Managers in pro wrestling are certainly a dying breed. At one time, almost every great heel had a manager guiding their careers. Whether it was the Grand Wizard, Bobby Heenan, J.J. Dillon, Gary Hart, Skandor Akbar, Lou Albano, Red Berry, Arnold Skaaland but it is the more obscure manager that is the focus of this piece.
Many served as mouthpieces to the talent they were managing. They were often heels by nature and weren’t opposed to interfering or handing their charge some sort of foreign object. Some were more successful than others…but they all played a pivotal role in the success or failures of a particular wrestler.
As the years have gone by, many of the managers we remembered fondly have disappeared. Managers like Paul Heyman and Zeb Colter seem to be in the minority now as more wrestlers are able to develop their own personalities. For every successful, well known manager like Jimmy Hart…there is a manager that we seem to have forgotten about. Managers that just didn’t have the same success or notoriety of others.
Sure, you probably have heard of many of these individuals when they were actually wrestling themselves. You may have forgotten that after their active careers were over…they tried dabbling in pro managing. Others, you may have completely forgotten about altogether. These are their stories…
Mortimer Plumtree managed some in the independents but his biggest claim to fame was briefly becoming a manager for TNA wrestling during the promotion’s infancy in 2002. As TNA grew, Plumtree was eventually phased out of TNA’s future plans.
Arman Hussian was another former wrestler of the 60’s and 70’s who morphed into a manager later in his career in the 1980’s. He was a co manager of several talents in the World Class territory with Gary Hart. They formed a stable of wrestlers which included the Great Kabuki, ‘Wild’ Bill Irwin and Checkmate called H and H Limited.
Don’t go messin’ with a country boy..a country boy! (Unless he is a manager) Hillbilly Jim had a decent career in the WWF in the 1980’s…but when the WWF tried to make him a manager to help get the Godwinns (Henry and Phineas) over…it just didn’t click with fans. Hillbilly Jim managed the Godwinns briefly in late 1995/early 1996 to 1997.
After Hillbilly Jim was dumped as the Godwinns manager in 1997, Uncle Cletus came in briefly as the tag team’s manager. Uncle Cletus was also known as the Dirty White Boy Tony Anthony in the territorial days…as well as TL Hopper in the WWF. Uncle Cletus didn’t last a full year as a manager in the company.
Former wrestler and trainer Lord Littlebrook managed Jacko Victory and Ripper Morgan collectively known as the Royal Family in WCW.
After his days as leader of the Right to Censor…Stevie/Steven Richards became a manager for a quick cup of coffee managing Brian Adams and Bryan Clark aka Kronik in the WWE. Kronik only wrestled one match with the company and Steven Richards returned to wrestling instead.
Hiro Matsuda was a great wrestler and trainer in Japan. He is probably lesser known as the guy who replaced JJ Dillon as manager of the Four Horsemen. After Dillon bolted WCW for the WWF in 1989, for storyline purposes…Matsuda bought the rights to the Horsemen and several other wrestlers and formed a stable called the Yamasaki Corporation.
Ox managed the Russian Brute in the now defunct AWA back in 1988. He was scheduled to manage ‘Mean’ Mark Callous (The future Undertaker) in WCW, but that deal fell through.
JC The Ice Baby
Before Jamie Dundee wrestled as a part of PG-13 with Wolfie D in the USWA, WCW, ECW and the WWF as members of the Nation of Domination…Dundee was a heel manager named JC the Ice Baby in the southern territories.
The legendary Baron Von Raschke was brought into the WWF back in 1988 as the manager of the Powers of Pain. He was quickly discarded when the Warlord and Barbarian turned heel. The Baron returned to the AWA to briefly manage Scott Norton.
Judge Jeff Jones
Judge Jeff Jones was a former heel referee in ECW turned manager who guided Mike Awesome to the ECW world title.
Mr. Yamaguchi was the manager of the WWF’s Kai en Tai which consisted of Funaki, Togo, Teoh and later Taka Michinoku back in 1998. Yamaguchi was eventually phased out of the company…never to manage in the WWF again.
The Honkytonk Man
The Honkytonk Man managed Billy Gunn briefly as Rockabilly. The biggest claim to fame Honky had as a manager…was Rockabilly dumping him as manager and forming the New Age Outlaws with the Road Dogg.
The Iron Sheik/Bob Backlund
In 1996, Bob Backlund and the Iron Sheik became managers and co managed the Sultan (Rikishi) Iron Sheik left/was fired from the WWF and the Sultan would be repackaged.
John Tolos had a brief and unmemorable managerial career in the WWF named the Coach. While he managed Mr. Perfect and the Beverly brothers…Tolos simply didn’t fit and left the company. He found himself managing in Herb Abrams UWF before vanishing completely.
In 1988/1989, Frenchy Martin became the manager of Dino Bravo and the Fabulous Rougeau brothers. Frenchy was later replaced by Jimmy Hart.
Lance Wright was a former ECW interviewer turned manager who managed a stable of wrestlers called the Wright Connection that included Brakkus and Droz in ECW.
Superstar Billy Graham
The former WWWF champion ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham became the manager of Don ‘The Rock’ Muraco in 1987. The marriage didn’t last too long and Graham went to color commentating before leaving the company altogether.
In the early 1990’s the Wild Samoan Afa became manager of the Headshrinkers (Samu and Fatu) He eventually co managed the team with the more polished Captain Lou Albano before completely disappearing.
When Steve Austin first went to WCW in the early 1990’s, he was given a manager/valet named “Vivacious Veronica.” She would quickly be replaced by his real life wife at the time Jeanie Clark aka Lady Blossom. Vivacious Veronica was never heard or seen again.
The current Lucha Underground commentator was formerly a manager in the WWE. He managed Big Daddy V aka Viscera aka Mabel. He also briefly managed Tyson Kidd.
Abraham Washington was suppose to manage a stable of wrestlers which included the Prime Time Players and Mason Ryan. Washington also briefly managed the Colons of Primo and Epico before getting released from the WWE.
Former Tough Enough winner Linda Miles became the manager of the Basham brothers in 2003. The gimmick didn’t last that long and Shaniqua eventually left pro wrestling.
Sir William was really Memphis wrestler Bill Dundee under a different moniker and briefly managed Steven Regal in WCW.
Jack Victory managed Steve Corino in ECW back in 1998/1999.
Lou E Dangerously
The former Sign Guy Dudley turned Lou E Dangerously managed several ECW stars in the promotions final years.