Appoint Me A New Manager
March 3, 2006 by Nick Cash
When I was a lad, many moons ago, I watched my first WWF event, WrestleMania IV. I marvelled at the noise from the crowd as the camera panned overhead. As 'Land of Hope and Glory' erupted over a scratchy PA system and Macho Man made his way to the ring, or the opening riff of Hulk Hogan's "Real American" electrified the crowd you could feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. But equally I remember the bad guys and how they made me feel - I hated them. And not just them but the horrible little squirt at ringside; not big enough to be a wrestler him/herself but still with the dastardly brain and will to cheat to victory.
The role of managers and valets was hugely important during the late 80's and early 90's era of wrestling. Every good heel had a manager or valet. Bobby Heenan was really the common heel to Hogan throughout his famed run of the 80's and early 90's, managing many of the wrestlers who feuded with Hogan during this period. The Hulkster also fell out with his 'friend' Macho Man, who by now was ably assisted by Sensational Sherri, probably the most well known valet in the WWF. Demolition was the dominant tag team at the time and could always rely on the salt throwing cheat Mr Fuji. The Managers would of course have a band of wrestlers they would represent and it was quite normal to watch a whole PPV and to find the heel in each match was aided by a manager or valet, be it Heenan, Sherri, Mr Fuji, Jim Cornette, Slick Ric and others. All would of course, in some capacity, interfere in the match, sometimes aiding the heel to a cheated victory and thus incur the wrath of the fans, and sometimes failing miserably and maybe receiving a big right hand for their trouble.
In wrestling today, and partly due to the perceived need for Tits and Ass in a wrestling show, we do not see the great heel managers or valets of old. Heels may still be accompanied to ringside but usually by another wrestler or a 'diva'. This is less effective as the manager should be someone who cannot fight for themselves but are rather more brains than brawn and not just someone to stand and look pretty.
The exception in the WWE today is Melina, who as well as being an attractive woman also plays the valet role exceptionally well and is a key part of MNM's success. At least when Melina gets caught interfering that you know she will get what she deserves because she can't defend herself, in the same way that there was that extra bit of excitement when Heenan got sent over the top rope or Mr Fuji took a big right hand to the face.
Of course it would be wrong to say that the WWE should go back to the days of old because the business and fans opinions have changed so much. But perhaps just a little nostalgia is needed to bring back a part of wrestling that everybody loves" A meddlesome manager aligning himself with a mean wrestler because he is a coward, but has the brains to take them to the top. I also believe that if booked correctly, it would help to liven up live audiences at PPV's and at RAW and Smackdown! shows, as it is clear that there are periods where the crowd are losing interest during some live events. Perhaps the sneaky tricks of a good manager or valet will help liven up an otherwise stale match.
This is my first column for OWW. I am a big fan of wrestling today and going back to the late 80's and enjoy reading thoughts from people all over the world. I would be interested to know what you all think about my thoughts on introducing a few more managers or valets and how it might impact the business today, or indeed if you think it is a terrible idea. Thanks for taking time to read.
by Nick Cash ..
William Leighton wrote:
I miss the managers too. They were a fun part of the whole operation, and it made it easier for a wrestler to turn face, or to turn heel. All the had to do was turn on their manager and everyone knew where they were headed. I think the WWE will eventually go back to it, they seem to be recycling old ideas now. There is one on Raw, Edge's Lita, and Melina on Smackdown!. Who knows" Maybe it'll grow.
The Divas get on my nerves. They really do. Sometimes they have great matches, but the over exuberance of Jerry The King Lawler makes it hard to take the women seriously. That and they are always in the ridiculous Bra and Panties or Fulfill your Fantasy matches. Its impossible to really look at them as wrestlers, even when you try. To be honest, I feel sorry for them most of the time.
A little off topic there. Sorry. You are right. The managers of old need to come back. I'd like to see a Ted The Million Dollar Man Debiase managing JBL, there characters are quite similar, and I think they could really compliment each other.
Randall Flagg wrote:
Bobby Heenan made any wrestling show he appeared on worth watching, whether he was commentating or managing. It wouldn't be a stretch to say he was THE best part of any particular broadcast. The business could use a few good managers like him now.
I'm hoping Ric Flair decides to give up wrestling full-time before he gets seriously injured and takes on a managing role. As much as I've enjoyed him over the years (and I was watching him in Mid-Atlantic before he won his first World title), his time really has come and gone in terms of in-ring performing. As a manager, he could do what he does best now-talk-and still honor us with his presence on a weekly basis. Plus he'd still be able to take the standard heel manager bumps and work the occasional match.
Jose Alejandro Rosales wrote:
Longtime reader of obsessedwithwresting.com but this is my first response to a column. I am a young wresting fan in age, 20, but an old wrestling fan when it comes to the passion of it.
I was just curious of your thoughts on the managers in wrestling today, namely, two men in a Tits and Ass world, that of Daivari, and Scott D'Amore.
Daivari--I am still unsure of his talents, because all he seems to do is yell. One thing I do like about him is that during the days Muhammed Hassan was under pressure, Daivari did make a claim that he would do anything, even literally give an arm, to be able to continue to work for the WWE. That is an attitude you have to love in someone in the wrestling business. In your article you stated that one of the great things about managers was when the fan was able to see them "get theirs." Daivari has "gotten his" numerous times, be it in the ring alone against Shawn Michaels, and recently having the Anglelock applied to him by Kurt Angle. In the matches he has been in he has definately sold the "no offensive moves" angle, and normally a simple slap to him does the trick on knocking him down for a long period of time. In this regard he is like The Brain, or Jimmy Hart of old, because he is someone that the crowd always wants to see get beat up. Even if they cheer the beating just as a way to shut him up.
Scott D'Amore--I mean you look at this guy and you begin to hate him. He is a fat f-fool (yea, thats it) who shouts into the camera at every appearance. For those of you who are not too familiar with TNA he is the manager of Team Canada. I can't wait what heat he'll get this week because Canada defeated team USA in baseball. I look forward to what he'll say to stir up the crowd. In addition to wearing some kind of ridiculous Canada outfit he always brings a Canada Flag with him to the ring, and sometimes uses it as a weapon to help his wrestlers. (Your Mr. Fuji, no") Also, like your reasoning, he is known to come out multiple times in the same show, whether it is to accompany Petey Williams or to aid on A1 and Bobby Roode in a tag team match up. This guy is also another guy who the crowd, and I personally, can not wait for the "good guy" to get his hands on. In fact, I almost jumped out of my seat at the thought of the Du-Du-Dudley Boyz 3D him, and I still can not wait until that day.
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