Big Stevie Cool
Dr. Stevie Richards
Fake Dude Love
Dancin' Stevie Richards
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Billed weight||215 lb (98 kg)|
October 9, 1971 |
|Billed from||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
New York City's Bellevue Hospital (as Dr. Stevie)
|Trained by||Mike Sharpe
|Debut||February 25, 1992|
Michael Stephen Manna (born October 9, 1971) is an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name Stevie Richards. He currently works for Lucha Libre USA and previously wrestled for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/WWE), Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He has also made appearances for Ring Of Honor (ROH). He has held over 40 titles in his career, including the WWE Hardcore Championship 21 times, the ECW World Tag Team Championship twice and the NWA National Heavyweight Championship once. He is the current (and first) Extreme Rising World Champion.
Professional wrestling career 
Eastern Championship Wrestling / Extreme Championship Wrestling (1992–1997) 
On February 25, 1992, Richards wrestled in the opening match of the inaugural show for Eastern Championship Wrestling (later renamed Extreme Championship Wrestling), a 20-minute time limit draw with Jimmy Jannetty.
In late 1994, Richards adopted gimmicks Scott Levy had used in WCW and the WWF (Scotty Flamingo, Scotty the Body, and Johnny Polo) on a weekly basis, substituting "Stevie" for the first names. After his first ECW loss to Tommy Dreamer, he became irate and claimed he would soon present "the real Johnny Polo". On January 7, 1995, Levy made his ECW debut as Raven, and Richards became his lackey, calling him "Boss". They reigned twice as ECW tag team champions.
Richards was a part of the Blue World Order (bWo), a group parodying the New World Order. In 1997, along with the bWo, he was one of the first ECW wrestlers to appear on World Wrestling Federation programming, during a cross-promotion for ECW's first pay-per-view, Barely Legal. He defeated Little Guido in a match at the Manhattan Center.
In the main event of Barely Legal, Richards wrestled Terry Funk and The Sandman in a Three Way Dance to determine the number one contender for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. He lost the match and, in a rematch in May, suffered a neck injury that required several surgeries to fix.
World Championship Wrestling (1997) 
In May 1997, Richards announced his retirement due to a neck injury, before recovering and signing with WCW. He wrestled briefly as a member of Raven's stable, The Flock, but failed a physical examination and left WCW in December. While there, he defeated Scotty Riggs, Lenny Lane and Damian, and lost to Macho Man Randy Savage, Diamond Dallas Page, and Raven (at Clash of the Champions XXXV. He wrote a column in several issues of WCW Magazine, under the name Dancin' Stevie Richards.
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1999–2008) 
Imitations; Right to Censor (1999–2001) 
In 1999, Richards joined the WWF full-time. He debuted on the August 15, 1999 episode of Sunday Night Heat, helping his old bWo partner, The Blue Meanie, win his match against Al Snow. The two formed a short-lived tag team, before Richards adopted an impersonator gimmick.
Mocking other wrestler's gimmicks, he appeared as an Acolyte, a Dudley Boy and a vampire of The Brood, until briefly settling on Mick Foley's Dude Love persona. After that, he impersonated Test, Chyna, and Chris Jericho, before being sidelined by an ankle injury. He returned to a stint on Jakked and Metal, where he lost matches more often than not. He challenged both Dean Malenko and Scotty 2 Hotty for the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship in this period.
Richards returned to RAW on June 26, 2000, with a new look and gimmick, shorthaired and in a shirt and tie.Over the next few weeks, he cut promos condemning the risqué content of WWF programming and preaching conservative values (the gimmick was a mocking reference to the Parents Television Council, which was publicly criticizing WWF content at the time). He became a full-fledged heel, formalized his name to Steven Richards and formed a stable known as the Right to Censor. He spoke for, managed and tag teamed with his recruits: The Godfather (renamed the Goodfather), Bull Buchanan, Ivory, and Val Venis. When Chyna was featured in Playboy magazine, Right to Censor objected, and feuded with her and her (onscreen) boyfriend, Eddie Guerrero.
Stevie Night Heat (2002–2004) 
After Right to Censor broke up, Richards disappeared from TV for a short time. He returned to SmackDown! to cut a promo condemning The Undertaker for attacking Right to Censor and causing it to disband. When The Undertaker confronted Richards, KroniK attacked him. Richards announced his alliance with the WCW tag team, thus becoming a de facto member of The Alliance. He managed Kronik in a match against The Undertaker and Kane, after which Kronik was released from the WWF.
