From the Bowery: WWE Countdown: Magnificent Managers
Posted by Robert Leighty Jr. on 06.25.2014
Doesn't take a brain to figure out who ended up #1 here. Yeah, I went for the easy pun!
From the Bowery: WWE Countdown: Magnificent Managers
-The normal stuff from the talking heads as they discuss the importance of and what makes a great manager.
10: Sensational Sherri
-Good call here as she has been with a lot of top talent and was key in getting that talent to another level. They talk about how crazy and loud she could be, but that was part of what made her awesome. They discuss the run with Savage and how she was the complete opposite of Liz and how Savage needed that in his 2nd heel run. The interviews with those two were quote awesome as they played off each other spectacularly. Now they move to the run with Shawn and Michaels mentions that she had more credibility than he did. Rollins mentions that he prefers the Sherri version of Shawn’s theme song and yeah, I tend to agree with that. Summer Rae calls her one of the greatest influences for the current Divas and Vince puts her over huge as well.
9: JJ Dillon
-Heyman says Dillon looked like a manager, acted like a manger, and come off as a legit business man that was doing whatever he could for his clients. Tully brings up that JJ was with his manager first and just came over when the Horsemen formed. Heyman says there were no Horsemen without JJ Dillon and Arn mentions that he was legit in managing them as he looked over them. Brodus thinks he was overlooked because his work was done in the NWA and WCW. Apparently Brodus doesn’t realize a lot of people lived on NWA/WCW in the 80s.
8: “Classy” Freddy Blassie
-Cena calls him a mean old man that would beat you with a cane. They all try their best impression and “pencil neck geek” gets thrown around a lot. Some of the Blassie footage is hilarious as he tears apart the fans as a young Vince looks on in disgust. Heyman says that no matter what Blassie would say you just wanted to punch him in the face. Striker gets in a good line that Mother Theresa would be booed if she was managed by Blassie. They show footage of Hogan being managed by Blassie and Hogan talks about how much Freddy meant to his career in those early days. Brodus loved the run he had with Sheik and Volkoff and they both pop up to talk about Freddy’s greatness. Back to Heyman again as he states that Blassie knew the art of being a villain better than anyone he ever met. An interview with Blassie from 2002 and he talks about being the most hated man in the business and loving every minute of it. Nice!
7: Mr. Fuji
-Everyone loves Mr. Fuji because of his kick ass look and the one liners he would say. Naturally we talk about FUJI VICE and yes, it’s still awesome. Santino calls it horrible, but what does he know? Heyman also talks about how bad it was, but mentions that it was so bad that it was magnificent. Bryan talks about the run with Demolition and how great they worked. The run on top with Yokozuna is highest Fuji got as a manager as he tosses salt in Bret’s eyes at Mania to help Yoko win the title. Again Heyman says it best as he mentions you truly believed he was a evil son of a bitch. With Punk’s appearances starting to fade on these things, nice to have Paul around to entertain me.
6: Captain Lou Albano
-Since I was a small wrestling fan I had the “manager of more tag champions than anyone” line beaten into my head week after week, so naturally first thing I thought of when his name appeared. They talk about the signature Albano look and Ambrose puts over the pairing of Albano and Valentine. He talks about the time Valentine was cutting a serious promo on Hogan while Albano was having some sort of bad acid trip. Ambrose says for everyone to look it up on YouTube. Cindy Lauper is the celebrity talking head this week and she puts over the stuff she did with Lou, and I am disappointed we don’t even get a mention of him playing Super Mario. I loved that show as a kid and was blown away that Capt Lou was Mario.
-Recap of the first half!
5: Miss Elizabeth
-WOOOO! Sorry, I was in love with Liz as a wrestling fan from kindergarten until well, present day, and nice to see her get some shine on this list. Hogan talks about how if you were going to call yourself the “Macho Man” you needed to have a beautiful lady. All the current Divas put over what Elizabeth meant to the women that followed her in the business. Bryan says that Liz and Savage were the greatest couple in wrestling history and Lawler mentions how you believed everything between them. They talk about how she rarely had to speak, but was able to get over her emotions with just look on her face. Lawler talks about how people were interested personally in her and she drew emotion from the fans that other managers couldn’t. They discuss Savage going from Liz to Sherri and that segues to the reunion at Mania VII that is still one of my favorite moments in television history. That ending was just spectacular and still brings a smile to my face to this day. The Miz mentions how every guy wanted to take her home and introduce her to mom as their girlfriend. Vince and Steph speak highly of her and Vince says he still can picture her with the WWF Title hoisted on Randy’s shoulder. Liz was truly a pioneer, and though not mentioned, her run in WCW was great as well. That run gave her a chance to show a more evil side and she was a great fit with Flair and the Horsemen. She really needs to be in the Hall of Fame, and I still wonder what could be holding that back from happening.
