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Learning from six past manager mishaps
For months, Jinder Mahal has dominated The Great Khali on SmackDown. On Raw, Vickie Guerrero is considering taking on additional clients like Jack Swagger. Earlier this year, several managerial prospects showed up to guide Tyson Kidd on “WWE Superstars.” WWE.com recommends that if a new crop of managers is in fact emerging, they must learn from those that came before them. Not so much from their accomplishments, but from their mistakes.
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Lesson No. 1: Don’t burn bridges
Even the strongest “harts” break. However, when the elite combination of the original Hart Foundation – Bret “Hit Man” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart – decided to split from their infamous manager Jimmy Hart in 1987, “The Mouth of the South” had a hard time letting go. Since he still held the contract to his departing team, Hart set out on a mission to harass the Pink and Black, cashing a paycheck every time they stepped in the ring to compete. Then, after helping to cost the Foundation their World Tag Team Titles, he decided to share the wealth, cutting in his newly signed team – the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers – for 50 percent of his share in the Hart Foundation’s contract.
Though his power-maneuver allowed Jimmy Hart to save face from a business standpoint and provided personal vengeance that kept him laughing all the way to the bank, there is a very strong possibility that his decision ultimately cost him millions. Soon after the controversy had played itself out, Bret Hart would begin his incredibly lucrative singles career, one that would ultimately produce five WWE Championship reigns for the future Hall of Famer. He would also resurrect the Hart Foundation, building it into one of the premier factions in WWE. But, because of the bad blood forged in their past contract dispute, even a savvy manipulator like Jimmy Hart couldn’t mend that broken “Hart” and was left out in the cold. The point is, class, if you feel like you have to burn a bridge, at least try and use a weak lighter fluid.
Lesson No. 2: Never assume too much
Mama always used to say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Well, someone forgot to tell the managers of WWE. In 1987, every one of them suited up for the “Battle for Bam Bam,” a managerial power struggle to see who would take the squared circle’s newest prospect Bam Bam Bigalow under their wing. Word spread quick that whichever ring wrangler snagged this prized gem was in for great prosperity – and every manager was completely convinced that he would come out of top. However, each week, one of them found themselves literally X’ed off the list, crushing their hopes of latching themselves to the new up-and-comer.
When it finally came down to Slick, the WWE Universe and the “Doctor of Style” both assumed the competition had reached its conclusion. That was until an odd-looking stranger – one Sir Oliver Humperdink – came to the mic to introduce Bam Bam to the world. Despite the “Slickster’s” assumption that he was “the man,” Bam Bam – as rough and tough as the tattoos on his skull – knocked both the confused manager and his stable member Nikolai Volkoff off the interview podium, screaming that Humperdink was indeed his manager. To play on the old phrase, class: Never assume. It makes an a** out of you … and well, your Russian crony.