The Lost Art of Managing and The Women Who Perfected It
Throughout the history of wrestling, managers have mastered the art of emphasizing and presenting their clients. They push them to the moon, and their faith in their client makes the audience either admire or despise them. It’s an art. Nobody can accomplish it. Bobby Heenan, Paul Heyman, and Paul Bearer had female equivalents who helped develop stars of their clients. They even designed very successful stables that are still spoken about today.
In the 1980s, admirers began to perceive a woman who shaped the man. The manager’s presence provided the wrestlers with star power. An attractive, strategic, and problem-solving woman was as valuable as a Rolex watch.
Miss Elizabeth was the fair-tale-like beauty with doe-eyed and soft-spoken. Wrestling’s First Lady Class act. Macho Man was heavyweight material since he already had a champion-worthy lady on his arm. Miss Elizabeth was good at evoking sympathy from her followers. Fans wanted to see her raise her husband’s hand in triumph even if she looked worried or wrinkled. While Miss Elizabeth was modest and sweet as pie, Missy Hyatt used her Gucci handbag to ensure her hubby won WCCW. Missy was a superb talker who deserves more credit for being around brilliant clients like Eddie Gilbert and the Steiner brothers and standing strong with them during promotions.
Sherri Martel was the manager, of Mount Everest. Her client required her to become anything to frighten the opponents. With so much ring expertise, Sherri could be anywhere in about without being monitored. She knows how to not upstage her customer with her personality.
On the other hand, Kevin Sullivan was assisting Luna Vachon and Nancy Sullivan in their managerial endeavors. Nancy had an electrifying, viper-like charm that drew opponents in for the kill. She was the picture of a woman who knelt before the barbarian and became his collaborator in every crime he chose to commit. Kevin Sullivan terrorized a generation, and Nancy loved it.
In the 1990s, we began seeing female managers who were willing to use every means to ensure their client’s victory. Even if it meant risking their lives.
Women like Francine, Beulah Mcgillicutty, and Missy Hyatt flourished in this intensive, testosterone-rich atmosphere. They handled hard-core wrestlers who understood how to utilize their talents to win. They made everyone in the arena envious. A guy would be blessed to have these ladies as managers.
Women like Madusa demanded respect and only dealt with groups that shared her toughness and courage. Managing Rick Rude in the risky alliance demonstrated she could hang with the boys and even put them in their place. Sunny gave us a Baywatch atmosphere as she paraded about the ring, antagonizing the fans and opponents because she knew they wanted her.
Marlena changed Goldust’s aura. She nailed the golden period starlet atmosphere and helped Goldust get followers. Goldust became quirky and a family guy after meeting her. Chyna created a new route for female managers to become enforcers. When a wrestler grew weary of her meddling, she was going to take it to them first. Kimberly managed DDP and got so successful that she became a choreographer for the Nitro Girls.
In the 2000s, several models and ex-dancers entered the sector. Some, like Dawn Marie, truly got it. Everyone knew Lance Storm could fight, but no one thought he could be a celebrity without outstanding mic abilities. Then Dawn Marie came in and took over ECW. Dawn understood just how to frame Lance and present him as the greatest.
When Stacy Kiebler joined WWE, she began managing the Dudley Boyz, particularly Test. Stacy’s management style was funny and lighthearted, which endeared her to her stiletto clientele.
Gail Kim joined Impact Wrestling in 2005 and used her techniques to help her side win. Known for her connection with James Storm and Chris Harris on America’s Most Wanted, she was saddened when they split. With James Storm and Bobby Roode, Jackie Moore reached the Impact Zone. Jackie’s personality was on full show at the moment.
As a manager, Traci Brooks has excelled. Her time with Bobby Roode brought back her original Wall Street demeanor. Trinity was the daredevil in the Impact women’s locker room at the moment, delivering a spectacular moonsault for her squad. Melina created the tone for MNM on Smackdown in the mid-2000s, bringing a LA flavor to the team. The business began removing managers in the 2010s, so we viewed them for their amazing mic abilities and acting history.
Due to his manager, Lana, Rusev became one of the most talked-about performers in NXT. Lana was Rusev’s tough Russian spokesman. You had no question about her authority or capacity to make Rusev demolish his opponents.
Catrina departed WWE and managed the formidable Mil Muertes in Lucha Underground. She brought a touch of a cinematic exaggeration to the Mil Muertes mythos.
Scarlett Bordeaux, a modern-day manager, brought a beautiful, menacing, and eerie atmosphere to Killer Kross’ already planned and meticulous attitude. Their ring entrance alone captivated the wrestling world.
In ROH, Amy Rose is another contemporary management who understands how to highlight her performers’ strengths. This provides optimism that female managers are still wanted and needed in this generation. I envision a revival of great female managers and the establishment of magnificent stables and factions.