Managers, Valets & Other Things We Miss From Our Youth

Ken Napzok

Managers, valets, and other things from our childhoods we miss…

What’s this? A manager sighting in the WWE? Michael “P.S.” Hayes, also known as the butt of all inside jokes between Dave Lagana and any one of his Formerly Creative guests, has officially become the manager of Tyson Kidd. (Alright, Tyson, let’s measure you for your Badstreet outfit.) This news has sparked an immediate outpouring of love for the great managers of the past and the belief (man-made rumor) that the WWE will bring back the role of the manager.

Put down your megaphones, folks.

This will never happen on a grand scale. You will never again see a cadre of managers roaming the ringsides of the WWE or even TNA, leading their stables to glory over the top babyfaces of the business. The grand sea change that took place in the wrestling business in the late ‘90’s forever damaged the role of the manager. As “entertainment” took over from the “competition” aspect of wrestling and the business became dominated by personalities and characters clashing with each other. It didn’t necessarily have to be about competing for a championship; a situation that calls for someone to manage the talent into the best possible position.  

The last full-time, front and center manager in the WWE was… uhh…. was… umm… hold on. Let me do some Wikipedia research. (Hey, did you know Abraham Lincoln won the NWA championship? Honest. The Internet wouldn’t lie.) Annnndddd… Daivari? Was it Daivari? I think it was and that was already some years ago. Point being: the WWE has done a lot of successful story-lines in the last decade and very few needed someone speaking for the talent involved. Some younger wrestling fans have no real idea what it is like to boo (and eventually cheer) a great manager and, to them, it would not make sense to see “someone” else speaking for the Superstars.

Cash is the other dominating factor. Right now, three managers, using that term loosely, are on the WWE roster: Ranjin Singh, Michael Hayes, and Vicki Guerrero. Vicki is more of a personality in her own right and not viewed as a manager of talent, at least on a match by match level. She serves the same role, of course. Her loud mouth and antics help generate heat for the wrestlers associated with her. She has great value in that regard, so she’s part of the roster. Singh and Hayes, though, are already on the payroll as part of the Creative Team. (Sorry, sorry. Hayes is the head of the Smackdown team. Much respect.) They’re pulling double duty, probably for little to no extra cash. Unless the WWE feels a manager is absolutely needed to take a performer or two to the big time, generating buyrates and revenue, you can’t expect them to actually hire someone to be on the payroll solely to come out with a muscle bound dud and cut a “we’re the bad guys, boo us” promo. It just doesn’t make any business sense; especially when more recently workers like CM Punk and Wade Barrett essentially played the role of manager-wrestlers for their factions and did it quite well. (The ill-fated Corre idea should NOT count against Barrett.) They are just not going to spend the money.

This is not to say it isn’t fun to day dream about the return of the managers or valets as we all knew them growing up. There will never be another Bobby Heenan or Jimmy Hart and that’s a shame. Some of the biggest story-lines of the WWF’s 1980’s golden age revolved around those two men and their pursuits for championship gold, respect, or the desire to stay out of a weasel suit. There will never be another Paul Ellering, the cool, calculating power behind two loud, face painted bashers. There will never be another great free agent offering his talents to all of the managers, only to pick a luminous princess named Elizabeth. There will never be another Gary Hart, Oliver Humperdink, or Grand Wizard. No one will ever challenge Lou Albano’s amazing mark of leading 15 tag teams to the title. Another Arnold Skaaland will never be there to throw in a controversial towel. There will never be another catch phrase generating machine like “Classy” Freddie Blassie. There won’t even be another Slick.

Sad? Yes.

True? Yes

Can this be proven wrong? I hope so.

Rankings (That don’t really matter)

1.)  Zack Ryder, Fist Pumper- He got Raw airtime, opposite SuperCena no less. Best ten seconds of the show. The Ryder Revolution is on a roll.

2.) Robert Roode, Promo Man- When they’re not done every week, a good worked shoot is fun for the whole family. Roode’s tearing down of the legend of Hulk Hogan to open the 5-5-11 Impact came across as raw, impassioned, and… great for Not-TNA… fresh.

3.) Not-Chyna, Diva turned Knockout- Can she still draw? Desperate reach for TNA? Should she have been given the chance? Will there be another Good Housekeeping match with Jarrett? Time will tell for all of these questions and more, but, for now, she’s and generating some buzz. Gotta be worth something.

4.) Chavo Guerrero, Cara fodder- Needing someone to help launch Sin Cara higher than a trampoline can, the spotlight has turned to (Oooooo) Chavo. It should be a perfect fit. ‘Bout time Chavo got something more than an Eagle costume.  

5.) The Clothesline, old school destruction-  You have to pity poor Alicia Fox. She was just a rail thin model with a dream of being a Diva. Then she stepped into the ring with Kharma and took an old school clothesline bump, separating her shoulder in the process. Not only is Kharma over, but the clothesline is back in business baby!

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