In professional wrestling, a manager is a secondary character that is generally paired with a wrestler or a tag-team to help get his or her “client” over with the fans. Many times wrestling promotions will take an established act that is either past his-or-her prime and use them to transition their heat (if they’re a heel) or their adoration (if they’re a babyface) onto whichever wrestler they are associated with.
Often times managers will be used as a “mouth-piece” to do the talking for a wrestler that isn’t the greatest at the verbal part of the business. The manager will cut the promos for their wrestler to get them over, leaving that person to back up what is said in the ring, or the opposite, depending on what the goal is of a particular act.
Today we are going to start our countdown of the “Top Ten Best Managers In Wrestling History,” as we will take a look at number’s ten-through-six of who we feel are the best managers to ever grace the sport of pro wrestling.
Kicking off our list is one of only two females who are in the top ten, as we take a look at the legendary Sherri Martel …
#10. Sherri Martel
“Sensational” Sherri Martel is an accomplished female wrestler who had a second life in the business as a successful pro wrestling manager. Martel managed the tag-team of Doug Somers and Buddy Rose early in her career in the AWA, oddly enough against a tag-team known as the “Midnight Rockers,” Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty, both of whom she would manage later in her career in WWE.
Martel became known as “Sensational Queen Sherri” during her run as “King Macho Man” Randy Savage’s manager in the WWE during the early 1990s. She also was instrumental in boosting the early singles push of the aforementioned Michaels, infamously singing his original “Sexy Boy” theme song before he re-dubbed it himself later on.
Before her untimely passing, the WWE Hall Of Famer had successful runs as a manager in the AWA, WWE, WCW and ECW. Along with the previously mentioned names, Martel also worked as a manager for Kevin Kelly (AWA), The Honky Tonk Man (WWE), “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (WWE), Shane Douglas (ECW), Ric Flair (WCW) and Harlem Heat (WCW).
#9. “Captain” Lou Albano
“Captain” Lou Albano is a WWE Hall Of Famer who had a successful run as a pro wrestler before transitioning into the role of a manager late in his career. Albano guided 15 tag-teams and four singles wrestlers to championship gold, and is considered one of the pioneers of the early Rock ‘N’ Wrestling connection in the 1980s.
Albano was known for his hefty size, crazy beard and unique rubber-band-loaded facial piercings, as well as his appearance in the infamous Cyndi Lauper music video, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
The Captain managed a number of big-time stars in the wrestling business, including Don Muraco, Nikolai Volkoff, George “The Animal” Steele, Ivan Koloff, Andre The Giant, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Larry “The Axe” Hennig, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Pat Patterson, Ray “The Crippler” Stevens, The Fabulous Moolah, Adrian Adonis and a number of others.
#8. Gary Hart
“Playboy” Gary Hart was another one of many pro wrestling managers who had a previous life as an actual wrestler. Hart famously managed Pak Song during his run in the Florida wrestling territory in the angle that would result in what is considered the birth of Dusty Rhodes’ “American Dream” character.
In addition to wrestling and managing, Hart is considered one of the pivotal driving forces in what is considered the “golden years” of the World Class Championship Wrestling territory in Texas. Hart was the key booker of the promotion during its’ peak period in history.
Hart managed a number of big-name wrestlers, such as the previously mentioned Pak Song (NWA), Larry Zbyszko (NWA), “Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr. (WCW), Buzz Sawyer (WCW), Dick Slater (WCW), Terry Funk (WCW) and The Great Muta (WCW).
#7. Miss Elizabeth
Miss Elizabeth was best known as the manager and real-life wife of legendary WWE Superstar “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Elizabeth is considered one of the pioneers in the WWE in terms of being a female manager, who actually had a huge impact on their business at different points during her career.
Elizabeth had the famous on-air “wedding” with Savage during the WWE SummerSlam event in 1991, and prior to that was a major factor in the split of the “Mega Powers” tag-team between Hulk Hogan and Savage.
Elizabeth continued her career following her real-life divorce with Savage by jumping-ship to WCW, where she had a successful run managing several key wrestlers in that promotion.
Elizabeth managed “Macho Man” Randy Savage (WWE), Hulk Hogan (WWE), Ric Flair (WCW), Lex Luger (WCW) and many other top WWE and WCW Superstars.
#6. Paul Bearer
Paul Bearer was a legendary pro wrestling manager and all-around character who was best known as the manager of WWE Superstar The Undertaker.
Bearer started his career under the name “Percy Pringle III,” following in a line of previous “Percy Pringles.” His early gimmick was basically a carbon-copy of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Pringle was actually a manager early in the careers of notable names such as The Ultimate Warrior (who portrayed the “Dingo Warrior” at the time) and “Stunning” Steve Austin, who would later take the industry to unprecedented heights with his “Stone Cold” Steve Austin character.
As previously noted, Bearer was most famous for his run as the manager of The Undertaker. Bearer also served as a manager early in the WWE careers of the Mankind and Kane characters. Bearer infamously carried around an urn for Undertaker, and was even given his own talk show segment, “The Funeral Parlor,” much like “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s infamous “Piper’s Pit.”
Bearer managed notable names throughout his career such as Blackjack Mulligan, Buzz Sawyer, Kane, Mankind, Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Vader and The Undertaker.
Make sure to check back here at eWrestlingNews.com on Thursday to see how the list of the “Top Ten Managers In Wrestling History” concludes, as we will count down number’s five to one.
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NOTE: The above item is an eWrestlingNews.com opinionated editorial, and should not be confused as a factual news item. Readers can contact the author of the above editorial, Matt Boone, via Twitter @MBoone420 or by posting your immediate feedback in the “Comments” section below.