While every great wrestler has made their name known mostly on their own within the ring, there have been instances where the manager has been more of a the prominent figure outside of the ring. They can be loud and conniving, but all the while, looking after their companion in the ring is their main focus. But no one lives on forever, as through time, managers have gone on to do other ventures.
Some of the greats like, Bobby Heenan, did some various other promotional work with other companies after their time in came to an end, while others, like Paul Heyman, are still in the business, as well as venturing into other business opportunities when he is not on camera.
These 15 managers have had major success working just outside of the squared circle and they have also made good careers for themselves when they decided to leave it all behind for good.
15. Bruce Prichard
In June 1988, the WWE was first introduced to Bruce Prichard, aka Brother Love. He was known as the classic heel manager of his time and would normally berate the faces he came into contact with. He is perhaps best known for introducing The Undertaker to the WWE in 1990.
After being released in 2008 by WWE, he would then be hired by TNA in 2o10 as a backstage producer and would be promoted in 2012 to the Vice President of Talent Relations. He would then be released from TNA in 2013. He now lives in El Paso, Texas where he makes appearances as a stand-up comedian.
Mostly known as the Million Dollar Man’s lackey, Virgil, aka Mike Jones, has not had the greatest go around after his wrestling career ended. Virgil has always been known as a background man and someone used to enhance other talents, such as Yokozuna. His only redeeming moment came in 1992, where he received a shot at Bret Hart’s WWE Championship. While fighting valiantly, he would come out on the losing end.
After spending four years in WCW, he would retire in 2000. Virgil would then spend his years after retiring attending conventions and autograph signing (some on subway cars).
In June 2015, a GoFundMe campaign was made by Virgil to help make him a millionaire. As of the posting of this piece, the campaign has raised only $465.
13. Dawn Marie
After trying her hand at selling real estate, Dawn Marie Psaltis would enter the world of professional wrestling in 1998 as a valet of Lance Storm with ECW. She would stay and manage a number of wrestlers until ECW filed for bankruptcy in April 2001.
She would then make her WWE debut in 2002 as Vince McMahon’s on screen legal assistant. But perhaps what he is most known for his her on screen love affair with Al Wilson, the father of Torrie Wilson.
After her release in 2005 due to her pregnancy, Psaltis would work part time in other independent promotions. Today, she still appears regularly at the World Wrestling Fan Xperience showcase.
Perhaps best known as the stylist of Billy and Chuck in 2002, Rico can be known as one of the most flamboyant managers to ever step inside of an arena. After switching between the two brands (Raw and SmackDown), Rico would be released in November 2004.
He would work in Japan for a year after his release, but would leave wrestling for a career in law enforcement in 2005.
He completed his law enforcement training in August 2005. He currently serves as a Sergeant Inspector for the Nevada Taxi Cab Authority, while also wrestling for the Future Stars of Wrestling promotion in Las Vegas, Nevada.
11. Ranjin Singh
Some may forget that next to the monstrosity that is The Great Khali, there was Ranjin Singh, whose real name is David Kapoor. Singh would make his debut in WWE 2007 as the moderator and translator of The Great Khali.
Sticking with Khali for most of his on screen career, except for his brief stint managing Jinder Mahal, Singh would then become SmackDown’s lead writer on their creative team.
10. James Mitchell
Joining WCW in 1997 as James Vandenberg, Mitchell would have a career of managing odd characters. After the failed backstage segment “Vandenberg’s Odditorium,” Mitchell would be sent home for two years and be paid his full contract.
Mitchell would arrive in ECW in 2000 playing a priest like character called The Sinister Minister. He would manage The Unholy Alliance (Tajiri and Mickey Whipwreck), but would then get released in 2005 after a contract was never able to get signed.
After a stint in TNA where he managed Abyss, Mitchell wouldn’t be seen again on television after his TNA release in July 2008.
Since then, Mitchell has sang at resorts in Florida, where his act consists of songs by Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Mitchell also did vocals for the Insane Clown Posse on their track “Ride the Tempest.”
9. Michael Hayes
Hayes, real name Michael Seitz, already had a solid in ring career as part of the Fabulous Freebirds, along with Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy. After Hayes’s in ring career ended, he was signed to the WWE in 1999 as Dok Hendrix. Later, he would become the manager of The Hardy Boyz.
After his stint with The Hardys, Hayes would become a backstage agent for the company where he remains today as the head of the road agents and producers. Hayes also had a stint as Tyson Kidd’s manager for a shirt time in 2011.
8. Mr. Fuji
He started off as a wrestler in the 1970s, before he became his infamous manager persona in 1985 by first managing George “The Animal” Steele. With his famous cane, tuxedo outfit, bowler hat, and always carrying around his bag of salt that he would throw into his client’s competitor’s eyes, Fuji became a popular figure in the WWF.
His most famous client would come in the form of Yokozuna, debuting the wrestler in November 1992. After managing the likes of Crush, Owen Hart, and Davey Boy Smith, Fuji would retire from professional wrestling in 1996, shortly after WrestleMania 12.
After retiring, Fuji went on to live in Knoxville, Tennessee. He owned and operated a training dojo based out of Jefferson City and Dandridge until 2001.
He was then inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.
