Who would yesterday's managers manage today?
Through the years, there were a number of Superstars who employed the services of a manager to help guide their careers, and more times than none, those careers produced great dividends for themselves as well as their mentors. ( WATCH VIDEO PLAYLIST)
The role of the wrestling manager is no longer a constant thread of today’s WWE fabric. Knowing the caliber of Superstars that are currently competing, I thought I would get hypothetical and hook up some of the ring's most legendary managers with whom I think they would want to represent from the current crop of WWE Superstars.
Slick: Brodus Clay
He was flamboyant to a fault, and he knew it. But once the WWE Universe got to see what Slick brought to the table, they found that beneath the guise of the self-proclaimed “Doctor of Style” was a theory that bigger was better. Although he guided many Superstars to victory, Slick’s greatest managerial success was when he combined the forces of The Big Boss Man and Akeem to form the tag team The Twin Towers. Individually they got the job done, but collectively they were a very impressive duo, battling the likes of The Mega Powers — Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage.
Knowing how Slick was able to get the best out of the big men, it seems only logical that he would manage Brodus Clay. The Funkasaurus has all of the attributes that are right up Slickster’s alley, and plenty of positive damage could be done with a merger of style and funk between these two.
Captain Lou Albano: Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel
There was arguably no better manager in the industry when it came to taking two individuals, putting them together and making tag team magic. Thus, the name of “The Guiding Light” was affixed to WWE Hall of Famer Captain Lou Albano. Although he did have great success managing individual competitors, Albano’s specialty was tag teams.
That being said, Captain Lou would make a beeline toward the exciting duo of Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel. In these two, you could find some similarities to another Albano-managed duo, The British Bulldogs. Young, upstart and skillful could describe both the Bulldogs and the Kidd & Gabriel tandems. The speed and finesse that Kidd & Gabriel employ would be augmented by the savvy that only the Captain could provide.
"Classy" Freddie Blassie: Antonio Cesaro
One of the top in-ring competitors of his era, the self-proclaimed “Hollywood Fashion Plate” parlayed that into becoming one of the shrewdest mangers of all time. When WWE Hall of Famer "Classy" Freddie Blassie scouted someone to add to his stable, he knew exactly the whos, the whats and the whys of his choice. Add to that the unlimited amount of money he had to spend to acquire that special grappler, and Blassie always got his man.
One Superstar Blassie would be successful in wooing to his stable is Antonio Cesaro. The current United States Champion is an extremely polished competitor who has the savoir-faire to succeed, but he would reach unlimited heights with the "Classy" one by his side. Knowing Blassie’s penchant for winning at any cost, if The Swiss Sensation were to take a few doses of Blassie’s “aggression medicine,” the sky would no doubt be the limit for the Cesaro.
Bobby "The Brain" Heenan: Dolph Ziggler
There was no one like WWE Hall of Famer Bobby Heenan. No one! He did not receive the moniker of “The Brain” by just lounging around. If a Superstar made it into The Heenan Family, you knew Bobby would take that performer's abilities and augment them with "The Brain’s" expertise, turning them into a championship caliber competitor.
If Heenan was able to choose a current WWE Superstar for inclusion into the Family, Dolph Ziggler perfectly fits the bill! And The Showoff feels positive vibes on it!
“Heenan’s awesome in every aspect," Ziggler proclaimed. "He’s one of my favorites of all time because I appreciate that kind of jack-of-all-trades performer. He can talk on the mic, he can manage, he can take people to the top; he can do it all." Mr. Money in the Bank continued, "I see myself as someone like that. So us teamed together would honestly be an unstoppable team because we both want to be better than everyone else and we would both back it up every single night.”
Arnold Skaaland: John Cena
WWE Hall of Famer Arnold Skaaland was one of the smartest competitors ever to put on a pair of tights. A no-nonsense individual, what you saw was what you got with Skaaland, both in and out of the ring. After transitioning into a managerial career, The Golden Boy only had aspirations for two individuals — Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backlund — both WWE Champions during that respective time of his WWE tenure.
If Skaaland wanted to make it a managerial trifecta, John Cena would be his man. And let’s face it, for an individual with the hectic schedule that Cena maintains, Skaaland would be tailor made for him. The years of experience that Skaaland would bring to the table combined with Cena’s passion for sports-entertainment would make this pairing a win-win!
Jimmy Hart: Heath Slater
This one is a no-brainer. Throughout his managerial tenure, The Mouth of the South gained success after success with the Superstars he represented. Notwithstanding the stable he put together, WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Hart's greatest managerial association was with the man who called himself “the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time,” The Honky Tonk Man. There was always a very good line of communication between Hart and Honky, who was one of the original complete packages of wrestling and entertainment.
Heath Slater is a “gimme” selection for Jimmy. Slater has all the skills inside the squared circle to continue his upward trek. But if The One-Man Band ever forged an association with The Mouth of the South, Hart would know how to press all the right buttons, and make Slater even more entertaining than ever — a true collaboration of making sweet music together.
The Grand Wizard: Damien Sandow
A brilliant, well-spoken man, WWE Hall of Famer The Grand Wizard was in a class by himself from a managerial standpoint. He was of the volition that he managed his protégés wisely, never putting himself ahead of his talent. He knew, though, that anyone he represented was going to elicit results.
On the current WWE roster, the Wizard would select Damien Sandow without hesitation. "The Intellectual Savior of the Masses," whose stock is currently in “buy” mode, would be the perfect choice. Smart and intelligent from both a wrestling and vocal standpoint, Sandow's strengths would fit the Wizard like a glove. The loyalty factor between the two would be unbreakable, and the managerial union of The Grand Wizard and Damien Sandow definitely is a “made for each other” situation.
Sensational Sherri: Daniel Bryan
When thrust into the role of a manager, WWE Hall of Famer Sherri Martel knew how to be sweet and sinister, and could change those moods in a nanosecond. Gaining her greatest notoriety in her WWE tenure by managing Shawn Michaels in his early Heartbreak Kid days and the then–“Macho King” Randy Savage, the Sensational one represented her protégés well. And she was fiercely loyal to both of them.
If Sherri were to select someone from today's crop of WWE Superstars that could bring her a managerial sense of déjà vu, Daniel Bryan would be her meal ticket. In Bryan, Sherri would represent an individual who is not only an extremely gifted athlete with his mat savvy, but also someone she can exhort to taking short cuts when necessary. And Sherri would no doubt do her part at ringside to accentuate the team effort. This pairing might not look good on paper, but chemistry sometimes works in strange ways. This would be a most interesting manager-protégé combination.
Which manager-Superstar pairing do you think would be most successful? Vote now!