Throughout the last three decades, WWE has seen some of the greatest tag teams and superstars thrive in the business under the leadership of some of the greatest managers or valets. Paul Heyman would be the best current example, but this list is not about these people, this list is about the managers who failed in this regard.
Often when WWE signs a new male or female talent, they will align them with a tag team or superstar in order for them to become accustomed with the business while being the closest they can be to the action.
This suits some of the men and women and they manage to lead the team they are managing to glory, tag team championships or even singles gold. But some have trouble with this, some don’t manage to connect with their clients and, in doing so, fail to connect with the audience.
Sometimes the superstar is the problem, much like the case with Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman but sometimes it is the manager that is the issue and the following list is all about those times, the times when the manager was not the right person for the job.
20 Tamina Snuka
The current WWE Diva was first brought into WWE as the manager of The Usos, as the tag team consisted of her cousins and WWE must have thought that it would make sense for her to manage them.
In the end, it made very little sense and Tamina didn’t add anything new or interesting to a team that was already destined for greatness. Putting family together doesn’t always ensure success and this was one of those times.
The Usos have enjoyed greater success without Tamina at their side and she has since gone on to play her part in WWE’s Divas Revolution.
WWE is famous for creating on-screen couples, but this couple was a real life one and still couldn’t manage to create the chemistry needed for the storyline to work.
In fairness to Marlena, the Goldust character was a strange one, but it seems that Marlena just didn’t fit in the way that WWE thought she would. It seems WWE thought that her normal character would level out Goldust, but the two just didn’t work.
Even after she left Goldust and headed off to manage the likes of The Hardy Boys, Edge and Christian and Terri Runnels, she always looked a little out of place. Maybe wrestling was the wrong business for her.
Daivari was a talented wrestler, but WWE definitely considered his mic skills to be far more beneficial.
While managing Mohammed Hassan, Daivari looked him he was in his element, but when he was switched over to managing Khali, a man who couldn’t talk for himself, Daivari had to shoulder a lot of the workload for a wrestler that no one liked anyway.
He also managed Kurt Angle during his time with the company and it just made it seem that Daiari would have been best used as an in-ring performer, than as a manager for stars who could speak for themselves.
17 Armando Alejandro Estrada
Who can forget the outspoken manager of The Samoan Bulldozer, Umaga? Armando was joined with Umaga because the superstar was thought to be incapable of cutting promos himself.
He became famous for smoking cigars and rolling his Rs whenever he introduced himself, along with snapping his cigar when it was time for Umaga to end a match.
This was fine for a while, but the crowd began to like Estrada and that is not what WWE wanted when they were trying to make Umaga a monster heel. It seems that Estrada was just too much of a likable character.
16 Ranjin Singh
Another star who was brought in to translate for The Great Khali during his time with WWE. Singh failed to connect with the WWE Universe, as it was hard to believe that he was the brother of the giant.
He wasn’t physically intimidating and he wasn’t a stand out talent on the mic, which meant that no one really listened to what he was saying.
He didn’t last long as Khali’s manager and failed to manage anyone else following this stint, which suggests that WWE felt the same way about him as the WWE Universe.
15 Sharmell/Queen Sharmell
One of the most pointless managers/valets in WWE history, Sharmell basically played the damsel in distress whenever needed, so that her real life husband Booker T/King Booker could run in and save her.
This became a lot more annoying when Booker won the King of the Ring and his entrance took around ten minutes. Sharmell used to act the doting Queen, but she never added anything extra to Booker’s personality.
14 Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo was a talented wrestler himself during his days in NXT, but WWE brought him up to the main roster to manage Alberto Del Rio.
Rodriguez thrived under the management of Del Rio because the rich star gimmick meant that it made sense to have a personal ring announcer, but after Del Rio turned on Rodriguez on an episode of Raw, he then became the manager of Rob Van Dam.
Van Dam was a superstar of very little words and certainly didn’t need to have a personal ring announcer. This made their segments look awkward and thankfully the two parted ways not long after.
Many of the WWE Universe will recall Ashley’s short attempt at managing when she took over the reins of Tag Team Champions Paul London and Brian Kendrick in late 2005.
London and Kendrick were already at the height of their career and Ashley was only brought in while the duo feuded with MNM, a team that was managed by Ashley’s main rival, Melina.
Ashley added nothing to the team of London and Kendrick during her short stint as their manager where she once actually teamed with them during a six man tag match. Thankfully, she was never asked to manage a team again.
12 Shelton Benjamin’s Mother
It was decided in late 2005 that Shelton Benjamin’s character needed spicing up and so WWE brought in comedian Thea Vivdale to portray Benjamin’s mother.
This seemed to work for a while and many fans really believed she was his mother. There were some hilarious backstage segments between the two but after a while it just turned into the fact that Shelton was a momma’s boy.
He was made to look weak and many of his opponents used his mother to their advantage rather than the other way around. Sadly, this led to Benjamin looking second-rate and he was never pushed to his full potential in WWE.