Richards then appeared mainly on the SmackDown brand's "B show", Velocity, until Team Alliance lost at Survivor Series in 2001. Richards was then fired (in storylines) along with the rest of the Alliance roster by Vince McMahon. Ric Flair was able to save his job and get him drafted to the Raw brand.
There, he began using the gimmick of a "mentally unbalanced" jobber and became a twenty-two-time Hardcore Champion, trading it several times with Bubba Ray Dudley, Booker T, Crash Holly, Shawn Stasiak, Justin Credible, Bradshaw, Terri, and Tommy Dreamer.
Richards formed an alliance with Victoria in late 2002, as a mentally unbalanced couple helping each other win their matches. He often helped her retain the WWE Women's Championship. Around this time, he proclaimed himself "General Manager of Heat", a title which carried no actual authority. As Victoria turned face, the duo quietly separated. In August 2004, Richards began appearing in drag as "The Mystery Woman" during Victoria's matches, helping her win. The Mystery Woman's painfully obvious identity was "revealed" at Unforgiven, after "she" saved Victoria from Tyson Tomko and Trish Stratus. Richards then quickly lost an impromptu match to Tomko. He went on a losing streak on Heat from April 19, 2004 till December 3, 2006 (when he defeated Rene Dupree).
Reunion of the bWo (2005–2006) 
Richards was legitimately injured during the Raw debut match of Chris Masters in February 2005, when a botched Polish hammer broke his nose and orbital bone. After healing, Richards faced Masters in a rematch, but lost again.
Richards appeared at the ECW reunion event, ECW One Night Stand in 2005, reuniting with his bWo comrades and proclaiming "We have only three words for you. We're taking over!" He then dropped The Sandman with a Stevie Kick.
Richards was traded to SmackDown! on June 30, 2005, and reformed the bWo with Nova and The Blue Meanie. At The Great American Bash, the bWo lost to The Mexicools (Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis, and Super Crazy) in a six-man tag team match.
Richards then had a short stint on WWE Velocity, dropping the bWo gimmick as he jobbed to Hardcore Holly and Booker T. After September 6, he disappeared from TV for over six months. He returned for an 18-Man Battle Royal on Heat, immediately before WrestleMania 22.
ECW (2006–2008) 
Shortly after the introduction of the ECW brand in 2006, Richards left the SmackDown! brand to join it on the "WWE vs ECW Head to Head" show on June 7, 2006. He wrestled on ECW's weekly show under his old ring name of Stevie Richards. He soon returned to his heel persona, turning on the other ECW Originals and siding with the newer stars. His first win on ECW's weekly show was on September 5, 2006, over Balls Mahoney, after interference from Kevin Thorn, who was feuding with Mahoney at the time.
Richards wrestled before the ECW brand's first pay-per-view, December to Dismember, defeating Rene Dupree in a dark match. Other than this match, he did not appear on ECW between September 2006 (when he joined up with the first version of ECW's New Breed - Test, Mike Knox and Hardcore Holly) and February 2007 (when he lost to CM Punk for a second time).
Richards was a lumberjack in the pre-WrestleMania 23 Lumberjack Tag Team match. He then went on to lose to CM Punk three more times. In mid-2007, Richards turned face again, and teamed with Tommy Dreamer against The New Breed on house shows, replacing The Sandman (who was drafted to Raw) in the ECW Originals.
On July 24, Richards defeated Kevin Thorn by reversing a crucifix powerbomb into a backslide pin. This was his first victory on WWE television since December 2006. In a rematch the next week, he was dominated, yet again defeated Thorn, via roll-up. On August 7, he was ambushed by Thorn while giving an interview backstage. He again defeated Thorn on August 14 by a reverse decision disqualification, when Thorn continued to assault him after initially winning the match. Richards ambushed Thorn during an interview the next week. He teamed with Tommy Dreamer and lost to Thorn and Elijah Burke. A week later, he teamed with CM Punk and defeated them.
In the following months, Richards wrestled in the pre-WrestleMania 24-Man Battle Royal, lost to Shelton Benjamin, The Great Khali and Mike Knox in singles matches, teamed with Kelly Kelly to lose to Mike Knox and Layla and was one of fourteen ECW wrestlers who faced Triple H and Mr. Kennedy in a 14 on 2 Handicap Match on Raw. He commentated on the Extreme Rules match between Mike Knox and Tommy Dreamer on the 100th episode of ECW.
