COMMENTARY | Most of the greatest managers in professional wrestling history began their careers competing in the squared circle.
Although the role of managers has diminished in recent years, many retired wrestlers still have a lot to add to the industry. Many wrestlers today simply do not have the mic skills of most of the past legends. As managers, these retired wrestlers could also impart real knowledge and training to young talent. But most importantly, a handful of retired wrestlers are so charismatic that the industry needs them in some capacity now more than ever.
Take a closer look at the top 10 retired pro wrestlers who would be great managers.
10. Arn Anderson
I know I sound like the typical wrestling fan who yearns for a return to the good old days of The Four Horsemen with this pick. However, I can't help but think that Arn Anderson would be outstanding today in the role that Ole Anderson played in the 1980s. Anderson would bring a level of respect and honor to any wrestler or faction he'd manage today.
In the eyes of many wrestling fans and experts, Michael Hayes was already a manager long before he retired. While Buddy Roberts was excelling as a ring psychologist and Terry Gordy was serving as the brawn of the group, Hayes served as the charismatic mouthpiece of The Freebirds. Michael Hayes once served as The Hardy Boyz' manager.
8. Steve Austin
I can't honestly envision Steve Austin playing the role of the classic wrestling manager. But Austin is so popular with WWF Attitude Era fans that he would succeed in any on-air role. Many fans believe the WWE just hasn't been the same since Steve Austin retired and if he returned as a manager, I'm sure the ratings would explode overnight.
7. Ted DiBiase
Ted DiBiase's "Million Dollar Man" gimmick would be ideal for a manager. He could literally buy the services of any wrestler on the roster. Before retiring, he had a rare ability to play both heel and babyface characters well. In Mid-South, DiBiase was second only to The Junkyard Dog in popularity and he was the most hated wrestler in the WWF.
6. William Regal
William Regal would be an asset as a manager in many ways. Like DiBiase, Regal has the look that most great managers of the past had. He is also great on the mic, which is a necessity for every manager. Regal can also offer real advice to young talent on how to wrestle and how to avoid the personal demons with which he often struggled.
5. Ric Flair
Ric Flair has already worked as a manager in TNA and the WWE. However, he never seemed committed to the role because he was never fully retired at the time. But if he were to invest in this role, there's no question he'd be outstanding. Flair's charisma, mic work, and passion for the business would give his stable instant credibility today.
4. Roddy Piper
Although Roddy Piper would be an incredible manager, he'd only succeed under two conditions. First, he'd have to be a heel. Second, Vince McMahon (or whoever is running a different promotion) would have to let Piper take the gloves off. Roddy Piper was great as a heel manager for Sean O'Haire in 2003 before the storyline abruptly ended.
3. Dusty Rhodes
Back in the days when wrestlers didn't need chiseled physiques, Dusty Rhodes was one of the most popular wrestlers in the world. Since he retired, very few workers have had the natural charisma he possessed. Like Piper, Rhodes doesn't need scripted promos. His wrestlers wouldn't need to open their mouths to sell tickets or get over.
2. Mick Foley
Although most of the greatest wrestling managers of the past worked with heels, Mick Foley would be best as a babyface. While that breaks the mold of the stereotypical manager, it really wouldn't matter to most fans. Like Austin, Foley represents the glory of the Attitude Era. Mick Foley's promos could be both hilarious and deadly serious.
1. Jake Roberts
Very few wrestlers ever held an audience in the palms of their hands like Jake Roberts did. Although his personal problems in retirement are well documented, Roberts is on the road to recovery thanks to Diamond Dallas Page. Jake Roberts had a mesmerizing quality in the ring and on the mic that pro wrestling desperately needs today.
Although he'd still like to appear in the 2014 Royal Rumble, Jake Roberts would be the greatest manager among currently retired professional wrestlers.
Honorable mention retired wrestlers who'd be great managers
Iron Sheik, Shawn Michaels, Harley Race, Ron Simmons, Ricky Steamboat, Lance Storm
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of pro wrestling. Patrick's favorite wrestling promotion was Mid-South Wrestling back in the 1980s. Patrick's favorite wrestling angle of all-time was the NWO and his favorite wrestler is Roddy Piper. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
More from this contributor
- Sports & Recreation
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- Arn Anderson
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- Jake Roberts