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Theodore Long

Theodore Long
Birth name Theodore Robert Rufus Long
Born (1947-09-15) September 15, 1947
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Residence Marietta, Georgia, U.S.
Spouse(s) Stephanie Keller (m. 1982)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Teddy Long
Theodore Long
Theodore R. Long [1]
Billed height 5 ft 10 in[2]
Billed weight 173 lb (78 kg)
Billed from Georgia
Debut 1985

Theodore Robert Rufus "Teddy" Long[3] (born September 15, 1947)[4] is an American professional wrestling personality, having served as a manager, referee and authority figure, best known for his tenure with WWE. Long began his career in the National Wrestling Alliance where he became a manager. In 1998, he débuted in the WWE (then named World Wrestling Federation) as a referee but returned to managing in 2003. He later served as General Manager of SmackDown for two tenures lasting a combined six years as well as one reign as ECW General Manager.


  • Professional wrestling career 1
    • National Wrestling Alliance / World Championship Wrestling (1985–1996) 1.1
    • World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment 1.2
      • General Manager of SmackDown (2004–2008) 1.2.1
      • General Manager of ECW and return to Smackdown (2008–2012) 1.2.2
      • Feud with John Laurinaitis and senior adviser (2012–2014) 1.2.3
    • Reality of Wrestling (2014) 1.3
  • Filmography 2
    • Web series 2.1
  • In wrestling 3
  • Matches 4
  • Awards and accomplishments 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Professional wrestling career

National Wrestling Alliance / World Championship Wrestling (1985–1996)

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.[5] In 1989, at the Chi-Town Rumble event, Long was the replacement referee when Ricky Steamboat won the NWA World Championship.

Shortly thereafter, Long began to turn into a villainous character when he started to bend the rules for heel wrestlers. On April 2, 1989, at Clash of the Champions VI in New Orleans, Long blatantly made a fast count allowing Mike Rotunda and "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 Long had been a referee and did several heel-decisions in the ring, including one for Ron Simmons over Skip Young.

While riding with Kevin Sullivan and Eddie Gilbert, Long would DJ for them. After hearing Long talk, the two convinced Jim Ross to give Long a managerial role, managing "Norman The Lunatic".[5] Long became the manager of Doom (Ron Simmons and Butch Reed) and led them to the World Tag Team Titles. He also managed Johnny B. Badd, One Man Gang, Norman the Lunatic, The Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious, Dan Spivey and "Mean" Mark Callous), 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 / Entertainment

Long débuted in the WWF as a referee on the December 21, 1998 episode of Raw is War and stayed with that role until September 2002, when he was taken off the road. Like his previous referee stints, Long went by the shortened Teddy Long name during this period. He was a referee at the Over The Edge 1999 PPV, during the match after Owen Hart's tragic death: a mixed tag match between Jeff Jarrett/Debra and Val Venis/Nicole Bass. Long was the referee when Darren Drozdov ended up paralyzed and can be seen in WWE's Don't Try This At Home warning looking at the paramedics lift Droz up on a stretcher.

He was re-packaged as a villainous manager once again under his full name, 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." When he was drafted to SmackDown, he managed Mark Jindrak.

General Manager of SmackDown (2004–2008)

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. Long immediately turned face on his first night as GM when he fined Angle $1,000 for not having his wrestling gear with him. Because of his face turn, his new position saw him giving the fans what they wanted and making matches that put villains at disadvantages, notably John "Bradshaw" Layfield, a stark contrast to other WWE managers, such as Eric Bischoff and Mr. McMahon, who would blatantly favor heels. At first, he continued to use the "Hate-orade" catch phrase he started using as a bad guy, but less aggressively, and with more humor in it. One example was when he stripped Booker T of the US Championship for "drinkin' Hate-orade." Long would also introduce the New Talent Initiative during this time, which saw the likes of Bobby Lashley and Mr. Kennedy début in 2005 and Montel Vontavious Porter in 2006, among others. The New Talent Initiative would continue, with a name-change to the New Superstar Initiative, when Long moved to ECW in 2008 and would see the débuts of Sheamus, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, Tyler Reks, Trent Baretta, Caylen Croft, DJ Gabriel, Ricky Ortiz, Gavin Spears, Braden Walker and ECW referee Aaron Davis.

