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Brighter Stars: 15 Managers Who Outshined Their Wrestlers

Wrestling is a funny old business. The creative team often makes the decision to allow a man or woman to work as the manager of a wrestler when they are getting used to the business and so that they can get a feel for the crowd before they decide to go off alone as a singles competitor. And sometimes this is really beneficial for the Superstar and the wrestler.

It happens in WWE all the time. Women are often used to manage tag teams to give them a new dynamic while men are brought in as enforcers or even if they are better on the mic so that their client can concentrate on wrestling and not have to look stupid while trying to cut a promo.

Over the last few years, there have been many memorable managers who are remembered but the wrestlers they managed are not. Sometimes, managers are actually able to outshine the people they once managed when it comes to their overall wrestling career. The WWE Universe then fails to remember where their career actually began.

Here is a list of 15 managers who have been able to completely outdo the wrestlers they once managed.

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15 Katie Lea Burchill

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Katie Lea was an up and coming wrestler on the SmackDown brand when it was decided that she should be paired up with Paul Burchill. They would be seen as brother and sister on WWE TV because they were both British.

Burchill had a pirate gimmick at the time because Pirates of the Caribbean had just been released and it was decided that it was a worthy gimmick to produce. Burchill didn't have a lot of success in WWE and has since left and become a firefighter in the UK. Meanwhile, Katie also left WWE but she decided to remain in the wrestling business and has since proved herself in TNA where she was known as Winter. She is also a former Knockouts Champion. WWE will really be kicking themselves for letting Katie go.

14 Bob Backlund

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Bob Backlund is a legendary wrestler for WWE and a former World Champion in his own right. But he decided to return to WWE in 1995 alongside The Iron Sheik to manage The Sultan, who later became known as Rikishi. Backlund didn't last long as his manager, but he impressed WWE with his managerial skills since they decided to bring him back to manage Darren Young a few years ago.

Sadly that was a storyline that was never really going to take off despite just how good Backlund was at promoting Young and teaching him to "be great again." The duo hasn't been on WWE TV for a while which can only mean that WWE has given up on the idea of them together. Backlund always overshadowed Young anyway, it was seemingly just a bad fit.

13 Stacy Keibler

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Stacy Keibler has gone on to make a name for herself since leaving WWE but is still fondly remembered for her time with the company. Stacy managed a lot of wrestlers during her short stint with WWE including The Dudley Boyz, who went on to become record-setting Tag Team Champions a few years later.

Stacy also managed Gregory Helms and Rosey as Super Stacy when Helms was still The Hurricane and the duo thought that they were actual superheroes. Despite Gregory being pushed a lot while Stacy was paired up with him, Stacy was never able to capture the Women's Championship while she was in WWE. But much like many other women on this list, she is still remembered much easier than Gregory Helms and his run in the Cruiserweight Division is.

12 Molly Holly

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Molly Holly was a standout member of The Holly Family; a fictional group of relatives that WWE came up with that included Molly, Crash, and Hardcore Holly. The on-screen cousins worked for a while with Hardcore Holly winning numerous championships on his own and Crash Holly being a former European Champion. He Hardcore Championship an incredible 22 times.

Molly didn't manage to move on to win championships own until she walked away from the group and is a former two-time Women's Champion in her own right. Molly is also remembered as one of the best female wrestlers of all time and was even crazy enough to have her head shaved in a match. The only woman to ever agree to do this in history.

11 Maria

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Maria has been managing her real life husband Mike Bennett for the past few years. During that time it could be argued that Maria was always the talking point for the duo and has outshone Mike. Maria was what made them stand out in Ring of Honor, TNA, and NJPW.

Even though they went by their real names of Maria and Mike Bennett for the years they were together, WWE know that Maria is the bigger selling point because they have changed the couple to Maria and Mike Kanellis now that they are back on WWE TV. Maria has experience in the company and the fans who have watched WWE for a number of years will remember her over her husband anyway.

10 Lita

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When Lita made her WWE debut she was the manager of Essa Rios years before she decided to join The Hardy Boyz and became known as Team Extreme. Even though Lita later become known as one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time, the man who first brought Lita into the company has been all but forgotten.

Essa was released by WWE in 2001 and began taking bookings in Japan, before making the switch over the TNA for a few months. Rios returned to CMLL in 2010 and that there is where he has remained for the past few years. Meanwhile, Lita became a four-time Women's Champion and went on to manage Edge for a number of years before she decided to walk away from the company herself in 2006. She inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.

9 Big E

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Big E Langston was first brought onto WWE's main roster as the bodyguard or enforcer for Dolph Ziggler just before Ziggler became World Champion back in 2013. Big E later branched off and joined forces with AJ Lee who then became Divas Champion. But it wasn't until Big E decided to go it alone that he made a difference.

Big E was put into a group with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods and the trio is now known as The New Day. The group were not well liked when they debuted, but somehow Big E turned this around and managed to change the WWE Universe's opinions of them. Last year they became the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in WWE history. Big E is now one of the standout stars on SmackDown Live, while Dolph Ziggler is still being misused and badly booked by WWE creative.

