SEScoops Mailbag: The Greatest Managers in Wrestling History?


SEScoops Mailbag for November 27th

(submit YOUR questions to [email protected])

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Q: What happened to Saturday Night’s Main Event? It just sort of disappeared. – Ryan Begley

A: WWE was contracted for a certain number of quarterly specials on NBC and I believe they have fulfilled that obligation. More importantly, Saturday Night’s Main Event was ratings poison for the network, although to be fair, Saturday night is one of the worst nights for first-run TV programming. 25 years ago, the show was a big hit for WWE and allowed the company to feature special matches on network TV that fans could not see anywhere else. Now with 9 hours of fresh programming to produce each week, it is no longer relevant.

Q: Who would you classify as the top 10 managers in wrestling history? – Andrew B.

A: Well, that’s a loaded question. Instead of naming 10, why don’t I just name some of the greatest? Bobby “The Brain” Heenan would be at the top of anyone’s list and if he isn’t at the top of yours, then put down the crack pipe for a second. In the early days of managing, Bobby truly did manage the affairs (travel and such) for his men and always did everything in his power to get his men over, especially the ones who were not particularly good at promos. He was also a great bump-taker, which did his neck no favors years later. Jim Cornette is also high up on the list and had that rare gift of gab that few performers have. He would generate genuine “I want to see this guy get killed tonight” heel heat that people would pay money for. Paul Bearer (a/k/a Percy Pringle III) is Hall of Fame-worthy as well, and might have done his best work in WCCW before he even became Paul Bearer in WWE. Other notable names include Lou Albano, Gary Hart, Jimmy Hart and Sherri Martel. I only wish Vince McMahon were more open-minded to the idea of bringing back wrestling managers. There are lots of guys on the current roster who would benefit greatly from having one (Big Zeke on Raw comes to mind).

Q: Do you have any update on Brett DiBiase’s return from injury? Is he likely to be on our screens anytime soon? – CJ

A: Brett is the youngest of the DiBiase sons. He torn the ACL in his knee during an FCW event back on April 29th and has been sidelined since undergoing surgery for the injury in May. At the time, he was just about to be promoted to the main roster as part of a heel faction with his brother Ted and Joe Hennig (oh I’m sorry, Michael McGillicutty) called The Fortunate Sons. He’s very close to returning, but will likely need to work out any ring rust down in FCW first before getting a second look for the main roster.

Q: Do you think Vince McMahon himself (if given the powers he’s had with WWE) would be able to turn TNA around and turn them into an exciting and marketable product like he did with WWE? If for no other reason but to prove a point to himself that he still, at 65 years of age, has the ability to turn a lowly wrestling promotion on its last legs into a somewhat decent success. – Kid Fisto

A: If Vince McMahon were in charge of turning around TNA, who are we to doubt that he would be able to do so? Love him or hate him, and lord knows he’s hardly the creative genius some people like to think he is, he is the most successful wrestling promoter in history with a track record that speaks for itself. When it comes to wrestling (not bodybuilding, football, movies or music), Vince knows what he’s doing. With the right resources available to him, and surrounding himself with other knowledgeable people in the business, TNA could only improve. Again, the problem with TNA is not that it needs Vince McMahon running the promotion, it’s that it needs people with real knowledge of the industry in power and a different creative vision. I really believe that with only a few tweaks, they could start turning their fortunes around.

Q: If WWE were to take over TNA, would Raw and Smackdown unify their World champions with the TNA Title? – Richard Agosto

A: What’s with all of the doomsday TNA questions this week? Did I miss something? If WWE were to one day “take over” TNA, there’s no guarantee they would want to do an invasion angle (nor would I trust them to handle it right after 2001). They would not want people to view the TNA Title as being on the same level as their Raw and Smackdown champions, so it’s unlikely there would be any sort of unification.

Q: What does WWE’s imPACT testing consist of? I know John Cena said several months ago after one of his matches that his back was bothering him and that he passed imPACT testing. I’m just curious as to what they do. – Sharla

A: WWE’s imPACT program is actually a concussion management program, one which offers exams that measure the effects of a concussion through cognitive tests. All results are then evaluated by a neuropsychologist. All talents are given a baseline imPACT test and repeat tests annually. If a wrestler shows symptoms of a concussion, they will not be cleared to return to action until they pass an imPACT test and are cleared by a physician. Kudos to WWE for taking this issue seriously, and while TNA does not have an official program in place for concussions, kudos to them as well for keeping Mr. Anderson out through the end of the year following his concussion as a result of Jeff Hardy’s errant chairshot.

Q: My question deals with the sacking of Raven in TNA last week. Raven is one of my all-time favorites and I thought he got a pretty raw deal in the match as he had no entrance, didn’t get to cut a promo before his match and didn’t even get to hit the Evenflow DDT. I know Raven is no longer in good shape, but he could still do a decent ‘Raven Rules’ type match and I felt it was a poor way for an ex-TNA NWA World champion to go out. Do you think Raven would have been good in another role, such as booking for TNA, on commentary or perhaps as a manager for Jeff Hardy? – Johnnie Sonar

A: Raven is a very cerebral guy. He likes to tout the fact that he’s a MENSA member (those with an IQ of 150 and up). That said, perhaps he’d make a good addition to the TNA creative team. After all, he can’t possibly be any worse than Vince Russo. However, Raven’s best in-ring days are behind him. Quite frankly, he looks like shit. I know he’s had drug issues in the past and has fought hard against them. His face definitely shows it. I don’t think he should be used as an on-air character any longer, that includes as a manager. His greatest value may be behind the scenes. Just keep him off my TV.

Keep those questions coming to [email protected] and remember to include your name!