49. Clarence Mason
50. The Genius
A marked improvement from his previous gimmick of "Leapin'" Lanny Poffo, The Genius was a predecessor to Damien Sandow's original gimmick in many ways, managing Mr. Perfect and The Beverley Brothers. Plus he got a countout victory over Hulk Hogan in 1989 - not too many other managers can say that.
The fast-talking lawyer-turned-manager (think Jackie Chiles from Seinfeld) ended up stealing away Jim Cornette's clients Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith after his arrival in the WWF in 1995 before having a key role in the original Nation of Domination. In WCW, he managed Harlem Heat 2000 under the name J. Biggs.
Yes, we are biased: Stone has been a long-time fan of Canadianbulldogsworld.com, and vice versa. Still, Stone is doing a bang-up job managing "The Family Stone" in NWA Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, where his managerial style is a throwback to an earlier time.
Luna "tic" managed a wide variety of wrestlers during her managerial career, including Bam Bam Bigelow, Goldust, Gangrel, The Human Oddities and The Blackharts. She also managed Bull Nakano in a feud against Alundra Blayze.
47. Stu Stone
48. Luna Vachon
Wrestling managers are kind of a lost art form today. Sure, there are still a handful, but back in the day, they were almost as much a part of the show as the people they managed. They would cut promos for their charges, interfere when necessary and sometimes even launch a feud on behalf of their grappler!
Picking the Top 50 wasn't easy, but I've narrowed it down. Here was my selection criteria:
They had to have been actively managing when I was a fan, e.g. 1985 or later. No offense to The Grand Wizard, Arnold Skaaland and their generation, but I never really saw them in action until much later.
They had to represent more than one wrestler in their managing career. Let's face it, "one-hit wonders" such as Armando Allejandro Estrada, Symphony, Jose Lothario, Ariel and Frenchy Martin were largely effective because of the person in their corner, not vice versa.
They had to be a permanent manager, meaning they remained in the corner with their client for an extended period of time.
By the way, I am including valets, bodyguards, advisors and the like here and giving them similar criteria because, hell, they all do pretty much the same job at the end of the day.
Ready? Here we go!
While he was never the most polished in-ring performer, Mr. Hughes has been the bodyguard of choice to many over the year, including The York Foundation, Lex Luger, Shane Douglas, Triple H and Chris Jericho.
The only reason The Enforcer isn't higher on this list is because he didn't spend enough time as a manager. After an injury forced him out of action in 1997, Anderson became the new manager of The Four Horsemen, leading Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko to tag team championship gold.
While Orton's most famous run as a bodyguard was while working for Rowdy Roddy Piper in the mid-1980's, let's not forget he shifted allegiances by 1987 to be in the corner of Adrian Adonis. He returned to WWE nearly two decades later, this time as the manager for his son, Randy Orton.
Alfonso began his ECW career as a rogue referee who angered fans by (gasp) actually enforcing the rules. With an annoying coach's whistle around his neck, Fonzie became the manager of Taz, which eventually led to managerial opportunities with ECW Legends Sabu and Rob Van Dam.
46. Mr. Hughes
45. Arn Anderson
44. Cowboy Bob Orton
43. Bill Alfonso
While many may not think of Torrie as your traditional manager or valet, she has been in the corner of several wrestlers, including David Flair, Billy Kidman, Shane Douglas, The Filthy Animals, Tajiri, Billy Gunn and Carlito.
After creating a stable in Border City Wrestling, Coach D'Amore moved to TNA, where he brought in Team Canada, a group that sprouted future World Champions Robert Roode and Eric Young.
EXCUSE ME! Vickie was already a part of WWE storylines in 2006 by the time she turned heel and sided when nephew Chavo Guerrero. This led to her also managing names such as Edge, The Big Show and Dolph Ziggler over the coming years.
