Lowlife Louie Ramos, Padraic Toolan, Brian Damage and Amerigo Diehl
For the next few weeks we are going to do something a little different. We are going to do a Mount Rushmore of top wrestlers, tag teams, managers etc. This week, we are going to do a Mount Rushmore of top managers in pro wrestling. Remember, Mount Rushmore only has FOUR faces…so you have to really narrow down your choices. Who were the top wrestling managers that deserve their face of Mount Rushmore of Managers? There are no wrong answers. These are all personal choices.
1) Bobby Heenan Arguably the greatest heel manager ever. Convinced Andre the Giant to turn on Hulk Hogan, guided the careers of many greats, including Nick Bockwinkel, Curt Henning, Rick Rude, Haku and the aforementioned Giant.
2) Capt Lou Albano. Often imitated never duplicated, the Capt managed 13 teams ,teams as different as the British Bulldogs and Wild Samoans to tag team gold…13 teams total. A record that will never be broken
3) Jimmy Hart. The mouth of the south guided the Honky Tonk Man to the longest intercontinental championship reign ever. Managed multiple time tag team champions..And later would go on to manage the most famous wrestler of all time..Hulk Hogan
4) Slave girl Moolah..a pioneer as a female wrestler, Moolah was also a pioneer as a manager. Probably the 1st ,and if not certainly the most visible female in her hay day. Moolah’s managerial role opened the door for women like Miss Elizabeth ,Baby Doll, Sunshine and Missy Hyatt to be able to lead men into battle
4. Paul Bearer
You can’t think of The Undertaker or Kane without thinking of Paul Bearer. He was in the middle of probably the greatest storyline in WWE history when The Undertaker found out his brother was still alive. Bearer was central to both character’s development and careers. He also managed Mankind, Vader, and The Executioner. “OOOOOOHHH YEEEEEESSSS!” Iconic!
3. Sensational Sherri
Sherri Martel was a very talented wrestler, but REALLY made her name as Macho Man’s manager. She was vicious, knew every dirty trick in the book, and was not afraid to get physical, take bumps, and be humiliated, like when Brutus cut her hair at SummerSlam ’89. She managed Ted Dibiase, Shawn Michaels, and was awesome as Harlem Heat’s manager in WCW. Her attitude, desire to be hated, and determination to help her wrestlers win at all costs earn her a place of the Wrestling Managers Mount Rushmore. Also: when it wasn’t Jimmy Hart dressed in drag as “Peggy Sue” with Honky Tonk Man, it was Sherri!
2. Jimmy Hart
The Mouth of the South and his ever-present sunglasses and megaphone MUST be on Mount Rushmore. He managed Hulk Hogan, The Hart Foundation, Greg Valentine, Jerry Lawler, Ted DiBiase, IRS, The Mountie, Eartquake, Typhoon, Dino Bravo, The Nasty Boys, The Giant, and, most notably at least to me, The Honky Tonk Man. That was classic shit with Honky! Jimmy just always seemed to enhance anything he was a part of, and having Jimmy as a manager gave a wrestler instant credibility.
1. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Could it be anyone else? The quickest wit in wrestling, he could be a chicken shit coward, or an evil genius. Incredible promos, and an artist at ringside. He would even sell the beatings his clients took. The Heenan Family includes some of the most legendary wrestlers of the WWF, AWA, and NWA, including The Blackjacks, Ken Patera, Nick Bockwinkel, Ray Stevens, Stan Hansen, Austin Idol, Ernie Ladd, Angelo Poffo, Adrian Adonis, Andre The Giant, Harley Race, Mr. Perfect, Paul Orndorff, Rick Rude, and Ric Flair. Any heel who was anyone was paired with Heenan. It showed the respect he commanded and how much a wrestler was elevated by being associated with him, and if a face went up against a Heenan heel, it elevated the face too. A win over a Heenan heel was worth so much more. Hands down, the greatest of all time.
I based my choices on managers I watched growing up. I left out managers like JC Dykes, Homer O’Dell, Sam Bass and others that I never had the privilege to see. This was actually harder than I thought because I am certainly leaving off some greats…but these are my four managers for the Mount Rushmore…
Paul E Dangerously/Paul Heyman
Paul was such a great talker and still is. He could sell just about anything with his words. I really hated his preppy/yuppie gimmick in places like the AWA and WCW. His large cell phone in hand, his Miami Vice clothes and mullet fit his character to a tee.
Cornette was great as the rich, spoiled mama’s boy who threw temper tantrums and used his tennis racket as a weapon. He is most known for managing the Midnight Express and its different incarnations…but also managed the likes of Vader, Owen Hart and Big Bubba Rogers. Like Heyman, he also had a great mind for the business and how it operated.
I feel that Hart gets overlooked by many fans, but the fact of the matter is…Gary Hart was one of the all time great managers. He managed the likes of Mark Lewin and the Dynamic Duo (Gino Hernandez and Chris Adams) but really shined when managing “foreign” talents like Abdullah the Butcher, The Great Kabuki, The Great Muta and others of that ilk. Hart was also a great wrestling mind that booked one of the hottest territories in the early 1980’s…World Class.
The weasel or the Brain…whichever nickname he had…Heenan was one of the all time best. Managing the likes of King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd, the Blackjacks, Nick Bockwinkel and of course Andre the Giant. As a WWF fan, if you saw a wrestler aligned with Heenan…you knew that he was bad to the bone and most likely going after Hulk Hogan’s title. Heenan was the top manager in both AWA and WWF for years. He was that special.
4. J.J. Dillon– Dillon belongs here because of the 4 Horseman. No, Dillon did not do much other than this, but his work from his time with the Horseman is legendary. He had the advantage of having 4 guys who were great on the mic yes, but he also drew heat from his persistent interference in matches to help them.
3. Jim Cornette– Had you asked me when I was in my teens if would have said Cornette’s face doesn’t even belong on the restroom door of the facilities at Mount Rushmore let alone on the mountain. Today, I better appreciate his work in the territories with the Midnight Express, and his work in the WWE with Yokozuna and Vader among others.
2. Captain Lou Albano– In the 70’s few if any managers walked the fine line between serving as an in story advisor/manager and a mouthpiece for some of the greatest tag teams in history. It was not by accident that Albano was chosen to be the manager of all those tag team champions. He knew how to get them over and draw money from drawing heat.
1. Bobby the Brain Heenan– Heenan deserves the proverbial centerpiece on the mountain. Draws heat-check, great on the mic? check, provides endless entertainment, check. You could go on forever listing the reasons why he belongs here but all you need to do is spend about 5 minutes watching his promos and you will have your answer.