The 2017 Hall of Fame class is growing. Last week the WWE announced that long time Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long will joining Kurt Angle and The Rock N Roll Express in the 2017 induction class. Teddy has been in the wrestling business for well over 30 years and has done almost everything but be a full-time wrestler.
Long broke into the business in 1985 as a member of the ring crew in Jim Crockett Promotions where he eventually got promoted to referee. You can see a lot of Long’s work on the WWE Network on the NWA World Championship Wrestling shows. The highlight of his career as a ref would working the famed Chi-Town Rumble match between Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Ric Flair in 1989.
After the Rumble, Teddy took on the role as a heel ref and tilted decisions towards heel wrestlers. That story worked for Long in NWA and Championship Wrestling from Florida. Long was stripped of referee duties by the NWA for his actions. From there he transitioned into the managerial portion of his career. His first client as a manager was Norman “The Lunatic” and from there he went on to manage a host of others. Known as Theodore R. Long, he is most associated with managing the legendary tag teams Doom (Butch Reed and Ron Simmons) and The Skyscrapers which line-ups included Dan Spivey, Mean Mark Callus(The Undertaker) and Sid Vicious.
In 1998 Long began his career in the WWF going back to being a referee again. He officiated matches until 2002 when he went back into managerial space. Known as Teddy Long again he Mark Henry, Jazz, D’Low Brown and Rosey on different occasions. In 2004 Long took over post that most current fans know him for today as the SmackDown General Manager. During his tenure as GM, Long’s character was mostly a babyface. He was the GM off and on for the brand up until 2014. During that time Long also served a stint as GM for the revived ECW brand. He was known for his signature catchphrase “Hold on Playa” when he would interrupt stars in the ring and restore order. Seems like Teddy Long was always putting a heel in check and setting up some mega tag match for the main event after the opening promo. The 30 plus year career of Long will now be immortalized in the Hall of Fame.
Keith B. Holt
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