Paul Heyman has recently made his return to the WWE as the "legal consultant" to his former client Brock Lesnar. Heyman stepping back into a WWE ring reminds us that there are a few spots on the WWE roster that are reserved for the most charismatic, energetic and...interesting characters. That spot is the position of ringside manager.
Managers throughout history have been some of the most memorable parts of the WWE. They can make superstars with weak mic skills climb the ranks without having to open their mouths. They can help their clients succeed in the business and even have an effect on the outcome of the match in some cases.
What managers have done their job the best, though? Who has had the greatest effect on his client and the history of the WWE?
Here are 10 of the best!
Paul Heyman has spent time at ringside with some of the best talent to ever set foot into a WWE ring. He managed the Undertaker when he was "Mean" Mark Callous, Rick Rude, Arn Anderson, and even Steve Austin.
Heyman eventually moved on to the WWE where he formed one of the best manager-wrestler teams with Brock Lesnar. Heyman was the perfect mouthpiece for Lesnar, who lacked the mic skills of a big time superstar.
Lesnar had a great first run with Heyman and is looking to do the same the second time around.
Heyman is one of the best heel managers of all time, showing off his great mic skills and his ability to make an entire arena full of people absolutely loathe him.
Mr. Fuji spent his time in the WWF filling the spot of a heel manager. He managed some huge names like Cowboy Bob Orton, Kamala, Demolition, Yokozuna, Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith, among others.
Mr. Fuji always found ways to help his clients, even resorting to shady tactics like throwing salt into the eyes of their opponents to secure a victory and using his infamous cane to sneak in a few shots in on unsuspecting opponents.
Mr. Fuji was an institution in the WWF and was one of the best managers in the company's history.
Jim Cornette is one of the most influential figures in professional wrestling in the United States, let alone the WWF and WWE. Cornette now presides over Ring of Honor, one of the premiere independent wrestling organizations in the U.S., but had quite the career as a manager before that.
Cornette was a talent scout and aided in talent development in the WWF and led a top heel stable which included Vader, Owen Hart and the British Bulldog. Cornette also spent time as an announcer for the WWF and was a trailblazer in participating in "worked shoots" that questioned the way the company did business.
While Cornette was eventually asked to leave OVW after slapping a wrestler backstage, he had a huge impact on the company in a variety of different ways, including at ringside.
One of Albano's most memorable successes was the Rock n' Wrestling Connection which collaborated with Cyndi Lauper. It helped establish a connection between pro wrestling and mainstream media that still lasts today.
Albano was in the business for more than 40 years, helping his clients fill their trophy cases with championship gold in singles and team competition.
Albano managed some of the best solo wrestlers and teams in history and even acted as the voice of Mario in The Super Mario Bros Super Show!
Classy Freddie Blassie always had a very close relationship with Vince McMahon and the McMahon family. Nepotism, however, was not the reason he stood ringside for years in the WWF. Blassie has managed a who's who list of WWF legends including George Steele, Iron Sheik, Hulk Hogan, King Kong Bundy and many many others.
Blassie and Lou Albano's clients had some epic feuds which were enhanced greatly with the help of the managerial "services" Blassie and Captain Lou provided.
Blassie always found a way to help the wrestlers he managed, whether it was demoralizing the opponents with promos or helping his team in the ring. Blassie was one of the best...and he looked darn classy doing it.
Ernie Roth, also known as The Grand Wizard, stood barely over 5'7'' which didn't translate well into a career in the ring. He did the next best thing. He jumped out of the ring and let his personality run wild through his flamboyant outfits and great managerial skills.
The Grand Wizard made a name for himself at ringside, managing some of the most infamous heels in WWE history to two WWE Championships and three Intercontinental Championships.The Grand Wizard managed the Iron Sheik, Killer Kowalski, Sgt Slaughter and Superstar Billy Graham, among others, to numerous victories.
He was named Manager of the Year two times by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. The Grand Wizard would eventually become part of the loosely connected "Three Wise Men of the East" with fellow heel managers Lou Albano and Freddie Blassie who made life as difficult for faces as they could.
Percy Pringle, also known as Paul Bearer, is one of the most interesting managers in WWE history. His strange, almost grotesque appearance and mannerisms struck fear into the heart of his opponent's clients and the crowd watching.
Paul Bearer has had great clientele including Steve Austin, Mankind, Kane and Undertaker, Big Show, and Vader, acting most famously as the "Father of Destruction" to his "sons" Kane and Undertaker.
Paul Bearer had some of the most interesting storyline angles going along with the Undertaker and Kane including supernatural powers and mysterious happenings.
As one of the most intriguing and creepy figures in the WWE, Paul Bearer has had a huge effect on how managers interact with Superstars and how they can become parts of the storyline.
Miss Elizabeth was one of the most influential managers in pro wrestling history. She was Macho Man Randy Savage's beautiful manager who would always find ways to get involved in Savage's feuds and help Macho Man come out on top.
Elizabeth always found ways to get involved in feuds, but was one of the best managers of all time.
Elizabeth set a precedent for female managers and valets who could have a big impact on story lines and match outcomes.
She's not called the "First Lady of Wrestling" for nothing.
The "Mouth of the South" has managed some of the greatest in WWF and WWE history to WCW World, WWE Intercontinental and World Tag Team Championships. Hart has managed Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Jerry Lawler and The Honky Tonk Man, among other big name superstars from the 80s and 90s.
Hart's flamboyant attire and trusty megaphone helped add to the spectacle that is professional wrestling, and his legacy as one of the best managers of all time.
Bobby "The Brain" Heenan was the best heel manager of all time. He had a great knack for drawing heat for himself or his client, and spent time at ringside and at the announce table with Gorilla Monsoon.
Heenan has managed a long list of huge name wrestlers including Andre the Giant, Paul Orndorff and many more who became members of "The Heenan Family".
Heenan was one of the best talkers to ever hold a microphone in the WWE and is, in my opinion, the best manager in WWE history.
Managers in the WWE are becoming hard to find. Currently we see Rosa Mendes, Vickie Guerrero and AW, who, except for Vicky, really don't do all that much for their clients.
What do you think? What manager should get the No. 1 spot? Let me know!