The Nature Boy first tested the waters as manager when he represented Big Van Vader in 1995. By 2002, his career really started to wind down, which led to Flair managing Triple H as well as Evolution members Randy Orton and Batista. In 2010, Flair became a manager in TNA, representing A.J. Styles and Fortune.
39. Torrie Wilson
40. Scott D'Amore
41. Vickie Guerrero
42. Ric Flair
Missy has always been at the center of controversy - a good trait for a manager to have. In the UWF, she represented John Tatum, Eddie Gilbert and Sting, while in WCW she was a driving force behind both The Steiner Brothers and The Nasty Boys. In ECW, she was in the corner of The Sandman.
After completing a wrestling career as Billy White Wolf, Al-Kaissie turned to managing, where he represented the likes of Crusher Blackwell, Ken Patera, Jonnie Stewart and Hercules Hernandez. Of course, his biggest success came in the WWF as General Adnan, where he managed Sgt. Slaughter and Col. Mustafa (The Iron Sheik).
The Ninth Wonder of the World debuted as the bodyguard of Hunter Hearst Helmsley in 1997, which quickly morphed into representing all of D-Generation X. She also briefly managed Billy Gunn after the group's split and was Eddie Guerrero's "Mamacita".
Onoo first became a managerial force in WCW around 1995, where he brought in a group of Japanese wrestlers to face off against a team of WCW all-stars at that year's Starrcade. Later, he was seen in the corner of Ultimo Dragon, Ernest Miller and others.
38. Missy Hyatt
37. Sheik Adnan El-Kaissie
35. Sonny Onoo
Years before "We The People", he was Uncle Zeb in the WWF, managing the likes of Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw (JBL) and The Blu Twins (Ron and Don Harris). He returned to the company in 2013 and became the manager of The Real Americans, Jack Swagger and Cesaro.
The King of Old School has become quite a successful manager-wrestler, doing so in ECW under The Network while managing Rhino and Yoshihiro Tajiri. He scored a similar coup in Ring of Honor managing Kevin Steen and leading S.C.U.M.
The Colonel shared his secret recipe with many in WCW during the mid-1990's, including Meng, Bunkhouse Buck, Blacktop Bully, Harlem Heat, The Amazing French Canadians, Stunning Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Terry Funk and Dick Slater. He was briefly in the WWF as well, as Tennessee Lee.
Keibler escaped her fate of being a Nitro Girl towards the end of WCW's run, and was given the task of managing Lenny and Lodi (Standards & Practices) while dancing atop tablds. From there, she managed Shawn Stasiak, The Dudley Boys, Test, Scott Steiner and the team of The Hurricane and Rosey.
31. Zeb Colter
32. Steve Corino
33. Col. Robert Parker
34. Stacy Keibler
Debra holds the distinction of managing not one but two of her (now ex-) husbands, Steve McMichael and Stone Cold Steve Austin. She's also been in the corner of Jeff Jarrett, Owen Hart, Alex Wright and others during her time in WCW and WWF.
As Downtown Bruno, he managed dozens of wrestlers in the Mid-South including The Moondogs, Cactus Jack and The Stud Stable. In 1991, he came to the WWF as the manager of Sid Vicious, leading to gigs with Big Bully Busick, Adam Bomb, Bertha Faye, Well Dunn, Giant Gonzales and Mr. Hughes.
Maria transitioned from ditzy backstage interviewer to the valet of Santino Marella in 2007. She was also briefly in the corners of Dolph Ziggler and Matt Hardy before leaving WWE in 2010. These days, she is doing the best work of her career as the manager to real-life boyfriend Mike Bennett in Ring of Honor.
Woman burst into WCW in the late-1980's and briefly managed Rick and Scott Steiner before she dumped them to make way for Doom. Other WCW clients included The Four Horsemen and Chris Benoit, while in ECW she managed The Sandman, Kevin Sullivan and The Tasmaniac (Taz).
