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|Ring name(s)||Theodore Long|
|Billed height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Billed weight||160 lbs|
September 15, 1955|
Theodore Robert Rufus Long (born September 15, 1955) is an American former professional wrestling referee and manager. He is best known for his long time with the WWE where he served as the General Manager of SmackDown! and ECW.
National Wrestling Alliance/World Championship Wrestling
Long started out as an errand boy for wrestlers Tommy Rich and Abdullah the Butcher. He eventually became a member of the ringcrew and was promoted to referee in the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions in 1985 as Teddy Long. In 1989, Long began a heel turn when he started to bend the rules for the heels. At the Chi-Town Rumble event, Teddy Long ran in and counted three, making Ricky Steamboat the NWA World Champion. On April 2, 1989 at the Clash of Champions in New Orleans, Long blatantly made a fast count allowing Mike Rotunda & "Dr. Death" Steve Williams to defeat the Road Warriors for the NWA World Tag Team Championship. After this match, the National Wrestling Alliance relieved Long of his refereeing duties. This was actually a story lifted from Championship Wrestling from Florida, where Teddy had been a referee and did several heel-decisions in the ring, including one for Ron Simmons over Sweet Brown Sugar. Teddy was fired as a referee and became a talent scout/manager.
Long became the manager of "Doom" (Ron Simmons and Butch Reed) and led them to the World Tag Team Titles. He also managed Chris Jericho, Johnny B. Badd, One Man Gang, Norman the Lunatic, "The Skyscrapers" (Sid Vicious, Dan Spivey & Mark Callaway), Marcus Bagwell, 2 Cold Scorpio, Joey Maggs, Craig Pittman, Jim Powers, Bobby Walker, Ice Train and Bobby Eaton while in Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW.
World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment
Long performed as a referee in WWF from the late 1990s until September 2002, when he was taken off the road.
He was re-packaged as a manager and perhaps his most notable managing stint in this period came when managing D'Lo Brown, Rodney Mack, Christopher Nowinski, Rosey, Mark Henry and Jazz at different times, telling fans to get "Down wit' da Brown" and to "Back da Mack." He played a stereotypical "held-down" minority, using ebonics (such as, "Don't be drinkin' that Hate-orade." and "You know I'd look good on the dolla dolla bill.") His stable would be referred to by fans as "Thuggin' & Buggin' Enterprises." When he was drafted to SmackDown!, he managed his second white wrestler, Mark Jindrak.
After Kurt Angle was fired from the General Manager position in July 2004, Long became the new and first African-American General Manager of SmackDown!. Unlike other WWE managers, such as Eric Bischoff and Mr. McMahon, his new position saw him as a face, giving the fans what they wanted and making matches that put heels at disadvantages, notably John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL). At first, he continued use of his "Hate-orade" talk, but less aggressively, and with humor. One example was when he stripped Booker T of the US Championship for "drinkin' Hate-orade."
However, Theodore Long still had problems with Booker T and his defense of the United States title. Booker T attempted to get out of title defenses on a number of occasions by pretending to be injured, and having other wrestlers fight on his behalf. Eventually, Long got tired of these shenanigans, and at No Way Out 2006, Booker was told to face Chris Benoit or be stripped of the US title. Benoit won the match and was congratulated by Theodore Long.
After Randy Orton had cheated to obtain Rey Mysterio's title shot at WrestleMania 22, Long placed Mysterio back in the match and made it a Triple Threat Match, at the same time warning Orton that he could still remove Orton from the match if he disobeyed Long.
At Judgment Day 2006 Long fired Melina & Johnny Nitro from SmackDown!. On the following SmackDown!, JBL suffered the same fate after losing the United States Championship to Bobby Lashley, and then losing a World Heavyweight Championship to Rey Mysterio in his Judgment Day rematch.
On the September 4, 2006 episode of RAW, Long appeared to a tremendous ovation in his hometown. During a six-person, intergender tag match between Randy Orton, Edge, and Lita against Trish Stratus, Carlito, and John Cena, some fans chanted Theodore's name.
In April 2007, Long became the on-screen boyfriend of Kristal, after weeks flirting with each other backstage. Long then began to look for an assistant so he could spend more time with Kristal, eventually revealing Vickie Guerrero as his new assistant on May 25, 2007, an appointment made partly at Kristal's request. On the June 22, 2007 episode of SmackDown!, Long asked Kristal to marry him. Kristal ran out of the ring, crying, but later agreed to (kayfabe) marry him. On the July 27, 2007 edition of Smackdown!, Ron Simmons was named the best man for "Theodore Rufus Long" and Kristal's wedding on the September 21, 2007 edition of SmackDown! emanating from Long's hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. However, the wedding was not completed due to constant disruptions and Long having a (kayfabe) heart attack just as he started to say "I do". He then fell in to a (kayfabe) coma. Long returned on the November 30, 2007 edition of SmackDown! as the Assistant General Manager and made a match at Armageddon for the World Heavyweight Championship In September 2007, Long was demoted from General Manager of SmackDown!, to Assistant General Manager, while Vickie Guerrero moved into the General Manager position by Mr. McMahon stating "The Show must go on". On May 16, 2008, Long quit his role of Assistant General Manager after months of abuse by GM Guerrero who treated Teddy "as a personal servant rather than the Assistant General Manager of SmackDown!" in Teddy's words.[source?] On the June 3, 2008 edition of ECW, it was announced that Long had become the new General Manager of the ECW brand by order of the WWE Board of Directors.
On June 12, 2014, Long was released from his WWE contract.
- Doom (Ron Simmons and Butch Reed)
- Chris Jericho
- Johnny B. Badd
- One Man Gang
- Norman the Lunatic
- Sid Vicious
- Dan Spivey
- "Mean" Mark Callous (The Undertaker)
- Marcus Bagwell
- 2 Cold Scorpio
- Joey Maggs
- Craig Pittman
- Jim Powers
- "Hardwork" Bobby Walker
- Ice Train
- Bobby Eaton
- D'Lo Brown
- Rodney Mack
- Christopher Nowinski
- Mark Henry
- Mark Jindrak
When Long became General Manager, he revived old and made new match types:
- At No Mercy 2004, he put JBL and The Undertaker in a Last Ride Match. The rules are similar to a Casket Match and an Ambulance Match where one opponent must put the other into the back of the hearse and drive out the arena. JBL won the first Last Ride Match due to interference by Heidenreich. At Armageddon 2006, The Undertaker defeated Mr. Kennedy in the second Last Ride Match.
- At No Way Out 2005, JBL had to defend his title against Big Show in the first ever Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match. The rules were the same as a normal steel cage match, but the top of the cage had barbed wire around it so nobody could escape (despite the fact that a victory could still be declared if a competitor managed to escape). This was done by Long to make sure there was no interference from any superstars, primarily JBL's stable, The Cabinet. JBL won the match when Big Show chokeslammed him through the ring, allowing him to escape underneath.
- Long also brought back the King of the Ring tournament in 2006, although it was a SmackDown!-exclusive event.
Long is married to a woman named Stephanie Keller and they have three children together and one grandson. The two have been married since 1982.[source?]
- Thedore Robert Long at tv.com
- Vickie Guerrero on the October 5, 2007 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown!
- Tello, Craig (2008-05-16). "Judgment Rendered". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/articles/6641268/judgmentrendered. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "Brodus Clay, Evan Bourne, Teddy Long, Curt Hawkins and other WWE Superstars released". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/inside/wwe-releases-brodus-clay-evan-bourne-curt-hawkins-other-superstars-june-12-2014-26386880. Retrieved 2014-06-12.