4: Jimmy Hart
-Energy! Energy! Energy! That is the word most use when describing him and of course he more than lived up to the “Mouth of the South” name. A great line from Hart as he says that if you dress like the audience then one day you will end up sitting in the audience. The run with the Hart Foundation is discussed and Bret mentions they needed Jimmy as their mouthpiece. Jimmy himself goes through the list of talent he managed and next they focus on his time with The Honky Tonk Man. The Miz says they were perfect together and Brodus calls him the sizzle and pop.
-We take a break to discuss Vicki Guerrero, which is fitting since her last show with the WWE was this past Monday. Santino says if she was his wife, he would blow his brains out and I am kind of shocked that actually made air. Lawler talks about how Vicki had no issue getting physically involved and would go above and beyond. She talks about taking the tombstone from Taker as I had completely forgotten all about that. They talk about the heat she gets from the crowd and it is rather impressive. Punk mentions people love to hate her and calls her the female Miz. Vicki really was great in her role and again I think Eddie would have been proud of what his wife accomplished.
3: Paul Heyman
-I would have had him at #2 personally, but I am ok with this. Dreamer calls him not just one of the best managers, but one of the best overall talents in the history of the business. Damn right! They go back to his run in the AWA and WCW which is always nice. They show his run with Punk and the genesis of that run was Punk mentioning he was a “Paul Heyman” guy during his famous pipe bomb promo. They talk about the Dangerous Alliance, and simple put, it was awesome! Heyman mentions he loved working in WCW with Austin. He then says his legacy in WWE will be tied to Brock Lesnar. Did you know he managed Brock as he broke the undefeated streak of the Undertaker at WrestleMania? JR says that Heyman should be in the pantheon of greatest managers of all time and Paul just goes about giving all credit to guys he managed.
2: Paul Bearer
-Wow, no Jim Cornette, which actually shouldn’t be that shocking I guess. They discuss his early days as Percy Pringle and then him being the perfect person to be paired with The Undertaker. Everyone gets their chance to do their best Bearer impression and most suck. Bryan mentions that Taker didn’t need to and really shouldn’t talk, so Bearer being his mouthpiece was the best thing. Cesaro brings up the Funeral Parlor and I get flashbacks to my years in elementary school as I hear “welcome, welcome to my funeral parlor.” Talk shifts to the urn and how it was causes Taker to basically “taker-up” and kick ass from there. Kane gets the final word and naturally would rank Paul very high on his list.
-One last recap before Heenan gets announced in his rightful top spot.
1: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
-Anyone else at number 1 would have been a crime against humanity. Heenan is by far the greatest manager of all time and is by far one of the greatest performers in the history of this business. Punk states the obvious as well and calls him hands down the greatest manager ever. Arn mentions that just being associated with Heenan instantly made you better. His pairing with Flair in 91-92 was stuff of legends, and even Jimmy Hart calls him the greatest of all time. Heenan going to Hogan’s locker with the Big Gold Belt and having a door slammed in his face with his amazing reaction is still tremendously fun to watch. Ambrose is the first to bring up Heenan being a weasel as he talks about how much he hated Heenan as a kid. I was in the same boat being a massive Hogan fan, but around I turned into a Heenan when I was around 10-11 because he was just so entertaining as a color commentator with Monsoon. Bryan talks about how he made guys that didn’t deserve it into Main Event guys. Vince also calls him the greatest of all time and says there will never ever be another one like him. Sad, but true!
The 411: The top spot was correct and really all that mattered to me with this one. It was great seeing Liz get some recognition as it was with Sherri as well. Heyman would have #2 for me and I still think Cornette deserves to be on this list somewhere as well. As the for the show it was your normal, solid way to spend an hour of the day when nothing else to do. This one I enjoyed more than most recently because the fans didn't screw up the top spot and again, I am a huge mark for most of the managers on this list.