As part of the SmackDown vs. Raw feud, Long defeated then Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff at Survivor Series 2005 with the help of The Boogeyman.[6]

Theodore Long still had problems with Booker T and his defense of the United States title, however, as 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 and 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 match to Rey Mysterio in his Judgment Day rematch.[7]

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.[8]

In April 2007, Long became the on-screen boyfriend of heart attack just as he started to say "I do". He then fell in to a coma.[10] The storyline never finished out as planned as Marshall left the WWE shortly afterwards due to creative differences. Long returned on the November 30, 2007 episode of Smackdown! as the assistant general manager and made a match at Armageddon for the World Heavyweight Championship.[11] He started to feud with Guerrero over her position as the General manager as she continued to favour Edge. On May 16, 2008, Long quit his role of assistant general manager.[12]

Theodore Long on his way to the ring.

General Manager of ECW and return to Smackdown (2008–2012)

On the June 3, 2008 episode 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.[13]

On the April 7, 2009 episode of ECW, Long announced he was returning to Smackdown! as general manager, with Tiffany replacing him on ECW. By doing this, he became the first person in the history of the company to have a second term as general manager. He made his official TV return to Smackdown! on April 10, when he announced that the Hardys Matt and Jeff would face each other in the first-ever stretcher match in Smackdown! history.

At the Breaking Point PPV, Long restarted the World Heavyweight Championship match between CM Punk and the Undertaker after Undertaker made Punk submit using his Hell's Gate submission finisher, stating that the ban on the maneuver was still in effect. On the September 18, 2009 episode of Friday Night Smackdown, WWE chairman Mr. McMahon instructed Long to go down to the ring and explain his actions regarding the conclusion of the World Heavyweight Championship Submission match between champion CM Punk and The Undertaker in which he (Long), as well as referee Scott Armstrong and CM Punk played key roles in recreating the infamous Montreal Screwjob at the WWE Breaking Point Pay-per-view event (held at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada), site of the 1997 fiasco. This time, with The Undertaker being the target of a planned conspiracy. As he returned from the ring to the back stage area, he entered his waiting limousine only to be kidnapped by The Undertaker, who was in the driver's seat. The following week on Smackdown! Long was brought into the arena inside a coffin by Undertaker's druids where he again legalized Undertaker's Hell's Gate submission hold. Teddy Long made a guest appearance on RAW and later Shawn Michaels performed his finishing maneuver [Sweet Chin Music] on Teddy Long after Long refused to draft him to SmackDown. He then began a feud with Drew McIntyre, the first part of which revolved around McIntyre qualifying for the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXVI, which was instead won by Jack Swagger. On 7 May episode of Smackdown, after McIntyre brutally assaulted Matt Hardy, Long stripped McIntyre of his Intercontinental Championship and fired him. As a result, the Intercontinental Championship was vacant. Thus, Long issued the Intercontinental Championship tournament involving Christian, Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler. However, after Kingston emerged victorious against Christian, Long was issued a letter from Vince McMahon reinstating McIntyre and forcing Kingston to give his title back to McIntyre. He then made a match for McIntyre's Intercontinental Championship at Over the Limit against Kofi Kingston.

On the May 28 episode of SmackDown, Long read a letter from Mr. McMahon's office given to him by Drew McIntyre which stated that Matt Hardy was suspended until further notice after Matt attacked McIntyre at the Over the Limit PPV event and told Matt not to go near McIntyre and if he did so, Long would be fired as the general manager of SmackDown.

On the June 11 episode of WWE Hall of Fame as well as get on his knees and proclaim Long "the best boss he ever had." Long, however, did not believe him and announced a Money in the Bank qualifying match (for the upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view) against Kofi Kingston.

