Over the next ten articles, we are going to countdown the top four items in ten different categories. This is what I like to call the Mount Rushmore Series. This is article number seven, managers. Along with a few honorable mentions, let’s begin the countdown.
Number Four (Tie): Jimmy Hart
The Mouth of the South managed the likes of The Hart Foundation, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Jerry “The King” Lawler, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, The Mountie, Earthquake, Dino Bravo, The Nasty Boys, The Giant, The Honky Tonk Man, and most famously, Hulk Hogan. His trademark megaphone and slight stature made him the perfect voice of his clientele, who were a who’s who of stars from the 1980’s.
Number Four (Tie): Paul Bearer
While Paul Bearer didn’t have the volume of clients that Hart did, the three men who he is famous for managing will all wind up in the Hall of Fame. He is most known for being the man behind the Undertaker, but Bearer also managed Mankind and Kane. His shrill voice and token “Ohhhhhh Yeeeeessss” was enough to send shivers down the spine of anyone and set the tone for the dark characters he represented.
Number Three: Jim Cornette
The tennis racket wielding portly man in a flashy jacket helped the personas of managers become sneaky, slimy individuals who were there to help their clients win by any means necessary. He could take a beating like no other, too. His clients included Sherri Martell, Dutch Mantell (you might know him as Zeb Coulter), Crusher Broomfield (also known as One Man Gang), Big Bubba Rogers, The Heavenly Bodies (Stan Lane and Tom Pritchard), Yokozuna, Mantaur, Vader, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, Jeff Jarrett, Barry Windham, and most famously the Midnight and Rock ‘n’ Roll Expresses. The WWE also gives him credit for helping with the discoveries and creations of Kane, D’Lo Brown, Sunny, Al Snow, John Cena, Dave Batista, Brock Lesnar, and Randy Orton. He has been in the wrestling business for almost 40 years and has been a part of just about every wrestling promotion there has been. He will also be inducting the Rock n’ Roll Express into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.
Number Two: Paul E. Dangerously
The first man to make a repeat appearance on these lists was a manager in the WCW, ECW, and WWE. He has managed a record five WWE World Heavyweight Champions (Brrrrrrrock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, CM Punk, Rob Van Dam and The Big Show), Tommy Rich, Austin Idol, a version of the Midnight Express, “Mean” Mark Callous (later known as The Undertaker), the Dangerous Alliance (Anderson/Eaton, Rick Rude, “Stunning” Steve Austin), Sabu, and 911. While he made his name as a manager, Paul Heyman will forever be known as the man behind ECW. That’s a real shame, as he managed many superstars before they became who made them famous, including two of the biggest stars in history.
Number One: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Bobby Heenan was a talent unparalleled outside the ring. His career spanned 40 years and was both the most influential manager in history, but one of the best color commentators to sit behind a desk. His family would span over five different companies and have too many members to mention. The highlights include Stan Hansen, the Blackjacks, The Valiants, Andre the Giant, Adrian Adonis, Big John Studd, Harley Race, King Kong Bundy, Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude, Paul Orndorff, and Ric Flair. While cancer has made him a shell of his former self, he has forgotten more about the wrestling business than most superfans will ever know.
Honorable Mentions: Mr. Fuji, “Captain” Lou Albano, The Grand Wizard, “Classie” Freddie Blassie, “Sensational” Sherri, Miss Elizabeth
Where did I go wrong? If you disagree, this is why we have a comments section. Leave it.