Paula Cole had a Billboard Top 10 hit entitled "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone" in 1997. Considering she has a niche for asking about missing persons, maybe I should get her to ask the question "Where have all the managers gone?"
The 1980s were saturated with managers who made an impact in the careers of the wrestlers under their watch.
Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Jim Cornette and Paul E. Dangerously were just a few of the big-name wrestling managers who would escort their wrestlers or stables to the ring on a weekly basis.
When some people think of a manager, they think of someone trying to take a wrestler who is having problems getting over and helping them do just that. In some instances that is true, but even established Superstars can benefit from having someone at ringside.
Let's look at Bobby Heenan for instance. Sure, he managed the likes of the Barbarian, Hercules and the Red Rooster, but he also had Andre the Giant, Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect and even Ric Flair.
Ric Flair didn't need anyone to get him over. He didn't need anyone to serve as his mouthpiece. He didn't need Bobby Heenan, but no one can argue that Bobby Heenan didn't make Ric Flair's first run in the WWF better.
If you look at the other great heel managers, they did the same. Whether they were stuck with mid-card talent or main eventers, they made all those around them better.
While many don't care for her, Vickie Guerrero does the same for anyone she manages. She has taken mid-level talent to championships and taken established Superstars to higher levels. The current wrestling product needs more Vickie Guerrero's.
So what did happen to all the heel managers? I'm not really sure how to answer that question or if I have an answer to it at all.
I look at one reason being that the business turned from having female managers like Sherri Martel and Woman, who most fans despised, to female managers like Sunny and Sable, amongst others, who fans saw as more sex symbol than managers.
Another reason is that even the managers turned gimmicky in the 1990s. The likes of Mable from Men on a Mission and Uncle Zebekiah were pushed down our throats which made the importance of the role of the manager seem less important.
The bottom line is that while we hear rumors of the focus being re-established in other areas of wrestling, notably the tag team division, we should all be so lucky for an emphasis to be placed back on the role of the manager.
The WWE has talent that is going unused or not reaching their full potential, and one possible reason is that they don't have the managerial presence to help them get there.
What are your thoughts on the managerial situation? Who would benefit from a manager?
Thanks for reading. As always, your comments and criticisms are more than welcome. God bless!
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