The role of a manager is essential in professional wrestling, and even though they were more apparent in the golden age, we still see a handful of agents, business associates and valets circling the ring to this day.
Used primarily as mouthpieces, a great manager stands out and sometimes even exceeds expectations, overshadowing their clients. Great managers such as Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, J.J. Dillon, Paul Bearer, Jimmy Hart and “Classy” Freddie Blassie are synonymous with their respective counterparts, and if it weren’t for their contributions, the careers of the wrestlers they managed could have gone differently.
Managers seen on television today like Paul Heyman truly excel in the role, with those administrators serving as special tools to get their clients over while entertaining the crowd with stellar promos.
Over the course of numerous decades, there have been a plethora of managers that have worked with wrestlers, and in some cases, dozens are best forgotten. Either they weren’t a good fit for the wrestling business, or the partnership was too sour to begin with. Some managers weren’t even all that bad, they just couldn’t mesh with the talent they were given, or had to capitalize on minimal opportunities.
Instead of searching far and wide for wrestling managers that have surpassed your memory, here is a list of 15 agents (valets and popular wrestlers-turned-managers excluded) that you forgot existed, or haven’t come across in a long while:
15. Harvey Wippleman
How does one feud against Howard Finkel?
The bust-up between Harvey Wippleman and WWE’s greatest wrestling announcer did wonders for the former’s career, who will forever be remembered for his light-colored suits, bright bowties, and flat caps.
During the mid-1990s, Wippleman managed a Who’s Who of wrestlers, including Sid, Cactus Jack, Kamala, The Warlord, Giant Gonzalez and Adam Bomb.
14. Col. Robert Parker/Tennessee Lee
While many WWE fans will remember Robert Fuller’s time in WWE as southern heel Tennessee Lee, he rose to prominence in WCW as Col. Robert Parker, an offshoot from Elvis Presley’s manager, Tom Parker.
Parker did well in his role, even though his shtick was a little racist, especially the plans WCW had for him with Harlem Heat in the team’s early days. Usually covered in sweat and reminiscent of KFC’s Colonel Sanders minus the Van Dyke beard, Parker was romantically linked to Sensational Sherri on-screen, and led the way for The Stud Stable, a group of wrestlers featuring Arn Anderson, “Stunning” Steve Austin, Barry Windham, Terry Funk and others. He also managed the likes of Vader, Jacques Rougeau, and Jeff Jarrett.
13. Sonny Onoo
The Japanese pest known as Sonny Onoo was a manager many loved to hate, yet the former martial arts champion paved the way for WCW’s relationship with NJPW in the early 1990s, resulting in a handful of extraordinary supercards and talent exchanges.
Onoo first made his presence felt as a manager at Starrcade 1995, guiding Team New Japan which included Jushin Liger, Masa Saito, Masahiro Chono and Kensuke Sasaki, to name a few. He was also the first international member of mega heel stable NWO, and even brought The Great Muta to WCW.
Fans may remember Onoo best for his partnership with Ultimo Dragon, and soon after, Onoo also secured the services of Bull Nakano, Yugi Nagata, and Psychosis. When he was released in 1999, Onoo and a few other talents filed a lawsuit against WCW for racial discrimination.
12. Scott D’Amore
Jarrett recently enlisted the services of Scott D’Amore for his Global Force Wrestling promotion, and the two recently made headlines for their NJPW invasion, where they joined Bullet Club as heels.
The Canadian never received the chance to make his mark in WWE and WCW, but under the TNA Wrestling banner, D’Amore became one of the most polarizing managers in the promotion’s history when he acted as coach of Team Canada in the mid-2000s. The team consisted of talented Canucks like Bobby Roode, Eric Young, and Petey Williams.
Behind the scenes, D’Amore serves as a trainer and road agent, among other talents, which is why Double J hired D’Amore as VP of International Relations.
11. The Coach
The Coach looked like your typical high school gym teacher that took his job way too seriously.
Billed as The Golden Greek, John Tolos was a former professional wrestler that joined WWE in the early 1990s for a short period of time, managing then-Intercontinental champ Mr. Perfect and tag team hopefuls The Beverly Brothers. He was often seen sporting a matching sweater and hat combination, complete with sunglasses and a whistle. He was vocal while ringside, but not as annoying as the great Bill Alfonso.
Tolos died in 2009 due to kidney failure. He was 78 years old.
10. Johnny Polo
Johnny Polo, who led The Quebecers to tag team gold in WWE, sure knew how to get under the skin of the fandom. He was brash, arrogant, and fit the role of a little runt so well.
Who would have known the little tweener would later ditch his colorful shirts for Nevermore tees as the beloved Raven?
After his stint in WCW as Scotty Flamingo, where he feuded against Brian Pillman in a great light heavyweight series, he wrestled a few times before his preppy and spoiled attitude was out in full force, forming partnerships with the French-Canadians and Bomb (before Wippleman took over), as well.
9. Kim Chee
Not to be confused with the delicious Korean dish, Kim Chee was a bit of an enigma while managing Kamala. Dressed as a jungle guide, the masked manager frequently tried to tame the Ugandan Giant, but to no avail.
