Abraham Washington & Why Reports of the WWE Managerial Demise Are Exaggerated
A fairly prominent, lingering complaint from nostalgic WWE fans is the lack of emphasis on managers in today's WWE.
Tuesday's old school episode of SmackDown saw the return of legendary manager Jimmy Hart, which brought about memories of other legendary managers and/or valets such as Jim Cornette, Miss Elizabeth and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
While today's managers couldn't hold a candle to these stalwarts of sports entertainment, there certainly is a presence of managers with prominent roles that are often unfairly ignored by those who miss the days of rare talents who helped add relevance to superstars they managed.
1. Ricardo Rodriguez
Given the lack of character development with Alberto Del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez is a big reason why people still care about an otherwise stale gimmick.
From his over-the-top introduction of the former WWE Champion to his celebratory post-match announcement, Rodriguez is a unique managerial gimmick whose career doesn't necessarily have to revolve around Del Rio.
Rodriguez has performed admirably outside of the capacity of a manager, as he made a surprise entrance in the Royal Rumble earlier this year. That performance showed off range in Rodriguez that Del Rio simply has yet to deliver.
I really do hope that this isn't the end of the road for Daniel Bryan and A.J., as the WWE hasn't even scratched the surface with these two as a pair.
A.J. really was reminiscent of a modern-day Miss Elizabeth with her innocent girl-next-door appeal, and Daniel Bryan as a loose cannon who was constantly talking down to her was the perfect foil to showcase her as a sympathetic and loyal figure.
There are a host of directions that the WWE can go if A.J.'s loyalty persists and she tries to win Bryan back, as the would-be couple could even perform as a dual-heel tandem.
3. Vickie Guerrero
Unquestionably the Queen of Diamonds when it comes to modern-day managers, there is nobody in any realm of professional wrestling who knows how to get a reaction quite like Vickie Guerrero.
From her screechy voice to the audacity of a cougar dressing like a 25-year-old, Guerrero is a ready-made package of antagonism.
Guerrero serves as Exhibit A as to how the manager in today's WWE is not dead. If used correctly, this role can add value and meaning to otherwise forgettable young talent.
4. John Laurinaitis
While his official title is Dictator of RAW and SmackDown, John Laurinaitis seemed to tease a partnership with Brock Lesnar and has already been a mainstay in the corner of David Otunga—who is quietly rising as a potential star whether you like it or not.
Laurinaitis' best fit would probably be as a manager, as his current role requires too much talking, which clearly isn't his strong suit.
Laurinaitis has that rare ability to just sit there and be despicable to fans, and the WWE should capitalize on this trait by having him endorse and/or manage younger heels.
Thus far, he is a man of no words, and he really should start speaking up because squash matches just won't get it done on their own merits, but Sakamoto debuting alongside a hot, seasoned prospect shows that WWE's faith in managers is alive and well.
It'll be interesting to see how this currently-muted manager figures into the grand scheme of things when it comes to Lord Tensai, but he could be the X-Factor. No pun intended.
In another potential example of the WWE debuting a new manager with a new superstar, Damien Sandow—who cut a recent debut promo on SmackDown—now has his Twitter account run by a "personal scribe" named Ignatius.
The heel implications of such a move are mind blowing, and if Sandow turns out to be half as brilliant as this nuance, the kid's got a future.
7. Abraham Washington
You may remember him from the not-as-horrendous-as-it-should-have-been Abraham Washington Show on ECW, but this unmistakeably charismatic individual has resurfaced as A.W.
A.W. has been soliciting his services to WWE superstars as of late—namely Mark Henry, who suddenly finds himself in the thick of a time-filling WWE title chase on RAW.
Washington is the quintessential example of how beneficial a manager can be to a superstar, as his charisma and oratorical talents can be used to get heat on monster heels and underdeveloped talkers.
Washington was utilized considerably while in FCW as both a manager and wrestler, and at one point was even a general manager. Needless to say, Washington being called up to RAW as a manager is long overdue.