J.J. Dillon was the manager of the legendary Four Horsemen and was inducted along with the rest of the group into WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2012. A wrestling manager is now a lost art as there aren’t that many around anymore and Dillon talked about a manager’s importance when he spoke to Wrestling Inc.’s Andy Malnoske on our WINCLY podcast.
“A manager is needed when you have an Abdullah the Butcher or somebody that’s a bigger than life character that doesn’t speak,” said Dillon. “That visual picture is powerful and that’s where a manager is very important because he can then be the mouthpiece that tells a story. A guy like The Stomper just needs to stand there and be the physical picture.
“That’s why you don’t see as many managers now because there’s not a need for them. Just to have a manager to have a manager doesn’t make sense.”
Dillon was more than just the Horsemen’s manager as he also took care of the logistics for the group such as booking flights. He talked about how he became the manager of the Horsemen and his relationship with Ric Flair.
“Well, I was at the right place at the right time. I’ve known Flair for over 40 years. I met him first when I was a main eventer in Amarillo, Texas and he had been in the Carolinas with Crockett,” stated Dillon. “They saw something magical in him and that was before cable television so only people in the Mid-Atlantic knew him.
“They wanted to send Ric out to other areas and they sent him to Texas where I was. I spent the whole week with him and we have a lot in common. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.”
Flair is on the shortlist of greatest performer in pro wrestling history and Dillon talked about what made him so special.
“What I respect most about him is his work ethic. He can go to an arena with 20,000 people and have them sitting on the edge of their seats. Or sometimes you go to a small town and maybe the crowd isn’t what you anticipated it would be,” said Dillon. “A lesser talent might go out and say, ‘Well, I’m just gonna go through the motions because the crowd isn’t what the promoter said it would be.’ But Ric went out and understood that if there were only five people there, those people paid the same as if there were 20,000 people. He delivered the same way for those people and that’s why Ric Flair is so special and I can make the argument that he’s probably the greatest champion of all-time.”
Dillon’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. You can watch it in the video above, or listen to it via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes or Google Play. Listen to the show via Spotify here or through TuneIn here.