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8 Paul Ellering

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Paul Ellering has been brought back to WWE TV to be the manager of The Authors of Pain who are the current NXT Tag Team Champions. Ellering excelled as a manager with The Road Warriors and now WWE wants him to do the same thing with the two brothers who are seemingly thought of as the future of the Tag Team Division.

Let's be honest: there is nothing great about The Authors of Pain. They botch consistently and have managed to injure a few of their opponents because of how green they are in the ring. Ellering's pedigree completely overshadow's anything The Authors of Pain have to offer and it just doesn't feel like the right fit. Ellering is like a Paul Heyman and has to talk for the duo as well, because as well as not being very good in the ring, they aren't very good on the mic either.

7 Kelly Kelly

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Kelly Kelly came into WWE through the reboot of the ECW brand and was partnered with Mike Knox who was said to have been her jealous boyfriend. This didn't last very long though because Kelly Kelly always had her eye on CM Punk. Knox was shockingly released from WWE early into his career, which came as a surprise considering Triple H had touted him as a future star in the company.

Kelly then improved in the ring, attempted to forget her history as a stripper on ECW, and went on to become Divas Champion. Kelly worked hard for her chance to lift the title, and after putting in the work she got what she deserved. She now remembered in the record books as a champion, something that cannot be said about her former client Mike Knox.

6 Paul Heyman

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Paul Heyman has always been a fantastic manager and is one of the greatest talkers in WWE history. While the likes of CM Punk and Brock Lesnar have excelled under the leadership of Heyman, you would have to consider considers Curtis Axel and Ryback huge mistakes.

Heyman tried to manage Axel after Punk had turned his back on him but it was an experiment that never worked out for either man. They were the wrong fit for each other and ever since Axel has been used as a jobber while Ryback decided to leave the company over a payment dispute. Ofcourse, Heyman continues to appear on WWE and promote the main event level matches that his client Brock Lesnar is part of. Cesaro is another star that Heyman managed that has excelled ever since, so Heyman is very good at what he does.

5 Carmella

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The Princess of Staten Island moonwalked into WWE as the manager of Enzo Amore and Big Cass while they were down in NXT. It was then decided that Carmella would not be called up to the main roster alongside her friends back in 2016, and would instead remain in NXT as part of the Women's Division.

At the time, it was sad for Carmella, but since then she has been promoted to SmackDown Live and became the first ever Miss Money in the Bank. Meanwhile, over on Raw, Enzo and Big Cass have gone their separate ways and have still not been able to lift any form of gold during their entire spell in WWE. Breaking away from Enzo and Cass was the best thing that WWE ever did for Carmella who is now seen as a future Women's Champion.

4 The Miz

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Hardcore wrestling fans will remember that a number of years ago The Miz was made the manager of Daniel Bryan when he was a rookie down in NXT. The Miz was able to speak but he lacked the wrestling ability that WWE needed him to have while Bryan had the ability but was unable to cut a promo. So the duo were the perfect fit to help each other climb the ranks in the company.

There were various storylines later that lead to both men going their separate ways and both are now former World Champions. Daniel Bryan had a fantastic 2014 where he main evented WrestleMania before being forced to drop the championship and then retired from wrestling in 2016. The Miz has continued to excel as a heel star over the past few years and was the standout star on SmackDown for most of 2016 before he was switched to Raw and is still destined for greatness more than a decade after his WWE debut.

3 Alexa Bliss

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Alexa Bliss was a Superstar in NXT before she was aligned with Blake and Murphy and became the villainous star that she is today. She led Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy to Tag Team Championship gold on NXT before she was then drafted to the main roster in 2016. Blake and Murphy split a few months before and Alexa has since gone on to create waves on the main roster.

Alexa is a former two-time SmackDown Women's Champion and the current Raw Women's Champion while Blake and Murphy are yet to be part of a meaningful storyline on NXT since Alexa left their side. She has easily managed to outdo the group that first turned her heel and continues to impress the WWE Universe on a weekly basis.

2 Melina

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Melina made her debut in WWE as the manager of MNM, which also included Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro. She hardly wrestled at this point and would have her first real singles match against Trish Stratus for the Women's Championship later in the year. Melina helped MNM to Tag Team Championship gold before Joey was injured and she and Nitro went their separate ways.

Nitro then became John Morrison and is a former Intercontinental Champion, but alone Melina went on to win both the Women's and Divas Championships in WWE. She was also part of a stand out feud on the female roster with Mickie James. Melina and Morrison were released from WWE around the same time after it was Melina that caused Morrison to be released from WWE. But he has gone on to make a name for himself in Lucha Underground instead.

1 Trish Stratus

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Trish Stratus is one of the best-known female wrestlers of all time and a record-setting seven-time Women's Champion as well as a WWE Hall of Famer. but when she was making a name for herself in the first few years with WWE, she was aligned with Test and Albert.

Test and Albert were not very successful as a team and Albert later decided to join X-Factor with X-Pac and Justin Credible after Test was injured. Trish would take opportunity to go out on her own and started a storyline with Vince McMahon that would later allow her to catapult into the Women's Championship picture, a place where she remained until she retired back in 2006. Albert is now the head trainer down in NXT also known as Matt Bloom.

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