On January 21 episode of Smackdown, Long was found (kayfabe) unconscious in his office, suffering a head injury. He returned on the February 18 episode of Smackdown, where he revealed Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler to have attacked him. He then scheduled a match between the new World Heavyweight Champion Ziggler and Edge. Edge would win the match, becoming an eleven-time world champion. After the match, Long would then fire Ziggler. The following week, he fired Vickie Guerrero after she lost a mixed tag team match.

On the May 6 episode, Long scheduled a World Heavyweight Championship match between Randy Orton and Christian who had just won it for the first time five nights previous at Extreme Rules. On the June 3 episode, Christian was chosen by Long as the special guest referee for a World Heavyweight Championship match between Orton and Sheamus who beat Christian and Mark Henry in a triple threat number one contender's match for the title the week before. Christian would turn heel by hitting Orton with the title he had retained and lost to Orton again at Capitol Punishment despite his foot being under the bottom rope. Christian blamed Long and as a result Long scheduled Orton to defend his title against Christian at Money in the Bank. Christian would manage to find a way to include a clause that if Orton were to get disqualified, the title would switch hands.

On July 25 episode of SmackDown. The new COO Triple H made Zack Ryder Theodore Long's new Assistant.

On the November 25, 2011 episode of SmackDown!, after Daniel Bryan seemingly successfully cashed in the Money In The Bank briefcase on Mark Henry to win his first World Heavyweight Championship, Long rushed down to the ring and declared the title change void, as Mark Henry had not yet been medically cleared to compete in an official match. He would schedule Bryan in a fatal four-way match against Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett to determine the number one contender for Henry's world title which would be defended on the November 29 episode inside a steel cage.

After TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, Santino Marrella replaced Zack Ryder (who had just won his first United States Championship) as the assistant to Smackdown general manager.

Feud with John Laurinaitis and senior adviser (2012–2014)

On February 21, 2012, Long was criticized by Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis, which prompted the WWE board of directors to switch the general managers of their respective shows for one week.[14] Long took charge of the March 5 episode of Raw, with Laurinaitis taking charge of the March 9 edition of Smackdown! During Laurinaitis' time in charge of Smackdown!, he set up a match between himself and Long, where, if Long lost, Aksana, Long's girlfriend, would be placed in a match with Kane. Long won the match when Randy Orton attacked Kane at ringside, which distracted Laurinaitis. The Aksana vs. Kane match never took place.

A 12-man Tag match was then set up at WrestleMania XXVIII, where six superstars would represent both general managers. Long chose Santino Marella as his team captain, along with Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali and Booker T over the following weeks. A stipulation was added that the winning team at WrestleMania would determine who would become the general manager of both shows. At WrestleMania, Team Teddy lost to Team Johnny, ending Long's run as Smackdown! General Manager.

On the April 6 edition of Smackdown!, Long prepared to give his farewell speech, but Laurinaitis threatened to discontinue a trust fund Long had set up for his grandchildren's college education unless he took a job as his new assistant, to which Long reluctantly accepted.

For the next few weeks, Laurinaitis would humiliate Long by doing ridiculous antics; such as wearing a huge name tag and standing guard by his door as a Queen's soldier. When things would go wrong, he would always blame Theodore saying, "Why Teddy?", with which the other heel wrestlers would agree. At Extreme Rules, he was criticized for spinning a wheel to determine what match Cody Rhodes and Big Show would face off in by making it a tables match. At Over the Limit he mocked David Otunga and Eve Torres ahead of Laurinaitis' bout with John Cena which if he lost he would be fired. This further angered Laurinaitis who kept his job with help from Big Show. At No Way Out, John was finally fired and Teddy enjoyed watching him being beaten up by John Cena the following night on Raw. On the July 2 and July 3 episodes of Raw and SmackDown, Teddy was GM.

