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Wrestling / Stevie Richards

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"I'll show you, you'll see!"

Michael Stephen Manna (born October 9, 1971) is an American professional wrestler from Philadelphia, PA best known for his work in ECW as Stevie Richards. He began his career in 1992 and appeared on the very first ECW event, February 25, 1992, going to a 20-minute draw with Jimmy Jannetty. He would struggle in the midcard for close to three years, until a series of losses to Tommy Dreamer in late 1994 would serve to invigorate his career via the debut of Raven. Richards would become Raven's flunky and they would go on to hold the ECW World Tag Team Titles twice.

Richards would ultimately follow Raven to WCW in Summer 1997 but leave in early October to briefly go back to ECW. He would bounce around the independents until he arrived in WWE in 1999 where he would stay until 2008. He again spent time on the independent circuit before turning up in TNA in 2009, now wearing hospital scrubs and treating Abyss at "Dr. Stevie's" mental health clinic. This was revealed to be a front for Stevie's new stable, consisting of the decidedly unstable Raven, Abyss and Daffney (pictured).

Stevie currently runs a YouTube channel where he provides analysis of spots in wrestling, inspired by football coverage. This includes the series What Went Wrong, where he looks at disastrous mistakes in wrestling and uses his experience to point out exactly where the mistake occurred, and how to avoid it in the future.

Along with his two ECW World Tag Team Title reigns, he was also a 22x WWE Hardcore Champion and a Top Rope Productions Heavyweight Champion. He has also competed for various National Wrestling Alliance territories and for many independent promotions around the U.S.

"The Original King of Tropes":

