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AMEV: Wrestling Managers



14 June 2006

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As I sit here on wet and windy Sunday night I try in vain to think up a topic for this weeks AMEV. So I decided to change the format slightly instead of just one topic I will look at several. I don't want to let my fans down after all! (assuming I have some of course) At the same time I don't want to write a half thought out article either. Then it occurred to me, the perfect idea for this weeks view, wrestling managers and why they are no longer the force they once were.

Cast your mind back to any era right up to the late 90's and you will see at minimum several successfully booked managers in every federation. Now look at the last five years or so and there are very few traditional managers, mostly just Divas who don't act like managers at all. I am not referring just to WWE here either, TNA and ROH and others are just as guilty. (Raw at least has Melina and Smackdown Sharmell who are good at what they do*.) Look at the managers in WWE for example and who do you have. Well Raw has Armando but that's only in the last few months. Armando actually is being booked like a traditional manager, one who helps his charge get matches, watches his back and most important acts as a mouthpiece. Despite this though the fact that his character is dated and hackneyed takes away a lot of his good points. Other than that managers on Raw are few and far between. There was Momma Benjamin, but she was nothing like the traditional manager and anyway seems to have been dumped anyway. On SmackDown you have Sharmell and Melina who like Armando are booked as managers should be, and unlike Armando actually fit into 2006.

The Two ladies aside though it's a long way from WWE's managerial hey day when there was usually at least half a dozen managers, each with several charges. That was another important aspect of being an old school manager, booking as many men as possible (and most charges were male) in as many successful ways as possible. WWF and NWA (WCW) in the period 1974-1991 in particular usually booked people to win titles and break through the glass ceiling with the aid of a manager. Even (the self professed immortal) Hulk Hogan took this road when he debuted as a heel with a manager. Getting back to the here and now is there actually a place for old school managers in American wrestling these days? Well that depends on your view, I say yes people like AJ Styles and Dave Batista for example who are at best average on the stick could use a good manager at their side.

So how best to use managers in 2006 then? Well there are two ways of going about that, the first as mentioned above is managing several men at once. In 2006 I don't think that would work as in the old WWF days it usually followed the same repetitive format. A manager would bring in a 'new guy' to try and knock the champion off his top spot. The new guy and the champ would feud for a while before the champ would eventually defeat him for good. (Or if the new guy was really lucky beat the champ, Hogan did just that.) Then the same manager would bring in a new guy and the process would start again. Would that work in 2006? Doubtful, which brings us to the second option; a stable with a manager. The last great stable wars with managers was in 1997 / 8 where you had the likes of DX, NOD and company replete with managers. This option could work again and with the DX reunion all but confirmed giving them a manager and forming a second stable to feud with would be a good thing.

Will wrestling managers ever be as popular as they once were? Personally I think the era of the wrestling manager like Slick, Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan is gone for good, and as sad as that is, its not going to change. Well that's about all I have to say about that but as I said from this week there is more than one view. I am dropping the news section as you can read that on Wrestling 101 anyway. Instead I am debuting a new section entitled hot or cold, which takes aspects of World Wrestling Entertainment and decides if they are hot or cold.

Hot Or Cold

The Vito Cross dressing storyline - I am afraid this one is not even lukewarm. This has being done many times before with either a loser must wear a dress match (The Coach, Raven, Saturn) or with an actual wrestler pretending to like cross dressing. (Brian Pillman) Even if it was a new concept I don't think Vito would be the man to pull it off as he lacks the grace and acting skills. If you wanted to do this storyline again let somebody like Goldust who could do it with ease, do it.

Finlay and the 'Midget' - This is another example of WWE stereotype. Yeah so it was all done tongue in cheek and did make me smile but still it's just poking fun at Ireland. This is cold.

Kurt Angle joining ECW - Hot, very hot. It's no secret that Kurt was anti ECW for real, indeed he walked out of his one and only ECW appearance pre WWF buy out. So now Kurt joining ECW is for better or worse a hot issue. I only hope he knows what he is doing and doesn't injure his already half wrecked body even more.

Kane retiring – While this is not 100% confirmed, remember HBK said the same and then changed his mind. If indeed Kane is retiring he will quite likely get a title run. If that's the case who does he beat and how long does he hold the title? If this retirement is true then this is a hot issue.

New Diva Barbie to be called up from OVW in record time - Great Mickie James and other actual wrestlers have to wait a year or more but a no talent bimbo who can't wrestle gets called up in weeks. This is stone cold. Well actually there could be a light at the end of the tunnel, if she can act she would be perfect for what I was discussing above. Yes Barbie could be a wrestling manager.

Well that’s all I have time for this week so I hope you enjoyed the read.

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If you have any wrestling related questions, please send them in to: BrianW@Wrestling101.com

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Brian Weldon

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