11 Mini Boogeyman
The Boogeyman was a feared presence during his time in WWE, as he rarely spoke and ate worms live on TV while doing a crazy dance. This meant that he was already considered as scary as he could be, so why was a mini version of him needed?
He only made sense when Boogeyman was feuding with Finlay and Hornswoggle, so that the two smaller stars had their own opponents.
After that feud ended, Mini Boogeyman was no longer used, as he offered nothing new or unique since he was literally just a small version of Boogeyman.
10 Orlando Jordan
Orlando Jordan was considered a talented wrestler with a bright future ahead of him, so naturally WWE decided to have him manage JBL. He was hired as JBL’s Chief of Staff which essentially had him standing around with a smile on his face while JBL cut promos.
JBL was already considered a veteran at this time and should perhaps have been managing wrestlers himself, not the other way around. It felt like Orlando had nothing to say or do during these segments and his lack of charisma really didn’t help his case.
In hindsight, maybe WWE should have given him some lines so that he could at least have pretended like he needed to be there...
Many modern wrestling fans will recall the short lived career of Deuce and Domino, the tag team from “the other side of the tracks.”
The team were managed by 50s style ditzy looking Cherry, who would come to the ring in roller-skates. This gave the team a different look and it worked for a few weeks... before the fans became tired of the same old thing.
Cherry was rarely included in any kind of storyline that involved the team she managed and when they split up, her character was incapable of switching to anyone else because her gimmick was so one dimensional.
8 Vickie Guerrero
The widow of the late Eddie Guerrero, Vickie was hired following her husband’s death and for the first few months, she was used as a way to pay tribute to the former World Champion.
Following this, Vickie then became a manager for a few different superstars including Edge and Dolph Ziggler, where she was famous for her high pitched squeal and catchphrase “excuse me,” but she seemed to take more of the spotlight than her actual clients.
Vickie failed to be a unique character and was moved onto General Manager duties not long after it was noticed that managing wasn’t her strong point.
7 Paul Heyman
Heyman will always be considered one of the greatest WWE Managers of all time, but he does have a slight blemish on his resume and that is his short union with Curtis Axel.
The son of the legendary Mr Perfect, big things were expected of Curtis and that is why he was placed under Paul Heyman’s wing. WWE tried everything to push Axel in the right direction, as they even gave him the Intercontinental Championship but the WWE Universe still weren’t buying it.
Eventually WWE gave up and split the two up, opting to put Heyman back with Lesnar and Axel has been searching for relevancy ever since.
6 Stacy Keibler
Keibler will always be remembered as the Diva with the longest legs in WWF during her time with the company, but she will also be remembered as “The Duchess of Dudleyville.”
Stacy made her debut as part of The Dudley’s group and in turn became their manager as she opened a feud with Torrie Wilson.
During that time, female valets were just there as eye candy and Stacy certainly nailed that part of the job, but she also ended up costing the Dudley Boys an important match, so they parted ways by power-bombing her through a table.
5 Harvey Wippleman
Wippleman managed many wrestlers during his time with WWE, but it seems he failed to leave a lasting impression.
Harvey did offer a size difference given how small he was and how he was paired with some of the biggest guys in the company at that time. He was paired with the likes of Kamala and Sid Justice which left him looking tiny in comparison.
He never added anything spectacular and the mic skills that he was reliant on were nothing special either. Many current WWE fans can’t even remember who Wippleman is, which tells you everything you need to know about his career.
A former WWE Divas Champion in her own right, Natalya was given the opportunity to manage back in 2013 when she and Hornswoggle teamed up with The Great Khali for what can only be described as a comedy trio.
Khali had lost his ability to intimidate wresters at this point and Hornswoggle was only there for comedy relief, so it seems Natalya was the only member of the trio that offered any kind of threat.
This served to drag Natalya’s career down more than anything but thankfully when she tried her hand at managing again, this time with Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, the results were much better.
Incapable of speaking and only able to interact through a caricature, it is not surprising that Babu’s character became stale quite quickly.
He was the servant of Tiger Ali Singh during his time with the company, where he did offer some light amusement and comedy, but as time went by it became overdone and it was no longer funny. When this gimmick ran old, they sent him down to development, but he was never able to do anything noteworthy.
2 Nicole Bass
Nicole Bass was one of the most gifted and muscular women to ever set foot in WWE and the company decided the right idea was to make her a manager?
Nicole didn’t possess any stand out mic skills and didn’t look as good as many other Divas in the outfits she was given, which begs the question as to why she wasn’t allowed to wrestle in the first place.
Managing the likes of Sable and Val Venis made her look awkward especially since many considered her to a better wrestler than Sable, but she was sadly never given the opportunity to prove it.
A rightful number one on this list, Sapphire is widely considered to be the worst manager in the history of the company when she managed "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.
The Polka Dot wearing, strange dancing star was brought in to help Rhodes so that the audience could understand him a little better, but Sapphire was harder to understand than he was.
Her mic skills were the main reason she was hired, well that and to be a cheerleader for Dusty, but it seems she was wasn’t great at either and it just seemed to be a bad idea from the start.