WWE Managers are the most unpredictable and interchangeable forces in the company. While you may not know it to look at them, they are often the ones who have the power to swing the match into the favour of their clients.
Paul Heyman is one of the most famous managers in WWE history. While he’s no stranger to accomplishments, he is currently the advocate for the Beast Incarnate, the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. Hardly a downgrade on his resume!
Females and males can be classed as WWE managers, and both genders are well represented here. While they don’t always wrestle, their skills on the mic are undeniable and their ability to sway the attention over to their team is one of their stronger suits.
There have been many famous managers over the years who have then gone on to have successful careers in the ring as well. The reverse is also true, and there are many stars who have had successful careers and then gone on to become managers.
The following is a list of incredible facts you never knew about the stars in the WWE that have been a manager at one point or another in their career. While you think you may know all there is to know about some of these wrestlers, be prepared to learn some really cool new facts.
20. The Million Dollar Man Bought The Million Dollar Championship
The legend of how the belt was created is quite a tale. Ted DiBiase was so frustrated that he was unable to win the WWF Championship that instead he went out and brought his own Championship. While this was hardly the same thing, who’s going to blame him for trying to boost up his confidence! DiBiase dubbed his belt, The Million Dollar Championship.
DiBiase rarely defended his Championship and it was never a sanctioned belt in WWF, although it has become one of the most famous belts for the promotion. At the very least, it’s since been created as a replica belt, which means many members of the WWE Universe know it even if they didn’t watch Ted wrestle.
19. Sunny and Her Hall of Fame Ring
Sunny has been in the news a lot as of late as it has recently come out that she has agreed to appear in an adult film. What started with her selling her Hall of Fame Ring on eBay, led to an offer of more then $100,000, provided Sunny appears in the film.
Sunny is no stranger to risky behavior, and in the past had appeared on Skype videos doing particular acts in exchange for money. At least this time, Sunny was given the opportunity to pick her own partner for the film.
Sunny has gained herself a reputation following her departure from WWE, and it seems WWE have come to the point where they may be ready to take away her Hall of Fame induction all together.
18. Lana on a record label
Back in 2009, under her given name of CJ Perry, Lana was signed to Ne-Yo’s record label along with three friends Kat, Shea and Tanu who made up girl group “No Means Yes.”
The group released just one single entitled “Would You Like That” but also recorded two others (entitled “7 Years Back Luck” and “Burn Rubber”) before they disbanded in 2010.
She then went on to work as a back-up dancer for superstars such as Keri Hilson, Usher and Pink, before being a part of Kelly Jackle’s music video for “Aint It Fun”. In 2013, Lana, as you know, was then recruited by WWE and became The Ravishing Russian alongside WWE Superstar Rusev.
17. Heyman’s Impressive Record
Heyman has made a career out of being one of WWE’s best on the mic, but he also has one of the best records as a manager having led five former World Champions through their careers.
Heyman is famous for having managed CM Punk, and the two had an extremely captivating rivalry back in 2014. Heyman has also been linked to Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Big Show and now the biggest threat in WWE, Brock Lesnar.
Heyman and Lesnar’s partnership goes back years, with the two first being partnered together back in 2002 when Lesnar made his impressive debut in the WWE. There’s no doubting Lesnar’s talent, but there’s also no doubting Heyman’s role.
16. Sherri Martel’s Secrets
Sensational Sherri is a WWE Hall of Famer and one of WWE’s best remembered managers following her time in the company before her tragic death in 2007.
Following her time in WWE, Sherri began helping her husband Robert to renovate houses in Tennessee. While this was not as glamorous as being in the WWE, it allowed them to continue earning an income before their marriage ended after a short period of time.
Sherri made several connections in the WWE, one of which was Booker T. Their relationship, while purely platonic, led to Booker T being the one to ‘give’ Sherri away at her wedding.
Sherri for all of the positives in her life, unfortunately passed away from an overdose. She left behind one son from a previous marriage.
