Manager Matches!

Managers like Sensational Sherri and Mr. Fuji have come up in recent discussions on the blog, particularly regarding their wrestling ability, so I thought I’d have a look at some in action.

Before the break, here’s Sir Oliver Humperdink failing to “restrain” himself after a fallout with Gordon Solie.

Captain Lou Albano vs. Gorilla Monsoon

The Capper looks surprisingly svelte here and immediately annoys a guy in the front row who’s got awesome sideburns and no shirt. “Al-bay-no”, as Vince calls him at first, had recently attacked Gorilla with a chair on TV. Gorilla is billed from Manchuria, but the conceit of him being a bearded wildman has long since been abandoned and he’s got the slicked back hair we’d all be familiar with and was on TV as the Gino we all know. Gorilla gets some chops in at first, but Albano goes to the eye and walks around after cowering for a few moments. It would appear he’s got something on his thumb. Gorilla tires of this and Albano picks his blade off, drops it on the mat, picks it back up, and then gigs himself as much as he can before eventually going over the top rope on a chop and runs back to the locker room, losing by count out. Shit match, with Lou probably keener on not missing a round in the back, but the crowd didn’t shit on it for the three minutes they had it.

Mr. Fuji vs. Rocky Johnson

Rocky’s looking just like he does in Young Rock at the moment, which is a wonder of really casting the wrestlers well for how they look. Gorilla and Vince are on commentary and Gorilla is claiming that Fuji and Albano shipped Mr. Saito back to Japan after they lost the tag team belts. Fuji gets a chop off an Irish whip that Rocky does a ridiculous bump off. Not impressively ridiculous, just defying any sense of direction. Fuji drops a headbutt and gets a nervehold, and Fuji has got enough to grab onto with Rocky’s traps. Rocky escapes with a dropkick but whiffs on a second one. Fuji goes back to the nervehold and Rocky goes up and down. Rocky escapes and reverses a suplex, which he nearly drops Fuj on. They run into each other and bash heads in slow motion. Fuj looks to go for an atomic drop but crotches Rock instead. He goes for a slam, which Rock rolls through and gets a small package for the win. Sore loser that he is, Fuj drops a headbutt on the already injured balls after the match. Just a match, probably late in the night at MSG with not much time left.

Precious Paul Ellering vs. Aron Holt

Before he was the managers of the late Road Warriors, Paul was one of many Superstar Billy Graham wannabes with the body and the blonde hair and sideburns. He’s got natural dark hair here and is in tights rather than the trunks I’m accustomed to seeing him in. Jimmy Hart’s his manager at this point. Aron Holt is just a jobber, looking a lot like Larry Sharpe. He’s a lot taller than Paul, I’ll give him that. Paul, who has really distracting tassels on his boots, gets a big chop and an elbow drop for two. He gets a pair of slams, which he starts really badly, too close to the ropes and with no cooperation from Holt, then finishes with a stampede. Paul was a great talker and had an awesome luck, but nothing in the ring, hence why his calling was to be a manager. I’ll also add that the match is from Memphis and goes about three and a half minutes, with Lance talking for three and a quarter and Dave getting the remaining fifteen seconds as usual.

Gary Hart vs. Larry Chene

Before he was the bald-headed, “Ricky Flair!” enemy and Playboy, Gary Hart was a wrestler. This match is from 1960, and he’s got a bleached-blonde teddy boy haircut at this point. Larry Chene looks like a cross between Karl Kox and Paul Boesch and was the master of the flying headscissors and died four years later in a car accident. Hart is eighteen years old at this point and is a big kid, very tall, plus his tattoos are made note of as something very risque at the time. Chene takes him down a few times in the feeling out process, but Hart gets the ropes and points to his head, immediately showing some heel instincts. He goes for the hair, but Chene reverses to grounded headscissors and gets a bit of comedy from Hart not being able to stay out for long. He then goes for a victory roll, but Hart tumbles out with him on top. Chene keeps his legs tied around his head even as Hart gets back into the ring. A bit contrived, but fun. He gets a punch in after a sarcastic handshake. Hart, who really looks like Tim Curry at this time, gets the hair, but Chene whips him off, then tells him to hold it, which he does, then dropkicks him. That was pretty funny. Hart whips off Chene, tells Chene to hold it himself, but gets dropkicked to continue that running joke. Arm stretch, but Hart gets his feet on the ropes to force a break. Hart gets a front facelock, and seemingly a choke, with the ref sticking his hand through his legs to check like he’s about to ask him to cough. Chene further infuriates Hart after getting an impressive headscissors, then gets that victory roll, with Hart neglecting to kick out. He throws a tantrum on the mat after losing. Pretty decent comedy match, probably from the opening of the card to get people engaged from the start.

Jimmy Hart vs. Rick Rude

Again, from Memphis, Jimmy was the man who brought Rick Rude and Angel into the territory, but they’ve fallen out. Rude is scheduled to wrestle Phil Hickerson, but Hickerson’s let Jimmy take his place. Jimmy complains at a hundred miles per hour about all the Wimpbusters t-shirts out there and his kids having other kids calling him a sissy, plus his daddy has said he’s disgracing the Hart name, so he’s going to show some rare guts and wrestle Rude. Rude is in his ridiculous blue gear with trunks and pads over him. Rude comes out looking incredibly strange in a red jacket and red boots with hearts on, with about a dozen different colours on his tights. Jimmy blinds Rude immediately with powder for the immediate DQ apparently, then tries to handcuff Rude to the ropes, but they seemingly break. Hart throws another pack of powder at him (where’s he stalling it all?). Rude eventually gets hold of him and ties him in the ropes, so the Dirty White Boys run in and hold him for Hart to whip him and blast him with a chair. Jimmy Valiant and Jerry Lawler run in to deal with Denton and Anthony while Hart gets as many shots in as he can on Rude before running off. Hart’s new bodyguard Dr. Detroit (that scientific wrestling maestro the Snowman) runs in to allow the White Boys to cover the babyfaces in molasses and feathers, creating a BIG fucking mess on them and the studio floor! This was fun while it lasted.

The Bottom Line: A short showcase of some of the legendary wrestling managers, back later in the week with some more in action.