28. Harvey Wippleman
29. Maria Kanellis
In the early 1990's, DiBiase became one of the only managers in the WWF. His Million Dollar Corporation included IRS, Tatanka, Nikolai Volkoff, King Kong Bundy, Bam Bam Bigelow, Psycho Sid, The 123 Kid, Kama, The Underfaker and some dude named The Ringmaster. In WCW, he managed various nWo members.
As Angelica in ECW, she managed Danny Doring and Roadkill with less than impressive results. But her managing career took off in 1999 when she moved to the WWF and over the next seven years, would manage Essa Rios, Matt and Jeff Hardy, Kane and Edge.
James Mitchell has spent time at ringside in SMW, WCW, ECW and TNA playing the devil-like motivator for dark, twisted wrestlers such as Mortis, Wrath, Raven, Mikey Whipwreck, Yoshihiro Tajiri, Rellik, Black Reign, Abyss and Judas Mesias.
Slick came to the WWF in 1986, allegedly buying half of Fred Blassie's interests in The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff and Hercules Hernandez. He later expanded his empire to include Boris Zhukov, Paul Roma Butch Reed, The One Man Gang/Akeem and as a babyface, Kamala.
23. Ted DiBiase
25. The Sinister Minister
Although more famous for her wrestling and modeling exploits, Sable debuted in the WWF as a manager for Hunter Hearst Helmsley. That relationship went south quickly, leading to a partnership and breakup with her then-husband Marc Mero.
Sullivan transformed from wrestler to devil-worshipping Games Master early in his career. He came into his own as a manager in NWA/WCW, leading such stables as Sullivan's Slaughterhouse, The Varsity Club, The Faces of Fear and The Dungeon Of Doom.
Theodore R. Long went from disgraced referee to the manager of Norman The Lunatic, The Skyscrapers, One Man Gang and Doom. Then he left for WWE where he became a referee and eventually a manager again, with clients including Mark Henry, Rodney Mack and Jazz.
Akbar's Devasation Inc. faction was a stable of World Class Championship Wrestling, and he always had a group of evil henchmen willing to do his bidding. Clients included Cactus Jack, Big Bubba Rogers, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Steve Austin, Eric Embry, The Great Kabuki, The Missing Link and dozens more.
20. Kevin Sullivan
21. Teddy Long
22. Gen. Skandor Akbar
Sherri's career as a manager began in 1986 when she was in the corner of Doug Somers and Buddy Rose. A few years later, she was in the WWF, guiding the careers of Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase and Shawn Michaels. In WCW, her clients included Ric Flair and Harlem Heat.
Upon retiring from in-ring competition, Race showed up in WCW in 1991 to manage the newly-turned heel Lex Luger to the World Championship. Other clients included Big Van Vader (another World Champion), Mr. Hughes and Yoshi Kwan.
In WCW, Alexandra York was the brains behind The York Foundation, a stable that included Michael Wall Street, Thomas Rich, Terrence Taylor, Richard Morton and Mr. Hughes. In WWF, she changed her name to Marlena to represent Goldust and Brian Pillman. Other WWE clients included Perry Saturn and Raven.
Valiant, a member of the Canadian Bulldog's World LJN Wrestling Figure Hall of Fame, was briefly Hulk Hogan's manager in the AWA before moving on to the WWF, where he managed Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake to the tag team titles. Other clients included Dino Bravo, Demolition and (in the AWA) The Destruction Crew.
15. Sensational Sherri
16. Harley Race
17. Terri Runnels
18. Luscious Johnny Valiant
Although best known for being the man behind The Road Warriors, Precious Paul once had an entire Legion of Doom faction that included Jake Roberts, King Kong Bundy and The Spoiler. He also briefly managed The Disciples of Apocalypse in the WWF after turning on Hawk and Animal.
The Devious One lived up to his name during his post-wrestling career, blinding opponents with salt and whacking them with a cane. Besides managing Yokozuna to the WWF Championship, he was also in the corner of Demolition, Don Muraco, The Berserker, The Powers of Pain, The Orient Express and others.
