After toiling as the preliminary wrestler Leapin' Lanny Poffo in the 1980s, Poffo became The Genius in the WWF. His cap and gown persona got under the skin of fan favorites such as Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake, especially when The Genius was managing the likes of Mr. Perfect and The Beverley Brothers.
September is Manager Appreciation Month in Canadian Bulldog's World, with tons of unique features and a daily Manager Spotlight.
To be clear, wrestling managers are kind of a lost art form today. Sure, there are still a handful around , 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!
But who are the best of the best?
In ranking the Top 50 Wrestling Managers, Canadian Bulldog's World looked at the following criteria:
What did they contribute to the people they advised?
How memorable were they, overall?
Were they able to enhance the reputations of the men and women they represented?
Please note: This is primarily a list of managers from the 1980s onwards, so it's likely missing some of the golden era managers. We've included valets, bodyguards, advisors and other "heaters" on this list, acknowledging that they pretty much do the same job as a traditional wrestling manager.
If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.
Ready? Here we go!
WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson is, of course, much better known as The Enforcer of The Four Horsemen, but he's also been a manager when the situation called for it. Anderson was often in the corner of Ric Flair and after his in-ring career came to a close, he led Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko to tag team glory.
Harvey Wippleman began his managerial career in 1986 as Downtown Bruno, where he led the careers of The Stud Stable, Cactus Jack and The Moondogs, among others. By 1991, he came to the WWF as the manager of Big Bully Busick, leading to gigs with Sid Justice, Bertha Faye, Mr. Hughes and Giant Gonzales.
A veteran referee, Bill Alfonso arrived in ECW in 1995 as a heel ref because he insisted that wrestlers (gasp) play by the rules. With an annoying coach's whistle around his neck, Fonzie soon became the manager of ECW's Taz, leading to managerial opportunties for hardcore icons Sabu and Rob Van Dam as well.