2. A Great Booker Knows That Having A Great Manager Around Means Instant Heat (And Instant Money)
Whether seen as a wife, advocate, protector or dance partner, WWE's begun to once-again notice (though without using the name anymore) that managers are an important part of professional wrestling. Heck, there's a main event match for Wrestlemania where the heat is literally built around a sold-out capacity crowd hating the sound of Paul Heyman's voice when he introduced both himself and Brock Lesnar (and their desire to see the Undertaker not just beat up Lesnar, but - more importantly - Heyman, too. Lesnar's limited schedule should hamstring WWE creative in the development of this feud, but no. In smartly using Heyman's persona, WWE can work around Lesnar, and ultimately only need quality in-ring production from "The Beast" at "the showcase of the immortals" to get maximum impact from the conclusion of the story. The one time where I truly learned his lesson in my own career came in 2010-2011 while working in Fusion Wrestling. As talented as he is as a wrestler, "The Mempho Mofo" Mark Bravura (who was the last person I managed on a regular basis) is possibly ten-times more talented as a creative mind. He excels at knowing how to get the most out of wrestlers and characters with obvious limitations, and can build those same limited athletes into performers who do significant numbers at the gate as main event draws. Marky D is the storyline and real-life brother of Sean Denny, a fellow Virginia-based independent wrestler (who has competed against Daniel Bryan at the 2007 NWA Legends Convention) originally from Newcastle, England. Whereas Sean looks more like a prototypical grappler, I once called Marky a "sawed off bucket of stupid" in a promo. Amazingly enough, due to the feud that Marky and I had with each other in 2010, the 5'4" rotund fireball was one of the least-likely top babyfaces in a promotion in wrestling history. Marky had been teased and taunted by Bravura and I for over a year, and when he finally got me in the ring (and after my pants were pulled down mid-match and my penis popped out of my underwear - earning me the nickname "Cocktail Weenie" for the rest of my Fusion Wrestling run) his win was one of arguably the best-received moments in the promotion's history. Neither Marky nor myself should ever be confused for Lou Thesz. However, in both of us exceeding expectations at doing what we needed to do (me as the pompous manager, Marky as the gutsy babyface) to in order to make that feud entertaining, all Marky had to do was punch me in the face one-time and the ultimate goal of the crowd going home happy was achieved.
Besides having been an independent professional wrestling manager for a decade, Marcus Dowling is a Washington, DC-based writer who has contributed to a plethora of online and print magazines and newspapers writing about music and popular culture over the past 15 years.