Tuesday, June 06, 2006

PREVIEW: WWE’s The World’s Greatest Managers

WHERE would your average rassler be without a manager? Up the proverbial creek, that’s where.
A great manager guides his man (or woman or Chyna) to fame, riches and title belts through their ability to talk the leg off a chair, then accompany their client to the ring where they do their best to
* Distract the referee as much as possible
* Trip and generally annoy the goody-two-shoes opponent, AND
* Discreetly pass foreign objects to their wrestler.
Sadly, managers have become a dying breed in the past 10 years, especially in the WWE.
Thankfully, the new DVD WWE’s The World’s Greatest Managers (out this month) relives the glory days when musclebound boneheads unable to string three words together would rely on a manager to “get heat” and, more importantly, enrage fans to the point where they plunked down their cash to watch the next live show or PPV.
While some time is given to Jim Cornette and Paul E. Dangerously (who did their best work before joining WWE), much of the emphasis focuses on (naturally) such WWE legends as Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, "Mouth Of The South" Jimmy Hart, Captain Lou Albano, The Grand Wizard, “Classy” Freddy Blassie, Miss Elizabeth, "Sensational" Sherri Martel and Paul Bearer.
There's plenty of footage but precious little info on great managers like JJ Dillon, Paul Ellering and Precious. And there's no footage whatsoever on a bunch of great non-WWE managers such as Skandor Akbar, "Crybaby" George Cannon, "Wild" Red Berry and so forth. In fact, it's kinda obnoxious for this DVD to imply that the art of managing only began in the 70s with Blassie, Albano and the Wizard.
Other bugbears on this tape include:
* Historical inconsistencies. Paul Bearer's pre-WWE history as Percy Pringle in World Class is shown, but Jimmy Hart's Memphis past gets nary a mention
* Vince McMahon's cheap verbal shots on managers he's on the outs with, particularly Jim Cornette and Sunny
* Far too much time devoted to worthless WWE managers such as Arnold Skaaland, Mr Fuji and Harvey Whippleman (if you're gonna do that, why not focus on other useless managers from other feds such as Paul Jones and Gary Hart?), AND
* Worthless comments from idiots like Steve Lombardi and know-nothing newbies such as Ken Kennedy.
Apart from that, this tape was a pretty fun way to waste three hours of an afternoon.