If there is one area where I think WWE has room for improvement, it’s in the use of valets and managers. In this era, they practically don’t exist. Being a Paul Heyman guy isn’t special because it’s Paul Heyman. It’s special because really, how many other manager-types exist in WWE today? Zeb Colter? OK, I will grant you that. But I’d call Summer Rae a valet, and I can’t really count her, as she’s got nothing on the standard bearers in that category (Woman, Sherri, et al). The Funkadactyls? Cheerleaders. Arm Candy. A side role for some divas. The reality is, whether by choice or by need, WWE has drifted a long way from days past when you would have Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji, Slick, Sherri, Miss Elizabeth and others. And that’s really only scratching the surface, as I know there are many more names that could be covered. I could-and might-do a whole piece on the greatest managers and valets. Just not now.
To WWE’s credit, they have Heyman and Colter, and have paired them up with wrestlers who, though they can perform in the ring, can’t cut a promo to save their lives (Swagger and Brock). But there is room for more manager-types, and certainly room for valets. And there are at least a few wrestlers who would benefit greatly by having a mouthpiece other than themselves. Valets are the easy move, as in most cases, they are the pretty face. WWE seems to like that, favoring the lookers in their Diva division over those with less curb appeal, but more athleticism. There are some Divas in the division today who may be best utilized as a valet over a regular in-ring talent. Not that every wrestler needs a valet, but tossing in another one or two would not hurt.
Managers are a bit trickier,because it does take some skill to be one. You have to have the mannerisms, the psychology down pat, and of course, you need to be able to handle the mic and cut a solid promo. Easier said than done. The easy part? Picking some wrestlers who could benefit from a manager.
Ryback: Could easily benefit from a manager. Let’s be honest here. Physically, he’s got the body to be a monster-heel or face. Mic skills? Pretty bad. It would seem his run as a Heyman guy is already over. Assuming WWE has long term plans for him, he’s someone who is begging for a mouthpiece.
Dolph Ziggler: I’d argue more for needing a valet here, as when he was accompanied by AJ Lee, it just seemed to work well. He seems capable on the mic, so I doubt he really needs a mouthpiece. I do think his music/image needs a makeover if they are going to keep him as a face, however.
The Usos: Take your pick here, manager or valet. Thinking back, quite a few tag teams used to have one or the other (Cornette. Fuji. Afa.Just to name a few). Not that they aren’t functioning without one.
Alberto Del Rio: Mostly because he had Ricardo, and now he does not. Not sure if I’d put another Ricardo-type with him, or if I would seek out a Latina valet for him. He seems like he could do well with that type of individual.
That’s just a few-and yes, several of them had someone at some point. The wild card would be “anyone coming up from NXT”. Because, if they can perform in the ring and focus on just that, while someone else handles the speaking for them, that can help the adjustment a lot.
Making use of even a few more managers opens up new creative possibilities. For one, we could actually see a return to some stables. We are likely never again going to see something as iconic as The Four Horsemen, but it would be nice to see a few steady stables emerge. The closest we have to those today is The Shield and perhaps the Wyatt Family. It would not kill WWE to have Heyman around and actually build up a stable again for him. Axel, part timer Brock Lesnar, and add a few others in the mix. The angles and matches could practically write themselves.
All things considered, I don’t expect the WWE to make a push for more managers, more valets, or any new stables. Perhaps their time has past-though I would not agree with such an assessment. I don’t know why those roles have been so diminished, but it would seem to be a safe guess that it’s some combo of lack of talent and lack of interest by WWE higher ups. I have to think that if Vince wanted those roles, then we would have those roles in spades.