For most acts in pro wrestling — singles wrestlers, tag teams and stables alike — a great manager can bring it all together, serving as a mouth-piece, a counterpoint or just a convenient way to end a match. Along with legends like “Classy” Freddie Blassy, JJ Dillon and Jimmy Hart is “Precious” Paul Ellering, who was a constant presence at ringside for various wrestlers. WWEWCW, and then from the early 1980s until about 2000.
Well-dressed and often carrying a newspaper to keep track of his investments, Ellering gave the wrestlers he managed a cerebral, shark-like air. Modern fans may be less aware of Paul Ellering’s accomplishments, so let’s take a look at his life and career, from his most recent appearance as an in-ring performer, to the amazing sport he became involved in.
10 Trained by Verne Gagne
Born in Melrose, Minnesota, Paul Ellering’s major athletic pursuits were in powerlifting, where he actually set a record with a 745-pound deadlift. In the mid-1970s, Elling decided to enter the pro wrestling game and trained with Verne Gagne and Eddie Sharkey. Gagne, as many old school fans will know, was the founder of the Minnesota-based American Wrestling Association, so it was only natural that Ellering would make his debut there. But the AWA wouldn’t be his only stomping ground — Ellering would also perform for the Memphis-based Continental Wrestling Association and Mid-South Wrestling.
9 Fought with Jesse Ventura
The biggest fight of Paul Ellering’s career would be with fellow Minnesotan Jesse Ventura, despite being billed as a Californian in kayfabe. Both men had impressive physiques, leading to a rival weightlifting contest that ended in violence as Ventura attacked Ellering moments before the victory, leading to Ellering being carried off on a stretcher. Their feud would last for five months from May to October 1979.
8 An injury forced a career change
Paul Elling’s in-ring career lasted only five years due to a knee injury. His first major injury came in a match with The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express Robert Gibson in 1982, but subsequent injuries forced him to retire full-time. However, Ellering was also a talented speaker, and Ole Anderson – who was booking Georgia Championship Wrestling at the time – decided to move him into the role of manager.
Paul Ellering built an entire stable in The Legion of Doom, consisting of Jake Roberts, King Kong Bundy, Matt Bourne, and finally The Road Warriors, Animal and Hawk.
7 Managed the Road Warriors
Before long, The Legion of Doom disbanded, but Paul Ellering managed the Road Warriors in a partnership that would define Ellering’s career. “Precious Paul” would represent Hawk and the Animal in numerous promotions in the National Wrestling Alliance/WCW, the American Wrestling Association, and overseas such as New Japan and All Japan, capturing the titles wherever they went. Apart from that, Ellering managed the duo behind the scenes, booking flights and hotels as well as managing their finances.
6 Joined the Road Warriors in WWE
In 1990, The Road Warriors signed to WWE, where they were named The Legion of Doom and proved to be a popular, dominant force in WWE. However, they spent their first two years without a manager, as Ellering was still under contract with WCW. Paul Ellering finally reunited with LOD in 1992 WrestleMania 8After which they participated in a regrettable angle where Hawke and Animal added a ventriloquist’s dummy named Rocco to their act, operated by Ellering.
5 Entered the ring after retirement
Paul Ellering retired as a full-time wrestler in 1982, although the manager still stepped into the ring on occasion, usually in six-man tags with his clients, but also in the odd singles match, including hair vs. hair matches. Teddy Long at WCW’s 1990 pay-per-view capital battle.
In 1987, Ellering joined The Road Warriors, Dusty Rhodes and Lex Luger in the first ever War Games match against The Four Horsemen and their manager JJ Dillon. His last televised match would be in WWE 25 in your house: Judgment DayIn a six-man tag match against Animal and Hawk.
4 Disciples of the Apocalypse managed
Paul Ellering returned to WWE in 1998, where he again managed The Legion of Doom – though this time in their failed LOD 2000 incarnation. It wasn’t long before the two groups began feuding with Ellering turning his old client over to the side of the biker gang Disappears of the Apocalypse.
However, Paul Ellering had trouble turning heel against Hawk and Animal and eventually reunited with LOD the following year. This run would end in 1999 with the group’s departure from WWE.
3 Managed author of pain
Paul Ellering retired from wrestling in 1999, but enjoyed a career resurgence in the mid to late 2010s. In 2016, Ellering debuted in WWE’s developmental promotion NXT, managing a new group of supervillains, the Authors of Pain. Under Ellering, Akam and Rezar defeated #DIY to capture the NXT Tag Team Titles in early 2017 and held it for 203 days before losing to SAnitY. Ellering would follow AOP to the main roster, but his client would suddenly abandon him in their first appearance. raw.
2 Became a dogsledder
Beginning in the early 1990s, Paul Ellering began to enter the sport of dog sledding, not only competing as a dog musher, but also raising his own huskies. In 2000, he achieved a major milestone for a musher by competing in the 1,000-mile Iditarod race across Alaska. He participated as a contestant in the 2000 and 2006 races, and in 2005 as a “visual interpreter” for Rachel Skadoris, a legally blind contestant. Ellering wrote about his experiences in the book Wrestling of the Iditarod.
1 Ellering’s daughter is a wrestler
While Paul Ellering isn’t as active in the wrestling world as he once was, his daughter continues to carry on the family business. Trained by Lance Storm and with a background in powerlifting herself, Rachael Ellering made her in-ring debut in 2015 and competed in the 2017 and 2018 Mae Young Classic tournaments for WWE under the ring name Rachael Evers. After signing with WWE, the younger Elling joined Impact Wrestling, where she won the Knockouts Tag Team Championship with Jordin Grace.