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The Grand Wizard (1929-1983)


Real NameErnie Roth
Lifespan - 6/7/29 - 10/12/83
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional Background - Detroit(`6?-`73), WWWF(`73-`83)

AliasesErnie Roth, Mr. Clean, Armstrong K, Wellington Radcliff, Abdullah Farouk

Peak Years - `67-`77

Groups - none

WrestlersOx Baker, Crusher Blackwell, Bobby Duncum, Stan Hansen, Superstar Billy Graham, Killer Kowalski, Ernie Ladd, Magnificent Maurice, Magnificent Muroco, Ken Patera, Pat Patterson, The Shiek, Sgt. Slaughter, Stan Stasiak, Greg Valentine

Place in History - The antithesis of the annoying lil' manager was the "Grand Wizard of Wrestling" Ernie Roth. His obnoxious berating of the babyfaces made him a great person to have at ringside to keep constant heat for his men. Roth was also quite good on the microphone and was such a loud-mouth that his soft spoken heels were given a different kind of heat. His turban and sunglasses combined with his hideously colorful attire fit his strange persona like a glove. He established himself under the name, Abdullah Farouk, the mouthpiece and handler of The Shiek in the mid-60s. The wild brawler was rising to fame in the Midwest, specifically Detroit and Toronto and Farouk was a key reason. Because of the ties to a Middle Eastern wrestler, Roth began wearing a fez and latter his trademark turban as the crown jewel to his outlandish costumes. Roth also developed the perfect fast-talking interview style that complimented the mute Shiek's style. Just as the promotion was peaking, Roth was brought to New York by Vince Sr. in the early 70s to join up with Freddie Blassie and Lou Albano in helping in-coming heels get over. Now as "The Grand Wizard," he managed a variety of people, but far less than his two peers as he was less established than those two who had previously worked as upper level heel workers. Roth was paired with two types of wrestlers: charismatic wrestlers who were poor workers or strong workers who'd be stuck in the midcard otherwise. For people like Superstar Graham and Ox Baker, Roth kept their heat on during their lackluster matches and allowed them to stay top stars. For above average workers like Valentine, Muroco and Patterson, the Grand Wizard was right along their sides during promos and helped them through them and allowed most to become main event challengers as a result. Ernie Roth was slowing down as the 70s came to a close and a few years later died surprisingly in 1983. Pre-national WWF gave the Grand Wizard a sincere tribute and while his legacy is not as strong as his peers, Ernie Roth is one of the great wrestling managers of all-time.