World's Greatest Wrestling Managers

Description: The world of professional wrestling is an odd one. It's all fake. I'm sure I won't be shocking anyone if I said this. Outcomes are decided before the match, and how they get there and what they do is also completely planned out. There is a tendency to try and make it seem real. One way that this has been done over the years is the inclusion of managers. They are supposed to look after the wrestlers, book the matches, arrange the contracts and make sure everything is all organised. This is also fake. Now WWE have released The World's Greatest Wrestling Managers to reveal exactly what the best managers actually did.

Over the documentary we are presented with short interviews and archive footage of 12 of the best managers in the wrestling business. These spanned from the 1970s including Freddie Blassie, Arnold Skaaland, the 1980s with Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan and the 1990s with Paul Bearer and Paul Heyman.

Presented by Todd Grisham, who should never be allowed to present another DVD, he appears in a number of unfunny segments that really take away some of the enjoyment of watching. Thankfully, they are very short and serve as just distractions between the segments.

Each manager is given their own chapter which vary in terms of what and who has to talk about them. Some, such as Fred Blassie and Jimmy Hart are given more time as it seems they had a lot more impact. Others, such as Sunny and Paul Heyman are quickly glazed over which is a shame. The interviews are all interesting; however you can see who is knowledgeable and speaking from the heart and who have been scripted. This makes the disk feel disjointed as we have young wrestlers talking about a manager and whether what they say is true or not, you feel that once the director said cut they said 'Did I get them lines right?'

During the feature, we also get a number of 'Guide to Managing' type things. These probably would have been better as part of the extra features, but are a nice way of packaging all the other managers eg. Slick, Debra who don't get their own segment. These include whether being a wrestler helps, the art of cheating and also the effect of women managers. It is here that most of the male viewers will wear out their repeat play function on their DVD player as we are presented with all the hottest managers over the years. This includes Trish Stratus talking about her two... ahem... assets.

One thing that could have improved this disk is to have the managers go chronologically. It was confusing to go from the 1970s with Fred Blassie and then jump to the 1990s with Sunny and then jump back to the 1980s with Jimmy Hart. This also made you realise the terrible quality of the old footage. If they had shown them in order you may have not noticed the horrible picture and sound quality between a 1970s match and a 2000 match.

Surprisingly, given that it is only one disk, we are given a number of extras that are all fun to watch. These include a number of matches, interviews and vignettes. I recommend anything with Bobby Heenan as he is probably the funniest man in the business and is hilarious in his Weasel Suit match. Also included is 'Sunny Sings Happy Birthday' clip. This will also keep most of the male viewers entertained for a while. Also a highlight is Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth's wedding video. If that doesn't bring a tear to your eye, nothing will. (Either from laughing or crying. It's your choice.)

I enjoyed watching the DVD, despite the brain damage Grisham causes. The archive footage is great to watch (despite the quality) and the progression really shows just how far the manager has come since the times of Booby Heenan. In 2006, very few managers still exist in wrestling (Examples include Melina and Daivari) but looking at them and you will see the roots of what they do and why in the people on this DVD. The World's Greatest Wrestling Managers is a fun trip down memory lane for old fans and a journey of great discovery for new ones.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by David Simpson on .

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