Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Main Man(ager)

Jimmy Hart and me at Wrestlemania 22
In previous posts I've talked about the death or at least the dying out of tag team wrestling in the WWE.  If it were a person, it would be on life support.  That's a shame, but I'm not going to get into that discussion again today.

Instead, I'm focusing on another dying (or dead) aspect of wrestling that I thought added to the entertainment: the manager.

Now that Paul Bearer is "dead" again, are there really any managers in the WWE?  Alex Riley is more of  protegee.  Maryse, Eve, and Tamina are more valet than manager I would argue.

I definitely think managers should be brought back to the business, but it's not just the WWE that has stopped using them.  When I was growing up and watching wrestling in the 1980's, there was Slick, Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Elizabeth, Oliver Humperdink, Fred Blassie, Capt. Lou Albano, Mr. Fuji and the list goes on.  These men (and woman) added something to the product.  Most of the times they provided the voice for their talent.  Back then wrestlers didn't need to talk, they had their manager do it for them.

I always thought Bobby Heenan was the best at this.  He could talk all kinds of crap.  Build his men up and then usually himself end up on the receiving end of a butt kickin'.   He never seemed afraid to jump in there and put himself at risk.  That's what I loved about the Brain.  And he was funny too.

The E has experimented with other managers in recent years, Matt Stryker and Armando Estrada come to mind.  Personally, I thought they both did a good job.  I was disappointed when they released Estrada.  He and Umaga worked together perfectly I thought.

My tribute to Capt. Lou
There are Hall of Famers and legends who could move into the role of manager.  I'm sure there are even some up and comers in the developmental area who may not have the right stuff to make it in the ring, but could still make a contribution to the business. I thought Ric Flair was doing just fine when he was still in the WWE before Evolution really evolved.  It's a role he continues in TNA.

But I prefer it when managers only manage and don't wrestle.  Even if they wrestled in the past.   You knew most of the time that the manager would end up doing the job.  Of course the exception there was Wrestlemania 4 when Bobby Heenan pinned Koko B. Ware in that six man tag team match.

Maybe my desire for managers to make a come back has more to do with missing the way things used to be.  Times have changed, and maybe the manager, like the tag team division need to be put out to pasture.   Nah, they need to make a comeback.

Also, please check out my YouTube Channel.  It's brand new.

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