It turns out Steve Lombardi, also known as The Brooklyn Brawler, played the mysterious man in the late 1980s and again in the early 1990s, during time periods where Kamala found himself in relatively important feuds.
8. General Adnan
Often speaking Arabic and getting a lot of heat for it during the Gulf War, General Adnan served as a pro-Iraq manager to Sgt. Slaughter during the latter’s feud with Hulk Hogan. Alongside Col. Mustafa (Iron Sheik), Adnan often shouted at cameras and did much of the dirty work for Slaughter.
Fans hated Adnan with a passion, and WWE even saw fit to create an angle where Adnan was seen spending time with Saddam Hussein, his real-life high school classmate.
Adnan also managed an abundance of other wrestlers in multiple promotions, including Bob Orton Jr., Abdullah The Butcher, Ivan Koloff, and King Kong Bundy.
7. Mortimer Plumtree
Perhaps no other manager was given such rough working conditions as Mortimer Plumtree.
He wasn’t exactly mistreated, per se, but TNA Wrestling fans will never forget the pile of crap Plumtree was given when he led the team of The Johnsons. Dressed as giant human penises, The Shane Twins didn’t last long in TNA’s early days, gone soon after the promotion’s debut PPV episode. Plumtree hung around as an on-screen figure for a short while before moving on to other ventures.
In his managerial career, Plumtree also led talents like A.J. Styles and The Honky Tonk Man to the squared circle.
6. The Jackyl/Cyrus
Cyrus The Virus was an integral part in ECW’s final years in business, primarily because he played a heel from the TNN network that tried to bring Paul Heyman down. This was Heyman shooting on the problems he had with TNN at the time.
But Cyrus had a big role before his days in both ECW and TNA. Under The Jackyl, he managed The Truth Commission, which featured Kurrgan and other lesser-known wrestlers, The Oddities in their early days, and Hell’s Henchmen, a team that would later become The Acolytes.
5. The Wizard/The Master
Not to be confused with the legendary Grand Wizard, The Wizard enjoyed a short tenure as a manager in WWE, pitted alongside talents like Kevin Sullivan, Kamala, and Samoan Sika.
In WCW, though, King Curtis Iaukea continued to be linked with wrestlers, but in the worst way possible. He was the cult leader of The Dungeon of Doom, the stable that set out to destroy Hogan and his Hulkamania movement. He called himself The Master, and even though he wasn’t present at ringside all the time, he commanded from the back, giving out orders to his devilish stable that included talented wrestlers forced to adopt incredibly bad gimmicks.
4. Clarence Mason
The wrestling version of Johnnie Cochrane, Clarence Mason grew popular in the mid-1990s as a lawyer introduced by WWE, fresh off the media obsession with the O.J. Simpson trial.
As Jim Cornette’s legal counsel, Mason often accompanied the brash wrestling figure to manage The British Bulldog and Owen Hart. Soon after, Mason lent his services to Crush, and ultimately The Nation of Domination, where he surpassed expectations as a solid fit.
He also had a stint in WCW as J. Biggs, serving as Chris Kanyon’s manager, and then Harlem Heat 2000.
Mr. Fuji once managed the Japanese team of The Orient Express, composed of Tanaka and Sato. The team feuded with The Rockers and when Sato left, Paul Diamond joined Tanaka as the masked Kato, reuniting former AWA tag champs Badd Company.
Sato disappeared for a while, only to resurface in thick white face paint as Shinja, Hakushi’s manager in the mid-1990s. Jinsei Shinzaki, who portrayed Sato’s client, was a gifted Japanese superstar that found himself in a peculiar outfit, where he was tattooed from head-to-toe in hiragana.
When Hakushi turned face, Shinja quietly left WWE.
2. The Commandant
Before The Jackyl took the reigns of The Truth Commission, Kurrgan and company were given orders from another boss.
The army general known as The Commandant was an actor that met Bret Hart in South Africa, and shortly after, took Hart on his offer to join WWE as a manager for The Truth Commission. The Commandant (who resembled Frenchy Martin) didn’t last long, though, since The Jackyl was able to involve himself in matches, whether he was taking bumps or getting into the thick of things.
He was gone from WWE soon after, deciding to end his wrestling venture in favor of acting, appearing in such films as Invictus and The Fall.
After failed attempts of depicting black culture with large white men like Dusty Rhodes and Akeem, WWE finally got what they wanted in the early to mid-1990s.
The rapping manager known as Oscar lit up crowds when Men On A Mission stormed through the curtain, leading both Mabel and Mo with his impressive mic skills. To be fair, Mabel and Mo had plenty of charisma, and that could be due to Oscar’s energy when M.O.M. made their way down to ringside. WWE may have flirted with racial stereotypes; however, the tag team was well received primarily because Mabel was such a beast and Oscar knew how to get the crowd going.
It was simply a good fit.
Oscar left WWE when the team performed heel turns, as King Mabel and Sir Mo portrayed royal figures. Oscar felt he was best suited for M.O.M.’s positive message, and didn’t want to be associated with the new attitudes Mabel and Mo adopted.
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