15. Paul Bearer’s Surgery
The bypass was thought to have cost around $35,000 and McMahon was happy to pick up the tab for the popular WWE manager, because he knew that Bearer had suffered with his weight for many years and was a valued member of the company. Bearer reportedly had the surgery around WrestleMania 20.
Bearer has stated that he would have died long before, if not for having the surgery. Unfortunately, Bearer passed away at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack.
14. AJ Lee Grew Up In Poverty
The record-setting three-time Divas Champion and once the longest reigning Divas Champion didn’t have one of the best upbringings.
AJ always wanted to be a wrestler, and she had to fight through poverty to make her dream come true. AJ was forced to grow up in motels, other people’s houses and her car as she worked multiple part-time jobs as a way to provide for her family.
She also managed to earn enough money to put herself through wrestling school that eventually enabled her to put herself on WWE’s radar. There is no doubt that she made the most of her opportunities once she was signed to her original FCW contract.
13. Armando Estrada owns his own restaurant
Armando Estrada became known as the manager of The Samoan Bulldozer Umaga back when Umaga was at his peak in WWE. While Umaga was the muscle, Estrada was one of the most vocally gifted managers in WWE’s history and led Umaga to numerous championships.
Estrada was released from his WWE contract in 2008, but that hardly discouraged him. Estrada then opened up his own restaurant which was called “Baby’s Steak and Lemonade.”
Estrada was then rehired by WWE in 2010 and became the manager of Tyson Kidd and the restaurant subsequently closed. While the restaurant didn’t have a long-lasting impact, I am sure he considered his short-lived adventure from the ring quite successful.
12. Colter And Savage’s Feud
Zeb Colter had a successful career as a wrestler back in the 1970s and 80s and even had a noticeable feud with Macho Man Randy Savage.
The two were relatively unknown when they began working together in Nashville in 1978, but that didn’t stop a fantastic feud over the NWA Mid-American Heavyweight Championship.
The feud raised the profile of the promotion and lifted the market from 200 to between 1200 and 1400 and it would allow the two to raise their own profiles enough to be recognized by WWF. Hardly something that anyone, including the two wrestlers, could have seen coming when they started.
11. Jimmy Hart And The Top Five Hit
Before he became famous in WWE as Hulk Hogan’s over-the-top manager Jimmy Hart actually had a top five musical hit in 1965.
As a teenager, Jimmy Hart was a vocalist for 60s band The Gentrys, who had a million-selling single entitled “Keep on Dancing.” The band changed its name from The Gents and it’s a good thing they did. Reportedly their manager told them that if they didn’t change their name then they would never be a successful group within the music industry.
Hart took over after the lead singer left and the group continued to have minor hits following the switch.
10. Paul Bearer, The Real Undertaker
But before his career in WWE began, Bearer actually worked as a real-life undertaker that actually buries people. Bearer even obtained a degree in mortuary science and even earned a certificate as an embalmer and mortician.
Bearer then went back to a wrestling career that quickly became a full-time job. He was awarded his degree, but he never managed to put his qualifications to use because his career became a lot more successful than he thought it would.
9. Lana is Pitch Perfect
Lana was considered a successful actress and dancer before she joined WWE’s roster as the manager of The Bulgarian Brute Rusev.
Lana has appeared in many TV shows and films which include blockbusters Pitch Perfect and the sequel Pitch Perfect 2 that was released in 2014. Lana appeared in both films as a backup dancer and is even in the credits under her real name CJ Perry.
She has continued her career as an actress despite WWE’s hectic travelling schedule and even took time off to film Soul which is an upcoming horror film that will be released in late 2016.
8. Vickie Guerrero And The Blind Date
Vickie Guerrero only became known to the WWE Universe following her husband Eddie’s death in 2005, she has since gone on to manage the likes of Chavo Guerrero, Edge and Dolph Ziggler as well as being General Manager of both Raw and Smackdown.
But Vickie revealed in an interview that she only met her future husband thanks to a blind date that was set up by a friend.