7. J.J. Dillon
Known as the man that formed one of the greatest stables to ever grace the squared circle in The Four Horseman, Dillon has been a fixture in professional wrestling since the late 60s. Putting together the original Horseman (Ric Flair, Arn and Ole Anderson, and Tully Blanchard), Dillon was on his way to stardom in the NWA territories.
Having managed the likes of Abdullah the Butcher, Waldo and David Von Erich, and Ox Baker, J.J. Dillon was a mainstay in the NWA. He would then go on to leave WCW in 1989 and move to the WWE as a front office executive.
For his final stint in mainstream professional wrestling, Dillon would join TNA for a short time in 2003 as an NWA representative.
Dillon was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012 as part of the Four Horseman. Today, he provides color commentary for First State Championship Wrestling.
6. Jim Cornette
Having worked in major promotions like Jim Crocket Promotions, WCW, and the WWE, Cornette was, and still is, one of the most prominent and outspoken mangers in all of professional wrestling.
Corvette’s resume of wrestlers managed is long and impressive, including the likes of Jeff Jarrett, Owen Hart, and Vader just to name a few. Along with managing, Cornette was also know as the new face of TNA management in 2006. He would spend three years there, before moving to ROH for three years as their Executive Producer and head booker.
Today, Cornette works on his podcast, The Jim Cornette Experience, and recently worked the Global Force Wrestling events in Jacksonville and Knoxville in June.
5. Terri Runnels
No one could possibly compliment the weirdness of Goldust better than Terri Runnels. Together, the real life former husband and wife were seen on screen together for two years from 1996-1998. She was known then as Marlena where she would famously smoke cigars at ringside.
After Goldust left her in 1998 for Luna Vachon, Runnels would join the female stable Pretty Mean Sisters with Jacqueline, and later on, Ryan Shamrock.
Having managed the likes of Val Venis, Rhyno, and Chris Jericho, Runnels was released from her contract in 2004. She would then go on to travel the world and take part in many charity organizations, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network.
She lives in Gainesville, Florida and makes sporadic independent appearances.
4. Scott D’Amore
While only having a very short stint in the WWF in from 1993 to early 1996, D’amore made a name for himself as a manger on the independent circuit and then in TNA.
Joining TNA in 2003 as a road agent, D’Amore then began his on screen career in 2004 as the coach of Team Canada. Being known from Mike Tenay as “big fat load” and “Canadian bacon,” D’Amore would enjoy success with Team Canada. D’Amore would become the head of TNA booking while also appearing in limited on screen segments. He would leave, however, in February 2010.
Today, D’Amore is the Vice President of Global Force Wrestling. He appeared with Jeff Jarrett in New Japan Pro Wrestling in a ceremony signifying a working agreement with the two companies. Later in the event, D’Amore and Jarrett joined the Bullet Club.
He’ also the owner of the Lucca restaurants in LaSalle, Ontario.
3. Theodore Long
While being known for his making of tag team matches any chance he got, Teddy Long also had a great career as a manager. Beginning his career as an errand boy for certain wrestlers in the NWA, Long was promoted to a referee in 1985.
Long’s first wrestler that he managed was Norman the Lunatic. He would the go on to mange the tag team, Doom, consisting of Ron Simmons and Butch Reed, where he led them the World Tag Team Titles. He then became a manager in the WWE in 1998 where he was best known for managing the likes of D’Lo Brown, Rodney Mack, and Mark Henry.
After serving as the General Manger of Smackdown and ECW, Long would be released from his contract in June 2014.
Most recently, Long served as the General Manager of Booker T’s wrestling promotion, Reality of Wrestling, at their Summer of Champions iPPV while also making various independent bookings.
Widely considered as wrestling’s first Diva, Sunny, real name Tammy Lynn Sytch, has made an impact both in and and out of wrestling. After winning PWI’s Manager of the Year in 1996, Sunny’s career would sky rocket as she would go on to manage The Godwinns and The Smoking Guns, turning on them both.
After being fired from the WWE in 1998, Sunny would go on to work in ECW as well as appearing heavily on the independent circuit. She would enter the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
Since 2012, Sunny has been arrested nine times for various of reasons including disorderly conduct, burglary, and DUI related incidents.
Synch recently signed a deal with Vivid Entertainment for an adult film called Sunny Side Up: In Through the Backdoor. She released an autobiography on February 4th, 2016 called A Star Shattered: The Rise & Fall & Rise of Wrestling Diva Tammy “Sunny” Sytch.
1. Bobby Heenan
Few managers in professional wrestling have made as much of an impact as Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. He first called himself “The Brain” while down in the AWA where he managed the team of Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens. This team would end up winning multiple tag teams championships while teaming with Heenan.
After his long managerial career managing the likes of Big John Studd and Andre the Giant, Heenan would leave the WWE in 1993 due to ongoing neck issues. Initially wanting to retire, he would then join WCW in January 1994 as their lead commentary. He would stay there until his release in 2000. Later on his career, Heenan would make sporadic appearance in the WWE, ROH, and TNA,
In January 2002, Heenan announced that he was diagnosed with throat cancer. While recovering, Heenan lost a great deal of weight and his appearance changed drastically. He has gone through many medical issues in the last 10 years, including having reconstructive jaw surgery in December 2007 which put him into a coma until January 2008. He was forced to relearn how to speak, even stating in February 2009 that he was still relearning.
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