Saturday, October 8, 2011

Johnny Mann

Johnny Emmanuello drifted into Arizona in the early 1970s and started working as a manager when Kurt Von Steiger promoted. Under this office, he became Johnny Mann and appeared as a manager for Bobby Mayne (Jaggers), Chris Colt and Ron Dupree.

When the Colt and Dupree connection split up, Mann became a part-time wrestler himself and teamed with Colt, only to receive Dupree's infamous fireball in the face.

For months after the fact, Mann continued to appear with a face wrapped entirely in bandages like a mummy.

Once more, he was predominately outside the ring, while Colt feuded with Dupree.

At one point things got truly silly, even for these guys, when Dupree vowed he was going to fireball both Mann and Colt in an upcoming match. At the start of the bout, they brought a metal tub of water to ringside  and splattered Dupree with it, supposedly to douse the upcoming flames.

Ironically, when Dupree, Maybe, Colt and Mann all left for Washington, they were reunited. Johnny Mann became Johnny Dupree and for a brief time Jaggers/Mayne became Bobby Dupree for Dean Silverstone's promotion.

Washington was bad luck for this crew. Durpee would be forced to retire and take to announcing,  due to a heart condition. He would drop over dead in the ring from a heart attack in Tacoma. Colt would come completely unglued and never fully recover from witnessing this happen. Bobby Dupree/Maybe would adapt the name of Jaggers and move on to bigger things. Mann would stick around for a while, then move between Los Angeles and  Las Vegas at varied times after retiring from the game. He would still attend varied old-timer reunions and keep in touch with many friends he made in wretsling.

Colon cancer eventually did him in.

Respectfully, Mann was a far better manager than he was a wrestler. During his Phoenix run he was detested  by the fans and more often than not, people were evicted from the Phoenix Madison Square Garden for trying to attack him.

A "heat magnet" in the truest sense of the term.

Sadly, the promotion did not keep most of the televised tapes from his run in Phoenix and sold them for re-use, erasing the footage. Little if anything of him in action may be found, though a number of still shots  and old magazine pieces survive him.

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