As Tammy Fytch, she represented Chris Candido and Brian Lee in SMW. Candido came with her to the WWF -- as well as WCW and ECW. She also provided Sunny days for The Bodydonnas (Candido and Tom Pritchard), The Smokin' Gunns, LOD 2000 and Faarooq.
Humperdink was a manger from the 1970s to the 1990s, guiding careers of heels such as Bugsy McGraw, Ox Baker and One Man Gang in various territories. His brief WWF stint had him representing Paul Orndorf and Bam Bam Bigelow, strangely enough as a babyface, to little or no results.
11. Paul Ellering
12. Mr. Fuji
14. Sir Oliver Humperdink
The self-professed Playboy was one of the most influential managers throughout Texas and Florida in the 1970's and 1980's, managing such talent as Dusty Rhodes, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Bruiser Brody, Ivan Koloff, The Great Kabuki and The Great Muta.
Ohhhh yessss - for years before he represented the likes of The Undertaker, Kane and Mankind in the WWF, Percival Pringle III managed many big names in Texas, including Rick Rude, Lex Luger, Kamala, Steve Austin and The Dingo (Ultimate) Warrior.
From one of the most hated wrestlers in history to one of the most hated managers, Blassie managed a who's who of wrestling villians, including The Iron Sheik, Jesse Ventura, Blackjack Mulligan, Nikolai Volkoff, Big John Studd, Mr. Fuji, Dick Murdoch and a youngster named Hulk Hogan.
While most famous for his management of The Four Horsemen (including, at times, Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham and Ole Anderson), Dillon also represented Abdullah The Butcher, Buddy Landell and Outlaw Ron Bass over the years.
10. Gary Hart
9. Paul Bearer
8. Classy Freddie Blassie
7. J.J. Dillon
While Elizabeth's managerial career was mostly focused on supporting her then-husband Macho Man Randy Savage, it led to a series of storylines that helped define the WWF in the 1980's. Plus she managed Hulk Hogan briefly and in WCW, managed Ric Flair and Lex Luger.
The Louisville Lip started his managerial career in 1982 as the cornerman for Sherri Martel. Later, he came to represent The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey, Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane), Big Bubba Rogers, The Heavenly Bodies (Lane and Tom Pritchard), Yokozuna, Big Van Vader, Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith.
The Mouth of The South, with his ever-present megaphone to cause a distraction, managed a ton of talent in Memphis, the WWF and WCW, including Hulk Hogan, The Honky Tonk Man, The Hart Foundation, Greg Valentine, The Giant, Adrian Adonis, Dino Bravo and The Rougeau Brothers.
Although he may best be remembered for founding ECW, Heyman has been a manager since 1987. Paul Heyman Guys include The Original Midnight Express, The Samoan Swat Team, The Dangerous Alliance, Curtis Axel, Ryback, Cesaro, CM Punk and the man who ended The Undertaker's streak, Brock Lesnar.
6. Miss Elizabeth
5. James E. Cornette
4. Jimmy Hart
3. Paul Heyman
Captain Lou was known as The Guiding Light for the fact that he managed a mere 15 teams to the WWF Tag Team Championships. Oh, and also Ivan Koloff to the WWWF World Title. Plus his clients over the years included Greg Valentine, Don Muraco, Jimmy Snuka,
George Steele and Andre The Giant.
The Bobby Heenan Family will forever be remembered in wrestling because of The Brain's quick wit, evil intentions and willingness to do anything to get his clients over. Top names in his stable included future Hall of Famers Nick Bockwinkel, The Blackjacks, Nikolai Volkoff, Andre The Giant, Big John Studd, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Paul Orndorff, Mr. Perfect, Harley Race and Ric Flair.
1. Bobby The Brain Heenan
2. Captain Lou Albano
Any names missing or misplaced? Leave your feedback in the Comments section below...