If you ask someone who was the greatest manager in the WWF, you’ll likely hear names like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Lou Albano, Fred Blassie, or the Grand Wizard.
But another person you shouldn’t leave off that list is Sensational Sherri Martel.
Martel was a former WWF Women’s Champion who transitioned to the heel manager role when ladies wrestling was phased out for a while. And she was an awesome manager who always played a character who was volatile and generated heat for whomever she accompanied.
She stayed ahead of the game by reinventing herself along the way: She initially got involved managing by briefly seconding the Honky Tonk Man during his feud with Randy “Macho Man” Savage in 1987, when she played Peggy Sue. Peggy Sue had a blond wig and was clearly Martel, but it was one of those deals where everyone knew, but Honky Tonk denied it.
Ironically, not many years later, Martel joined Savage after he turned heel on Hulk Hogan in 1989. She became known as Scary Sherri because of the outlandish make-up she wore, and then took the moniker of Queen Sherri when Savage won the King of the Ring honor in September 1989.
She acted as the nemesis of Miss Elizabeth for years while Savage was a heel, before Savage again turned babyface to reunite with Elizabeth in 1991.
One of the biggest crowd pops I ever heard at the old Boston Garden was in 1989, when Hogan gave an atomic drop to Martel after Savage beat Hogan by countout in a rematch for the WWF Heavyweight Championship.
Martel eventually began managing Shawn Michaels in the early 1990s, and later in WCW (as Sister Sherri) helped Harlem Heat, which was the name of Booker T’s tag team with his brother, Stevie Ray.
Sadly, Martel became yet another wrestling statistic when she died young at the age of 49 in 2007, allegedly from a drug overdose.