  • Affectionate Nickname: "Flower" for Victoria.
  • Affectionate Parody: He and the Blue Meanie and, later, Nova were known for this.
  • Ambiguously Gay: While he never did an outright Gorgeous George gimmick, his enthusiasm for Raven led to some speculation and comments along those lines in ECW. While he and Raven were walking to the ring for their ECW World Tag Team Title defense against Tommy Dreamer and Luna Vachon at ECW Hardcore Heaven 95, July 1, 1995, Joey Styles said that all of Richards' friends at the Blue Oyster are happy that he is an ECW World Tag Team Champion. Subverted two weeks later, at ECW Heat Wave, during Raven and Richards' title defense against Tony Stetson and Donn E. Allen, when Richards started making out with Francine, prompting Joey to say, "I'll be damned! Richards likes girls!"
  • Arch-Enemy: Tommy Dreamer and the Sandman in ECW; pretty much the entire WWE roster as the leader of Right to Censor; Trish Stratus and whoever Victoria may have been feuding with at the time; Goldust, Test; Abyss in TNA.
  • As You Know: On Hogan Knows Best when Hulk Hogan and family introduced themselves to Stevie, who introduced himself but pointed out they already knew who he was.
  • Badasses Wear Bandanas: Albeit, Stevie wore his backwards from the way most people do.
  • Bash Brothers and Sisters: Raven, the Blue Meanie, Super Nova, Victoria, Jazz, Daffney Unger (as pictured above).
  • Berserk Button: Attack Victoria, as we saw Test do one Raw episode, and Stevie will flip his shit. Didn't even matter if he and Victoria were broken up or feuding, as Rodney Mack and Tomko would later find out.
  • Big Bad: Of Right to Censor.
  • Bowdlerize: Spike TV edited out the segment where he lit Abyss on fire in TNA (despite having no problem showing Kane doings so to Jim Ross when they were TNN and had Raw)
  • Carnival of Killers: Attempted when he put out a $50,000 bounty on Abyss's career but Kevin Nash stole the money from him.
  • Cool Teacher
    • Of Yoga, he got the idea from DDP.
    • In between shows for Ring Warriors, he stopped by The Spot in Florida to assist the regular trainers, Alex G, La Rosa Negra and Tommy Vandal.
  • Costume Copycat: As part of his Affectionate Parody gimmick. Dude love was his favorite but he also posed as Acolyte, a Dudley Boy and a vampire of The Brood. He even tried impersonating Chris Jericho, Test and Chyna.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive
    • Played for Laughs when he was the self-appointed General Manager of Sunday Night Heat, which he had renamed Stevie Night Heat and was supposedly the head of "StevieCorp." His Catchphrase for this was "ALL STEVIE! ALL NIGHT! NOTHING BUT HEAT!"
    • He was an Authority in Name Only according to Jonathan Coachman, but Al Snow was insistent that Stevie was a real general manager, even describing him as a rival to Raw GM Eric Bischoff. Despite this even Al Snow (and Ivory) conceded that his company, "Stevie Corp", did not actually exist.
  • Cower Power: Him hugging Victoria/Tara's legs at House Of Hardcore 3 to protect himself from Carlito.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Made his PPV debut in the semi-main event of ECW's first PPV, Barely Legal, April 13, 1997 in the Three-Way-Dance against Terry Funk and the Sandman to determine who would get to challenge Raven for the ECW World Heavyweight Title. Stevie, wrestling as "Big Stevie Cool" during the BWO gimmick, was eliminated first.
  • Disguised in Drag: After Victoria's face turn, Stevie Richards was in a miniature feud with her where he would randomly cause problems for Victoria but then secretly help her while disguised as a woman. He had also impersonated Chyna before but that was just a joke.
  • Expy: After The Blue Meanie made his surprise debut at ECW November to Remember 95, he and Richards developed a gimmick of doing Affectionate Parodies of wrestlers past and present (the "Blue World Order"). This angle would be rehashed on Impact with Abyss and his fixation on collecting rings belonging to WWE Hall of Famers, which somehow imbued Abyss with their respective gimmicks, personalities, and entrance themes(!).
  • Fanboy: For Raven. As part of the build for his debut, Richards wrestled using all the names Scott Levy had previously used in his career (Stevie the Body, Stevie Flamingo, Stevie Polo).
  • Finishing Move: Steviekick, Steviebomb/"Stevieknife", Stevie-T (double-arm DDT).
  • For Your Own Good: Right to Censor's Catchphrase was "It's for your own good." "Because you do not know what is good for you!" was another.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: A neck injury from Terry Funk dropping part of the guardrail on him during a four-way-dance in 1997.
  • Glass Jaw Referee: Well, he's not that fragile but when he was the referee for Abyss vs Foley for Bound For Glory Abyss knocked him out, covered Foley and then made unconscious Stevie's hand fall three times.
  • Groin Attack: Trish and Goldust set Victoria up for his "shattered dreams" finishing move and then Goldust gave Stevie Richards a drop toe hold when he came to save her, sending Stevie's head into her groin.
  • Hair Metal: When aligned with Raven, would wear shirts for such bands as Winger, Cinderella and Poison, in contrast with the Ministry and Dinosaur Jr. shirts Raven would wear.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: His efforts to stop Abyss from being violent degenerated into threatening Abyss with violence to stop him from being violent, then using violence against Abyss to discourage him from being violent, then just attacking Abyss because he did not like him.
  • Heroic Bastard: Turned out to be false, but he was such a favorite of the so called Smart Marks that years after he was no longer relevant in WWE he was voted second most likely to be Vince McMahon's bastard son in a poll the company held.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: It turned out he was being manipulated by the already established Mick Foley and Raven in TNA during his run with the Dr. Stevie gimmick.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He was getting destroyed by Abyss during their 2009 Victory Road match, a match Dr. Stevie had made into a No-Holds-Barred Contest which turned out to only make it worse for him. Daffney did come out with a taser though to turn the odds, until Lauren ran counter interference, allowing Abyss to then use the taser to finish off Stevie.
  • The Host: Of T4, a show about technology.
  • Incoming Ham: See the page quote? "I'll Show You! You'll See!" was also the announcement of his arrival to the arena.
  • Keet: During his WWE face runs. Even Essa Rios and Lita did not bother trying to keep up with him when they tagged together.
  • Large Ham: Let's see, he jokes, he dances, he parodies other wrestlers...
  • Light Is Not Good: Right to Censor all wore white shirts despite being heels.
  • Loser Leaves Town: Wrestled one against Raven in Extreme Rising but it was a no contest
  • Moral Guardians: As the leader of Right to Censor in WWE from 2000-2001, a group focused on combating what he saw as "gratuitous violence" and "unnecessary sexual displays" (such as Rikishi's stink face or Mr. Ass's mooning of the crowd).
