Legendary manager ‘Dirty’ Dutch Mantell says he thought Sting and The Ultimate Warrior were “worse than horrible” when they made their wrestling debut.
Dutch Mantell briefly managed Sting and The Ultimate Warrior in the early days of their career in the 1980s in the CWA. At the time, they tagged together as ‘The Freedom Fighters’ under the monikers of Flash and Justice respectively.
While the duo looked impressive at the time, they were severely lacking in-ring experience. Speaking to WSI’s James Romero, Mantell said the pair weren’t just bad, but “worse than horrible” when they started out.
“I managed them for, I don’t know, three, four, five weeks or something. They were horrible. They weren’t that good… they were worse than horrible. Horrible would have been an upgrade.”
He went on to say the future WWE Hall of Famers were still “basically fans” and that point and should have been buying tickets rather than getting in the ring.
“They should have still been buying a ticket, actually. They were still basically fans.”
Mantell explained that the tag team struggled to get through ten minutes in a match as they didn’t have the cardio to match their physiques.
“They couldn’t go 10 minutes in a single match. They would just be huffing and puffing. I mean, they looked great when they put their muscles up like this [flexes muscles], but if they had to do any kind of cardio work they couldn’t do it. That’s when you would get hurt.”
‘Flash’ and ‘Justice’ continued to tag for some time, going on to join the UWF as ‘The Blade Runners’. They split later in 1986 and went on to have hugely successful singles careers under their better-known names of Sting and The Ultimate Warrior, with the former becoming an icon in WCW and the latter reaching the pinnacle of the WWF.
H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the above transcription.