The shows the WWE puts on are among the most difficult in all of entertainment. Raw, SmackDown and PPVs all go down live with everything having to run perfectly on the fly with no chances to have retakes or to make up for potential mistakes. The touring aspect requires the Raw and SmackDown rosters to stay active every weekend and that also takes a lot of work to run effectively. WWE has perfected their system in a way that sees everything running like a finely tuned machine. Part of the reason for this is the company hiring a plethora of talented backstage employees to pull it off.
WWE is a team effort that goes beyond the wrestlers and other on-air talents that entertain the masses. Backstage roles that impact the success of the company belong to road agents, producers, writers, executives and other positions who help get the shows finalized. William Regal, Fit Finlay, and Dean Malenko are just a couple of the bigger names that have noteworthy backstage roles in the WWE landscape today. There have been plenty of noteworthy stars to come in and out of the company serving in various roles. We’ll look at some of them now featuring fifteen stars you forgot worked behind the scenes in the WWE.
15 15. Tully Blanchard
Tully Blanchard's underrated career is often most remembered for his time in The Four Horsemen. Blanchard entering the squared circle always guaranteed an impressive outing. Arn Anderson and Blanchard had a great run as The Brain Busters tag team. Unfortunately, Blanchard was always overshadowed by the likes of Anderson and Ric Flair, but he was truly great.
14 14. J.J. Dillon
Another person on this list that’s remembered for his time in The Four Horsemen but did much more in the wrestling industry is J.J. Dillon. Most wrestling fans first think of Dillon’s time managing The Horsemen or for being an on-air authority figure for WCW during their feud with the New World Order when his career is discussed.
13 13. John Laurinaitis
Sticking with the theme of Talent Relations’ Vice Presidents, one of the more recent names to hold that position was John Laurinaitis. The majority of John Laurinaitis’ success as a wrestler came in Japan but he held an office job in WCW towards the end of the company’s existence. WWE purchasing WCW was the best thing to happen to Johnny Ace’s career.
12 12. Harvey Wippleman
Harvey Wippleman worked for the WWE in many roles with his most high profile time coming as an on-screen character. Fans remember him for his appearances as a manager, referee and overall comedic character. Wippleman’s smaller stature allowed him to use it to his advantage in a world of massive performers at the time. WWE respected his work ethic and loyalty enough to give him backstage work.
11 11. Al Snow
WWE allowed Al Snow the opportunity to begin the next chapter of his career while still working as a wrestler. The peak of Snow’s wrestling career was during the Attitude Era giving him his best chance to have succeed in the WWE. This carried over to his next life as a trainer when the WWE wanted to start the Tough Enough reality show on MTV.
10 10. Ranjin Singh
Ranjin Singh's on-air tensure may not stand out as anything special, but it landed him the job that would become his career. Singh’s main role on WWE television was being the heel manager and translator of The Great Khali. Hornswoggle would become the Singh's rival during Khali’s feud with Finlay. Khali eventually split from Singh and the latter was removed from television for his new role.
9 9. Brooklyn Brawler
The thirty-three year career of the Brooklyn Brawler in the WWE earned him a reputation as one of the most loyal employees in company history. Brawler spent the majority of his career as an enhancement talent being used primarily to lose matches to help other wrestlers get over. The years of losses made Brawler a beloved figure to the longtime fans, especially in his home of New York that allowed the WWE to use him in a few fun moments through the years.
8 8. Paul Bearer
The late, great Paul Bearer will always be synonymous with the early years of The Undertaker’s career in the WWE. Bearer and Undertaker were a perfect unit that got over big time with the fan base. As great as The Undertaker was, Bearer's character work was instrumental in Taker's early success before fans got accustomed to him. Bearer was highly respected in the wrestling industry and WWE rewarded that for a few years.
7 7. Ted DiBiase
An early retirement from the ring due to injury forced Ted DiBiase to find a new job in the world of wrestling. His incredible heel work will always be what’s most associated with his career but it ended due to a neck injury in 1993. Following a few stints as a manager, DiBiase transitioned into a backstage role in the business. WCW introduced him to the road agent job and he reprised the same role years later in the WWE.
6 6. Jim Ross
Jim Ross' broadcasting career will see him go down as the greatest commentator in the history of pro wrestling. Ross served as the voice of the Attitude Era and beyond with his voice adding to many memorable moments that shaped the WWE into the phenomenon it has become. A lesser known fact is Ross held a backstage job for many years in addition to his on-air role.
5 5. Freddie Prinze Jr.
The most peculiar name to work backstage for the WWE has to be Freddie Prinze Jr., who actually worked for them on a couple of occasions. Prinze Jr. was a successful actor that transitioned into the writing game and landed the dream gig at WWE. His first stint in WWE saw Prinze Jr. get a spot on the creative team thanks to making connections by coming to shows as a fan.
4 4. Barry Windham
Many of the underrated wrestlers of their eras have found their way into jobs as producers and road agents, as the technicians of the wrestling world know how to put together a compelling match. Another one of these men to get a spot as a producer and road agent was Barry Windham. Anyone who watched Windham growing up had a world of respect for him.
3 3. Lita
Lita's career sees her go down among the greatest female performers in WWE history. Lita was a groundbreaking talent making fans care about the women’s division for more than just the looks of the wrestler. After retiring from wrestling and spending time away from the business for a few years, Lita returned to WWE full time in 2015 as a producer and creative writer.
2 2. Ricky Steamboat
Ricky Steamboat was ahead of his time as a pioneer in the wrestling business. His exciting in-ring work proved there was an alternative style to the slower muscle heads like Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior. Everyone remembers the iconic show stealing match at WrestleMania III when Steamboat faced Randy Savage for the Intercontinental Championship. WWE tried to harness his wrestling genius many years later.
1 1. Sgt. Slaughter
The legendary Sgt. Slaughter had a great wrestling career with his highest accolades being a former WWE Champion and main eventing WrestleMania VII against Hulk Hogan. WWE loved working with Slaughter enough to keep him employed for many years past his shelf life as an active in-ring performer. On various occasions, we saw Slaughter come to the ring with Vince McMahon or break up fights during the Attitude Era. That was art imitating life as he worked backstage as a producer.
Slaughter held the producer job for many years and was one of the more loyal employees in the company. WWE ended that part of their relationship in 2009 when he was released from his contract as a backstage employee. Things are still good between the two parties with Slaughter appearing in the occasional segment on television and being an ambassador for the the company.
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