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: As Dr. Stevie in TNA. At first his identity was kept secret as Abyss's therapist but when he was revealed it was also shown his "therapy" was highly abusive. He then claimed to be "treating" Daffney of some vaguely defined condition, treatment that seemed to be encouraging the excessively violent behavior he was supposed to be curbing.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Joined the anti Mexican "Right" in Lucha Libre USA after at first being a fairly neutral commentator.
  • Power Stable:
    • (in ECW): Raven's Nest
    • (in WCW): Raven's Flock
    • (in the NWA in New Jersey briefly): Hot Stuff International.
    • (in WWE): Right to Censor and the Alliance
    • (in TNA): EV 2.0
    • Also the "Blue World Order", which was a parody of a power stable real, the NWO.
  • Psycho Supporter: For Victoria, though she was one for him as well. A straighter was Dr. Stevie's TNA partnership with Daffney and an even straighter example was when he served as Raven's underling. The latter two even crossed paths when Raven occasionally aligned with Stevie and Daffney.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: When he was aligned with Victoria. This was mocked by JR when Stevie was participating in a group beat down on Trish with Victoria and Molly Holly, wondering if the pink made Richards think he was one of the girls.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Began using Kronik's entrance music as his own after they were fired from WWE.
  • Red Baron: "The Original King of Swing," "Dancin'," "Superstar"
  • The Rival: Raven may have been Tommy Dreamer's arch enemy, but for obvious reasons, Dreamer has ran afoul of Stevie Richards pretty often. Stevie has also faced Spike Dudley quite a bit. Both are pretty one sided rivalries, they usually beat Richards.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Against Rodney Mack on Sunday Night Heat for injuring Victoria. It was mostly unsuccessful though.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Abandoned WCW after a loss to Diamond Dallas Page on the October 4th (taped October 1), 1997 WCW Saturday Night with no real storyline explanation. The October 13th WCW Monday Nitro featured a pretaped vignette of Raven talking about his childhood. This was followed by the Goldberg vs. Scotty Riggs match (4-0.) During the entrances, Raven was shown in the crowd with Perry Saturn and the as-yet-unnamed Sick Boy. Announcer Tony Schiavone acknowledged that Richards was not there and said, "Well you know, here today gone tomorrow with Stevie Richards."
  • Self-Serving Memory: In this promo from the July 4, 1995 ECW Hardcore TV about he and Raven defeating The Public Enemy for the ECW World Tag Team Titles. Stevie claims that he pinned Flyboy Rocco Rock and made it sound like he won the match all by himself. In actuality, the referee got knocked down and The Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa Saied) ran in and attacked TPE and threw Stevie on top of Johnny Grunge for the pin.
  • Squash Match: A tag team squash match he and Raven lost to Shawn Hernandez and Matt Morgan on the first TNA Impact to go live on Monday Nights.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Victoria after her face turn.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Called on the Blue Meanie to finish off Carlito and Rosita in House Of Hardcore (it didn't work)
    • His bringing Raven into ECW qualifies as well.
  • Take That!: Was "Big Stevie Cool" of the bWo with Meanie as "Da Blue Guy" and Nova as "Hollywood" Nova.
  • Third-Person Person: After Luna Vachon made her surprise debut in ECW and sided with Dreamer, Raven, Stevie and Beulah McGillicutty cut a promo on a beach in Florida where Stevie referenced Kevin Sullivan Summoning the Purple Haze and said that Luna joining Sullivan's stable "ruined Stevie Richards' childhood."
  • Too Dumb to Live
    • Once offered THE UNDERTAKER membership in Right to Censor. Taker gave him the Last Ride for his efforts.
    • On a 2003 Raw he called out Goldberg, who at the time was usually cantankerous because of Triple H's Evolution.
  • Took a Level in Badass: A few, especially after he started using the name Steven Richards in WWE.
  • Tournament Arc: Won the TRP Kowalski Cup 2009 by defeating Jason Blade in the final round. Stevie got a by past the semi finals though.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Victoria was able to defeat Trish Stratus in their "Chicago Street Fight" on the January 27, 2003 Raw despite Richards' attempts to help her (e.g., miscalculating with the fire extinguisher spray.)
  • Victorious Loser: At least when it comes to his Right to Censor incarnation. He and his stable may have been viciously hated and humiliated throughout their run but in the long run, with WWE eventually turning PG and removing the more extreme violence, blood, sexual content, and other mature elements, RTC's Steven Richards can be considered to have truly won the censorship war in the long run, even long after Right to Censor ceased to exist as a stable.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His feud with Abyss started with attempting to help him and turned to attempting to put him down when he decided Abyss couldn't be helped and had to be removed from TNA Impact for the good of everyone else.
    "I'm a good guy, I'm trying to help Chris. I spent hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of hours, trying to put together the jigsaw puzzle that was Chris Parks. But then I discovered, this jigsaw puzzle will never ever be put back together. And the saddest part is, and I have to apologize, your sorority sister Taylor has to be dragged into this Monster's Ball."
  • The Worf Barrage: He would sometimes motion to the crowd for a "Stevie sault" but rarely, if ever, actually hit one.
  • The Worf Effect: After Chris Masters accidentally broke his face, WWE started airing footage of the damaged Stevie Richards to try and get Masters over. The problem here was that WWE tried to get Masters over with a full nelson, rather than the Polish Hammer which actually did the damage.
  • Would Hit a Girl
    • He would attack people Victoria was wrestling if given the chance. One sequence involved him tossing Jacqueline over the top rope and giving the Stevie T to Trish.
    • This lead to I Was Beaten by a Girl when Luna defeated him in a cage match at ECW Heat Wave 1995.
    • Terri Runnels defeated him for the WWE Hardcore Title. He rolled her up to regain it immediately after.
  • You Bastard!: Steven Richards had faith that you tropers would be spending your free time with your families but instead he found you here, on TV Tropes, typing about that deplorable program of gratuitous violence and classless smut known as the WWF. The garbage he so righteously campaigned against in Right to Censor!
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: It looked like he was going to lose to Justin Credible, who TNA couldn't actually afford to call Justin Credible. Justin, rather than just go for his That's Incredible Finishing Move, Justin decided to yell out his catchphrase, which caused Stevie to jump up and kick him in the face.