Vickie states that their friends knew they were single so they set the whole thing up in a nightclub so it would be less awkward, but the two apparently hit it off. The two had three children before Eddie’s unfortunate death.
7. Zeb’s A Knockout
Before he was credited as a member of The Real Americans, Zeb worked behind the scenes for TNA and is credited as the creator of TNA’s vastly successful Knockouts Division.
Zeb stated in an interview that none of TNA’s creative team shared his passion for Women’s Wrestling and only gave him his way to “shut him up.” It seems that women’s wrestling began to increase in popularity when the women were no longer seen as just eye candy and allowed to actually wrestle.
He is also credited as the reason Awesome Kong joined TNA back in 2007. When Colter stepped down in 2009, Kong was quick to follow.
6. Chyna’s First Match
Chyna is still known as one of the most dominant Divas in WWE history and is remembered as one of just three women to have entered WWE’s Royal Rumble.
That being said, Chyna’s first ever match back in 1995 was against a man who was dressed as a woman. Given that Chyna is a true powerhouse, it wouldn’t have mattered what the person was dressed as!
It is unknown who the wrestler was that she went up against, but at the time she was billed as Joanie Lee. This was one of the primary pieces of evidence that the WWE had when making a decision to offer her a contract.
5. Paul Heyman The Hustler
As noted in his successful DVD Ladies and Gentleman, My Name Is Paul Heyman, Heyman states that he once hustled his way to ringside at Madison Square Garden when he was a teenager.
This was the beginning of an incredible career for the fast talking, quick-witted star. To make the endeavour even better, he was also paid by WWF for many of the photos he took whilst at ringside. Heyman went on to explain how easy it was to be able to get backstage and meet WWF wrestlers back in that era.
He worked as a photojournalist for many years and his passion allowed him to continue submitting many of his photographs to WWE for use in their publications.
4. Zeb Colter And 26 Falls
Zeb Colter is known by the current WWE Universe as the scooter using, quick talking, former Real American. Colter joined forces with Alberto Del Rio, before he was ditched in favour of The League of Nations. Yet before Colter but became a manager, he was an impressive wrestler himself.
Known as Dutch Mantel in his earlier career, Zeb was teamed with Jerry Lawler against Bill Dundee and Buddy Landell in what was considered to be a cross between a ‘Texas Death Match’ and a ‘Falls Don’t Count in Memphis Match’. The match was unique, and ended up lasting an hour and 15 minutes with an astounding 26 falls throughout.
3. Michael Hayes The Singer?
Back in 1987, Michael Hayes had some popularity due to the Badstreet USA Theme. Building off his momentum Hayes recorded and then released an album entitled Off The Streets.
He then performed in concerts as a way to promote the album for most of the same year with his backing band The BadStreet Band.
While the band didn’t exactly blow up in popularity, at least it was an opportunity for Hayes to explore another one of his passions. After all, not everyone can be as successful as Chris Jericho!
2. Chyna And The NWO
Chyna has many interesting facts that have been shared over the past few years since she left WWE, one of them is the fact that she almost joined WCW and to become a part of the nWo.
It seems that Shawn Michaels and Triple H met Chyna and liked the idea of her becoming a part of WWE as an enforcer for DX, but Vince McMahon wasn’t sold on a female being able to beat up half his male roster.
Whilst this was happening, Chyna was approached by WCW who wanted her to be an enforcer for the newly former nWo. Thankfully the deal fell through and the WWF then made her an offer.
1. Stephanie Pinned The Rock
Stephanie McMahon is one of the best known female wrestlers in WWE. She has been a part of the promotion for over a decade and even though her father is the owner of the company, she has had her fair share of brutal matches.
Stephanie is however the only female to ever pin The Rock in a competitive match when she and partner Test took on The Rock in a handicap match back in 2001. Booker T invaded the match and hit The Rock with The Book End and Stephanie then crawled over and pinned The Rock for the first time.