After Laurinaitis' firing as general manager at No Way Out, Long served as guest general manager for both Raw and SmackDown for the week of July 2. On the August 3 edition of SmackDown, Long was made the senior advisor to SmackDown General Manager Booker T. Despite originally getting along with Booker very well, beginning in March 2013, Booker began to get angry at Teddy for booking matches without his permission on both Raw and SmackDown. However, from mid April onwards, Teddy began running SmackDown again temporarily with Booker T away due to surgery. On the July 19 episode of Smackdown, after the returning Booker T and Raw's General Manager Brad Maddox had an argument on who was to be Smackdown GM, Mr. McMahon came out to say Vickie Guerrero was named Smackdown's new general manager. After a backstage segment, with Guerrero, Long was escorted out by a security team. This marked his last appearance as a major authoritative figure.

On June 12, 2014, after nearly a year of inactivity, Long was released from WWE along with ten other contracts, ending his long tenure with the company. [15]

At the October 7 taping for the 15th Anniversray of SmackDown, Long made a surprise return; getting into an argument with John Laurinaitis. This led to a 15-man Tag Team match, in which Team Teddy (Mark Henry, Sheamus, The Usos, Los Matadores, Jack Swagger and El Torito) defeated Team Johnny (Bo Dallas, Damien Mizdow, Gold and Stardust, Heath Slater, Titus O'Neil, Cesaro and Hornswoggle).

Reality of Wrestling (2014)

Booker T has announced that Long will be serving as the general manager for his Reality of Wrestling promotion's Summer of Champions iPPV.[16]


Web series

Year Title Role Notes
2013 The JBL Show Himself main cast

In wrestling

  • Teams and stables managed
  • Entrance themes
  • "MacMillitant" by Miestro (WWE; 2002–2014)
  • "Reflection of Perfection" by Jim Johnston (WWE; 2004)


When Long became SmackDown 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.[17]
  • At Armageddon 2006 made a fatal 4 way ladder match
  • At No Way Out 2005, JBL had to defend his title against The 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.[18]
  • Long, throughout his career, was also known for his frequency to book a classic tag team match by featuring it in many SmackDown main events.[20]

Awards and accomplishments

  • Combat Sport Pro
    • Hall of Fame (Class of 2015)[21]


  1. ^ WCW/NWA Clash of the Champions. Episode 10. 6 February 1990. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Thedore Robert Long at
  4. ^ This birthdate is courtesy of his Intelius record
  5. ^ a b "Soul of Wrestling".  
  6. ^ "SmackDown GM Theodore Long def. Raw GM Eric Bischoff". WWE. 2005-11-27. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  7. ^ Dee, Louie (2006-05-26). "Kiss Him Goodbye". WWE. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  8. ^ Zeigler, Zack (2006-07-04). "R-K-Ohhhhh". WWE. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  9. ^ DiFino, Lennie (2007-05-25). "Golden goals". WWE. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  10. ^ Vickie Guerrero on the October 5, 2007 episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown
  11. ^ Dee, Louie (2007-11-30). "Payback, 619 style". WWE. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  12. ^ Tello, Craig (2008-05-16). "Judgment Rendered". WWE. Archived from the original on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  13. ^ Medalis, Kara A. (2008-06-03). "New, Extreme manager in town". WWE. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  14. ^ Adkins, Greg (2012-02-28). "Raw and SmackDown get a General Manager facelift!". WWE. Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  15. ^ Namako, Jason. "WWE releases talent on Thursday. WWE has announced that Theodore Long, Maxine and Aksana will return at the Hell In A Cell PPV. (updated)". Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Middleton, Marc. "Several WWE Stars Appearing at Booker T's First iPPV". 
  17. ^ Tello, Craig (2006-12-17). "Ride to Hell".  
  18. ^ "JBL vs. Big Show in a Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship". WWE. 2005-02-20. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  19. ^ McAvennie, Mike (2006-12-17). "Back-burner".  
  20. ^ Melok, Bobby (14 January 2013). "Teddy Long's Top 10 Tag Team Matches".  
  21. ^
  22. ^  

External links

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