The late 1980s and early 1990s are considered to be the golden age of wrestling by most, and while larger-than-life characters and roster depth certainly contributed to that, the lost art of managing had a lot to do with it as well.
Guys like Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji and so many others served as great mouthpieces for their talent and were great entertainers in their own right.
For whatever reason, though, managers have been all but phased out over the past couple of decades in the WWE, even though their value is obvious.
A video was posted on WWE.com today, however, that featured A.W. signing former WWE Tag Team champions Primo and Epico, as well as their valet Rosa. A.W., who was known as Abraham Washington during his time in ECW, had been courting the trio for the past several weeks and officially inked them on the heels of losing their titles to Kofi Kingston and R-Truth on WWE Raw.
As a pure tag team, Primo and Epico are unquestionably the best in a very weak division. They are both gifted athletically, they show great teamwork during their matches, and they have an obvious and believable link, as they are real-life cousins.
With all of that in mind, they should be the foundation when it comes to rebuilding the tag-team division. The only problem, though, is that their mic skills are severely lacking.
Having Rosa escort them makes up for it a bit, but she is much more adept at being eye candy than she is at delivering a meaningful promo.
That is where A.W. comes in. He had his own talk show segment on ECW, and he did a really nice job with it. There is no doubt that A.W. can speak well and get talent over, so having him create a "talent agency" of sorts makes a lot of sense.
It's tough for a casual fan to care about Primo and Epico right now, but with a charismatic guy like A.W. touting them, they should be in much better shape.
Will A.W. be a viable manager for Primo and Epico, as well as others?
When you take a look back, guys like Andre The Giant, Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy couldn't speak well if their lives depended on it, but Heenan made them matter. Perhaps an even better comparison is Hart, who helped the Hart Foundation, consisting of Bret Hart and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, get over during their early days with the company.
Presently, the only true manager in the WWE besides A.W. is Vickie Guerrero, and while she does a nice job and gets a good heel reaction, she is more about being annoying than saying anything of substance. That isn't the case with A.W., though, as he will be effective in getting on the nerves of fans, but he'll do it in a way that puts over his clients and not just himself.
Quality managers and a quality tag-team division are two things that most older WWE fans clamor for. They were a big part of the company when it was at its peak, so it only makes sense to build those two aspects up again.
It's going to take more than just one manager and one tag team to accomplish those goals, but it's a start. Hopefully A.W.'s signing of Primo and Epico is just the tip of the iceberg as he builds a formidable stable of superstars who will greatly benefit from his services.
The WWE often fails in getting much of its talent over with the fans, but this is an obvious solution that I believe will yield excellent results.