Paul Ellering (August 22, 1953) is an American professional wrestling manager most recently signed to WWE on the developmental territory NXT brand and formerly a weightlifter, professional wrestler and dog musher. Ellering spent most of his wrestling career managing the Road Warriors (Animal and Hawk), working with them from 1983 to 1990 and again on occasion between 1992 and 1997. In addition to being their on screen manager he actually handled the team's affairs outside the ring as well, including contract negotiations and travel arrangements. Ellering and the Road Warriors were inducted into both the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011. Five years later, in June 2016, he returned to the ring at NXT TakeOver: The End as the manager of The Authors of Pain, a heel tag team making their debut.
Prior to becoming a manager he was a professional wrestler, but due to injuries retired in 1983 to become a full-time manager, only wrestling on special occasions. In the late 1990s he was involved in a storyline where he actually turned on the Road Warriors and managed Disciples of Apocalypse as they fought the Road Warriors. After retiring from full-time activity in wrestling, he raced in the Iditarod and John Beargrease Dog Sled Race.
Professional wrestling career
Before entering the wrestling business, Ellering was an accomplished weightlifter. He set a World Record in the deadlift with a lift of 745 pounds.
Ellering was trained in Minneapolis, Minnesota at a camp run by American Wrestling Alliance (AWA) owner and promoter Verne Gagne and wrestler/trainer Eddie Sharkey in the mid 1970s. According to Ellering's RF Video shoot interview, of the thirty-plus trainees in the camp, only himself and later AWA mid-card wrestler Steve Olsonoski (a.k.a. Steve O) made it through the camp. Ellering would later go on to wrestle in singles and tag teams for Gagne in the AWA, Bill Watts's Mid-South promotion, and for Jerry Jarrett's Memphis promotion, where he was paired with manager Jimmy Hart. His notable feuds were with Jesse Ventura as a face, and as a heel with Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Valiant, from whom he won the AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship.
While wrestling for Georgia Championship Wrestling, Ellering severely injured his knee in a match with Robert Gibson, reinjuring it after returning to the ring, which ended his full-time wrestling career. Georgia booker Ole Anderson recognized his speaking ability, however, and gave him a job as a manager.
Ellering is best known for managing The Road Warriors, also known as the Legion of Doom from 1983 until 1997 during their stints in the American Wrestling Association, the National Wrestling Alliance, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and the World Wrestling Federation in 1992. Ellering was also the real-life manager for the team; he booked their matches, lined up their flights, set up hotel reservations, and kept track of their expenses.
Throughout 1998 he managed the Disciples of Apocalypse, who were then feuding with the Legion of Doom; according to Ellering and Animal on the Road Warriors DVD, Ellering had a hard time working with another team against Hawk and Animal, and had difficulty ripping on his former team on the microphone. By the end of his second WWF run, though, he was back to managing the LOD, most notably on Sunday Night Heat, during a tag-team battle royal for a shot at the tag titles later in the night at WrestleMania XV, though they were unsuccessful.
Although primarily a manager, Ellering has stepped between the ropes as a competitor, notably at the 1987 NWA Great American Bash in which he joined the Road Warriors, Nikita Koloff, and Dusty Rhodes to face The Four Horsemen and their manager James J. Dillon in the first ever WarGames match. Ellering would also face Teddy Long in a 'Hair vs. Hair' match at the World Championship Wrestling Capitol Combat event in 1990.
After retiring from professional wrestling, he traveled to Alaska to become a sled dog racer, participating in the Iditarod. In 2004, he worked as Rachael Scdoris' assistant during the Iditarod.
He currently owns and operates The Historic Rock Tavern in Grey Eagle, Minnesota on Big Birch Lake. He has three children: Rebecca, Rachael and Saul.
- Wrestlers managed
Championships and accomplishments
- IWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Terry Latham