Little fanfare was given to the man accompanying the newly-returned Jack Swagger to the ring on Raw this week. But there should have been, as most fans failed to realize that a wrestling legend was in their midst.
After more than a decade, Dutch Mantell—now known as Zeb Colter—was back in a WWE ring.
After a forgettable run with the company in the late 1990’s where he was known as Uncle Zebekiah, Mantell returned to Puerto Rico where a majority of his success has previously taken place.
Spending years in both Puerto Rico and many promotions in the Southern United States, he established himself as both a face and a heel, and having many memorable contests with the stars of the day like Jerry Lawler. He is also credited with creating the ring name "Steve Austin" for the former Steve Williams, as there was already a competitor by that name in the wrestling business.
Though he was never a megastar—due in large part to his lack of exposure on the main stages of WWF and WCW—Colter never exactly became a household name.
Though he spent time in both promotions, with his aforementioned run with the WWF as Uncle Zeb along with his time in WCW as part of the comedy cowboy wrestling faction the Desperados, he was never able to break make his mark in either promotion.
From there, he took on a creative role in several promotions, including the IWA in Puerto Rico and in TNA, where he had a key role in creating the Knockouts division.
His new role allows him to make up for lost time. He is now poised to be the catalyst that takes Swagger to the next level.
Let’s be honest here, Swagger has never lit up the wrestling world with his persona.
Yes, he is incredibly gifted as a wrestler in both the technical and power categories. And yes, he is a former World champion. But his charisma was never the trait that led to his past glory.
Swagger is a wrestler and little more. Adding Colter into the mix gives him the intangible that he has been sorely lacking since day one.
Plainly put, Zeb Colter makes Jack Swagger interesting.
Always one of the best talkers of his era, Colter will now become the mouthpiece for a performer that is incredibly capable of backing up lofty boating. And when push comes to shove, he is probably not shy about interjecting himself physically on occasion.
Sure, he is now playing a right-wing conservative character who may say inflammatory things with regularity, but at the very least Colter will serve to keep Swagger’s name relevant.
Months ago when he left the public eye to get his career back on track, many wondered what exactly Swagger could do to accomplish this goal.
Rumors of a face turn and run at the United States title were circulated. A new look was teased. But when the time came, Swagger showed up looking the same, save for a beard and slightly longer hair.
However, a vicious streak seemed to have taken hold, and shortly after Colter entered the picture.
And with the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in only two days, Colter could end up being the reason why Swagger goes far, or even emerges as the victor in that match.
The golden age of managers guiding the careers of in-ring talents had seemed to be a thing of the past. But with Colter and even Paul Heyman around now, it seems as if the trend may possibly be starting anew.
Whatever Zeb Colter’s agenda, you can rest assured that “We the people,” will be anxiously waiting to see the results.