A wrestling manager can be quite literal in terms. They serve as a wrestler’s agents, attorneys, and representatives, as well as giving them an advantage during a match. It is therefore not surprising that friendships can develop between a manager and their manager, given the level of trust that must exist between the two.


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Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar are a perfect example of a business relationship becoming a close friendship between a manager and a wrestler. There are also several other examples of a manager and client forging a virtually unbreakable lifelong bond.

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ten James Mitchell/Chris Kanyon

Kanyon and James Mitchell’s relationship began when the latter was paired with the wrestler during his run as Mortis in WCW. The character was somewhat short-lived, but a friendship would develop that would last until Kanyon’s untimely passing.

The friendship between Mitchell and Chris Kanyon would be documented in an episode of Dark Side Of The Ring, which chronicled Kanyon’s life and career. James Mitchell was one of the few people in the wrestling world who knew about Kanyon’s sexuality, as the wrestler hadn’t come out of the closet yet. The trust and bond between James and Chris was both treasured and honored by both men in a business often defined by his betrayal.

9 Arnold Skaaland/Bruno Sammartino

Bruno Sammartino is considered one of WWE’s greatest champions of all time, enjoying a reign that will almost certainly never be broken. Because wrestling is and always has been a fierce industry, Bruno was not trusted by many, given his position in the business.

One of the few people Sammartino trusted would be the man who would become his cornerman and manager; Arnold Skaaland. Skaaland, began his career as a wrestler himself, but would go on to manage both Bruno and his successor, Bob Backlund. The close friendship between Bruno and Arnold has been well documented over the years.

8 Jimmy Hart/Honky Tonk Man

The chemistry between Jimmy Hart and his filler, Honky Tonk Man, was undeniable. Hart was at Honky’s side for every part of his record-breaking Intercontinental title run in the Golden Era. Jimmy once explained that his friendship with Honky was due to culture more than anything else. Both men were from Memphis and had shared experiences accordingly. It’s easy to see why these two got so close, as they matched each other perfectly on camera.

seven Sonny Ohno/Ultimate Dragon

This friendship was actually overruled by another friendship between Ohno and former WCW President Eric Bischoff. Sonny Ohno was brought to WCW as a liaison between New Japan and WCW, resulting in several talent swaps over the years. Bischoff also decided to put Ohno on camera as a manager for some talent who was not fluent in English. Sonny spoke on behalf of wrestlers during promotions, and one of those athletes was Ultimo Dragon. Dragon and Ohno would bond inside and outside of the ring, as Ohno would act as Dragon’s guide while navigating across America.

6 Bobby Heenan/Mr. Perfect

The friendship between Mr. Perfect and Bobby Heenan is one that probably doesn’t need much explaining. These two naturally went both in and out of the ring, although Mr. Perfect could be known for mischief from time to time.

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If nothing else, it’s probably a little surprising that WWE didn’t pair Perfect and Heenan earlier than them. Bobby Heenan would lead Mr. Perfect in one of the most successful runs of his career and helped him win the Intercontinental Championship. Both Heenan and Perfect were involved in each other’s WWE careers, until they left the company in the mid-90s.

5 CM Punk/Paul Heyman

It’s probably safe to say that at this point, CM Punk’s wrestling friendships are a loaded topic. One friendship that has seemingly stood the test of time is that of Punk and his former lawyer/manager, Paul Heyman. This friendship stems from more than just Punk and Heyman’s on-air relationship, because the latter is literally the reason we’re even talking about Punk right now. Not only did Heyman save Punk’s job in 2005, but he was also a major factor in Punk getting a push into the main event. CM Punk has always been outspoken about how much of his success he owes to Paul Heyman.

4 Jim Cornette/Bobby Eaton

Jim Cornette was the director of both iterations of the Midnight Express, and the only constant other than himself was “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton. The bond between Cornette and Eaton was infallible because they are so rooted in each other’s wrestling identities.

These two couldn’t function without each other, and they will be inextricably linked forever. Following Eaton’s recent passing, Cornette was inconsolable as he paid tribute to Eaton during a 2-hour broadcast of his podcast. While Jim Cornette may be a polarizing figure in wrestling today, his friendship with Bobby Eaton was always born out of purity.

3 Paul Bearer / The Undertaker

When The Undertaker first came to WWE, he was originally managed by Brother Love aka Bruce Pritchard. But when WWE hired former Percy Pringle and learned he was a licensed funeral director, it became obvious to place him with The Undertaker character. The real Mark Calloway was still fairly new to the wrestling world and the political atmosphere of WWE. Bearer was the one to help him navigate the often shark-infested waters of the locker room and an everlasting bond was formed. To this day, The Undertaker speaks with ardent affection of Bearer and what he meant to him as a colleague and friend.

2 Jimmy Hart/Hulk Hogan

The relationship between Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart is now one that spans decades. The funny thing is that Hogan and Hart were often at odds during WWE’s Golden Era, as Jimmy was a heel manager at the time.

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It wasn’t until Hulk went to WCW in 1994 that he and Hart publicly acknowledged their friendship. Jimmy Hart will manage Hulk Hogan, in his first year in WCW. More importantly, Jimmy Hart acted as the Hulk’s actual manager, also behind the scenes. The friendship between Hart and Hogan is one that still persists to this day.

1 Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar

Paul Heyman has been a part of Brock’s professional and personal life since he joined WWE in 2002. Brock was considered one of the top prospects when he first started with the company, and WWE gave Heyman the role of his manager both inside and outside WWE. Ring. Heyman has been a constant in Brock’s life ever since, continuing to represent him even after he left WWE in 2004. It’s well known that Brock isn’t someone who goes out of his way to forge friendships. in any endeavor of his life. Therefore, it is a testament to Lesnar’s trust in Heyman that their friendship has persisted all these years.