We're only two weeks into September and WWE has already exponentially increased the number of managers assigned to Superstars. So why the sudden influx?
Earlier this month Drake Maverick aligned with Authors of Pain in what may be WWE's best juxtaposition. Then this week on Raw, Lio Rush looked to be Bobby Lashley's new mouthpiece. The addition of new managers would seem to indicate that Vince McMahon has relaxed his stance against the role, and according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that's exactly what happened.
Per the report, McMahon who's actively neglected managers for the last decade saw the success of Paul Heyman and good enough reason to make room for similar characters. Why McMahon is just now making that connection is unknown, maybe it has to do with Heyman's exceptional efforts ahead of SummerSlam to help build the Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar's narrative.
The manager has always been a pillar of professional wrestling with a large chunk of WWE's foundation set on names like Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, and Sensational Sherie. However, as the years passed, managers slowly became less prevalent in WWE. And in WWE's current era, the only fixture in the role has been Heyman.
Perhaps McMahon thinks it's time to get back to the roots of professional wrestling. With Heyman currently off Lesnar duty, maybe the WWE boss felt a void in the company. We have no idea, but we think this is a good thing for WWE.
For Lashley in particular, the addition of Rush instantly makes his character more intriguing. After a 10-year absence from WWE, Lashley returned in the wake of WrestleMania 34 to plenty of excitement. However, his character quickly lost momentum as he struggled to cultivate a demonstrable connection to WWE's crowd. While he was never brought back to be the face of the company, Lashley should be able to contribute to WWE's upper-mid card. The addition of Rush by his side should give Lashley that missing layer.
AOP, too, should benefit from the presence of Maverick. Outside of looking like honorary members of The Shield, AOP has done little to make an impression on the WWE Universe. They haven't exactly gotten too many inviable opportunities, but they have been regularly beating down jobber duos in recent weeks. We're not sure if Maverick makes them title contenders, but we are optimistic for AOP to be the ones to break the NXT tag team curse.