as a babyface during the Hogan era. Like it or not he had half of that crowd on his side in the Skydome at Wrestlemania VI. No he was not the best worker but neither was Hogan. As wild and hard to understand as his promos were he did strike a cord and draw the fans interest.

I will agree that the machine put the perfect music and gimmick with him, it was up to the man to deliver the goods and for a time he did that. The Hall of Fame will welcome the Ultimate Warrior and like most fans I can’t wait to hear that acceptance speech.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

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Thank You Jim Ross

Jim ross 2

Yesterday Jim Ross announced that he will be retiring from the WWE. After 20 years with the organization he is moving on to other things. It sounds especially sad to me that Jim Ross may have called his last match with the WWE. For people of my generation it is not debatable that man with the big hat from Oklahoma is the greatest announcer in the history of the sport.

jim ross wcw

The announcement of this retirement does not just represent JR leaving WWE but it seems like his last ride in wrestling. Ross is a man who has had a much storied career before arriving in the WWE. From his time working for Hall of Famer Bill Watts or calling some of the best matches in WCW it now maybe all over. My introduction to Jim Ross comes from those days in WCW and him calling matches for guys like Sting, Catcus Jack and of course Ric Flair.

 

Let’s not forget that we are losing much more than just the greatest announcer but we are also losing one of the greatest lifetime contributors to wrestling business. Not only being the voice of the Attitude Era he also helped bring in a lot of the talent of the most successful era of wrestling. Signing guys like Kurt Angle, Edge, Brock Lensar, Randy Orton, John Cena and The Rock just to name a few.

 

Jim Ross will be missed on WWE programming but we will always have the memories him adding his voice to some of the greatest matches of all times. We at Ring Time Pro Wrestling wish him luck and continued success on the plans he has for the rest of his life.
Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr
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