Pro Wrestling
Pro Wrestling

Kenneth "Ken" Johnson (December 8, 1957) better known to wrestling fans as "Slick - The Doctor of Style", is a former American professional wrestling manager with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He achieved his greatest success managing The Twin Towers. Johnson made history in 1986 by becoming the first African American manager in WWF history.

Professional wrestling career

Early career

At the start of his career, Johnson did a stint in Texas All-Star Wrestling, managing Madd Maxx and Lord Humongous. He left TASW for Kansas City's Central States Wrestling to become "The Doctor of Style", Slick, characterized by his smooth attitude, confident speech, and dancing as he accompanied his wrestlers to the ring; among the wrestlers he managed in Central States were Art Crews, Timothy Flowers, Bobby Jaggers, "Bulldog" Bob Brown, and Butch Reed. Slick and his stable feuded with Kansas City mainstay Rufus R. Jones and other fan favorites before he and Reed were forced out of the territory after dropping a "Loser Leaves Town" match to Bruiser Brody.

World Wrestling Federation

Slick debuted in the WWF alongside Reed in September 1986. Soon after, he purchased a "half interest" in "Classy" Freddie Blassie's heel stable. Blassie was not in the best of health, and was being slowly phased out of storylines. Slick eventually took over all managerial duties from Blassie, initially managing Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik. During this time, Slick also (Kayfabe) sold the contract of Hercules (another wrestler of Blassie's former stable) to fellow heel manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan for a "pile of money".

Slick's biggest success as a manager came when he took Akeem (previously known as the One Man Gang) and the Big Boss Man, the Twin Towers, to main event matches against Hulk Hogan and WWF Champion "Macho Man" Randy Savage, The Mega Powers. The theme song "Jive Soul Bro" (written by David Wolff, Vernie "Butch" Taylor, and Jeff Batter) was the subject of a music video featuring him. Slick would also manage The Bolsheviks (Volkoff and Boris Zhukov), Rick Martel, Power and Glory (Hercules and Paul Roma), and The Warlord. While Slick's billed height was only 5'11, he was actually 6'4. In later shoot interviews, Slick mentioned that he was often as tall as (or, in the case of Power and Glory, taller than) the wrestlers he managed, which created some back stage tension as both managers and referees were generally smaller so as to make the wrestlers seem bigger and more imposing to the public.

In November 1991, Slick went on an extended leave of absence after being powerslammed by Davey Boy Smith. He returned a month later as the face "Reverend Slick", denouncing his shady past and striving to become a better man. This gimmick was a take on his real life, as Johnson was a born-again Christian. He sometimes appeared on WWF programming to give a "sermon" that was usually a simple, uplifting message; he rarely (if ever) mentioned Jesus Christ or God. His main storyline under this gimmick was to take Kamala from the hands of Harvey Wippleman and Kim Chee to convince him that he was not just a Ugandan monster who deserved constant berating, but a man, and he tried to instill Kamala with self-respect (including a memorable segment where Slick and Kamala went bowling).

Post-wrestling career

After retiring from wrestling, Johnson graduated from Trinity Valley Bible College. He received a bachelor's and master's degree and is now an ordained minister in Longview, Texas. On April 1, 2007, Johnson, reprising his role as Slick, appeared at WrestleMania 23, dancing with various WWE superstars and legends.

Johnson also made several appearances for IHWE, an independent promotion in Fort Worth, Texas in 2009. Johnson was inducted into the IHWE Hall of Fame on October 30, 2009. Johnson also appeared in June 2010 at the promotion's Supercard. Johnson still appears from time to time on IHWE cards to sign autographs.

Johnson reprised the Slick character on the "Old School" edition of WWE Raw on November 15, 2010, joining legends the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff in the ring.

In 2012, Johnson appeared for TX Stampede Wrestling where he received a lifetime achievement award.

On July 23, 2012, Johnson made a special appearance on Raw 1000. He served as the reverend presiding over the wedding that involved Daniel Bryan and AJ Lee.

In wrestling

  • Nicknames
    • Doctor of Style
    • The Slickster
    • Jive Soul Bro
    • Brother Slim

Championships and accomplishments

External links