Richards remained on the ECW brand after the June 2008 Draft, but wrestled his final three WWE matches on SmackDown!. He lost to Vladimir Kozlov twice in July 2008, and to The Brian Kendrick on August 15. He was released from his WWE contract shortly thereafter.
Independent circuit (2009–present) 
Before returning to the independent circuit, Richards' lung collapsed while undergoing a biopsy to determine the cause of a lung infection, causing him to wear a chest tube for several days and miss a scheduled appearance for Maryland Championship Wrestling (MCW).
Richards then occasionally wrestled for MCW and other promotions. He won the Force One Championship Wrestling Heavyweight championship on February 28, 2009 in Barnegat, NJ, defeating Danny Doring., as well as the TRP and Showcase heavyweight championships.
On May 28, 2011, Richards debuted as an announcer for Lucha Libre USA. At the next taping on June 18, he turned heel by helping RJ Brewer win the Lucha Libre USA Championship, joining his anti-Mexican stable, The Right, in the process. He made his promotional wrestling debut at the next taping on July 30, defeating Rocky Romero after interference from stablemate Petey Williams.
In 2012, Richards wrestled for Extreme Rising promotion, as well as for the NWA and Florida-based promotions CCW and ICW. On October 6, 2012, Richards defeated Aramis to win the American Championship Pro Wrestling (ACPW) Heavyweight title in Vineland, NJ. On November 17, Richards entered a tournament for the first Extreme Rising World Championship. He eliminated Papadon in the first round, by submission. On December 29, 2012 he would win the tournament by first defeating Luke Hawx in the semi-finals and then Rhino in the final round to become the first Extreme Rising World Champion. He would win all matches by submission with the "I'll Tap You," following this final round win, the Extreme Rising locker room surrounded the ring to congratulate him on his first World Championship.
Stevie's first match of 2013 was in the main-event for Southern Championship Wrestling Florida in a Champion vs Champion match, challenging for Rico Casanova's DWE Heavyweight Championship. The match ended in a no-contest due to outside interference, therefore he did not win the title. In 2012 and 2013, Stevie simultaneously held the Showcase Championship Wrestling Heavyweight title, the American Championship Pro Wrestling Heavyweight title and the Extreme Rising World Heavyweight Championship. Stevie would make his first title defense of the Extreme Rising World Championship at a DWA's "Wrestling Legends Tour 2013" in Germany, defeating DWA Cruiserweight Champion Tarkan Aslan, thus retaining the title and legitimizing it as World Championship. He made his first North American title defenses for various Florida promotions, defeating The Dirty White Boy for Coastal Championship Wrestling, SCW Florida Cruiserweight Champion Chasyn Rance for Southern Championship Wrestling Florida and Maxwell Chicago for I Believe In Wrestling. Extreme Rising announced Richards would make his first iPPV defense against Raven, his former mentor, on April 4 in Philadelphia. However, the event was cancelled.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling 
Various Storylines (2009–2010) 
On the February 12, 2009 episode of TNA Impact!, Manna made his Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) debut as Abyss's therapist, Dr. Stevie. For two months, Dr. Stevie's face did not appear on television, as the camera was positioned behind him during his sessions with Abyss and, later, Daffney. His identity was revealed when he interfered in Abyss's match with Matt Morgan at Lockdown, preventing Abyss from using a chair, which caused him to lose. Stevie's heel role was solidified the next month, when his sessions with Abyss became increasingly abusive. At Sacrifice, Abyss turned on Stevie and chokeslammed him onto a pile of thumbtacks, after he threatened Lauren, Abyss' girlfriend. On the May 28 episode of Impact!, Raven returned to TNA, attacked Abyss and aligned himself with Stevie and Daffney. Stevie lost to Abyss at the 2009 Victory Road pay-per-view.
Stevie scored his first TNA victory on July 19, defeating Cody Deaner with his new finishing move, General Anesthesia, in a match for TNA Xplosion, also streamed on TNA's website. On the July 30 Impact!, he announced he was not done with Abyss and placed a $50,000 bounty on his head. On September 1, he defeated Jay Lethal via submission in another webmatch.
After Lethal Consequences (Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed) and Jethro Holliday failed to collect the bounty on Abyss, Kevin Nash claimed it at No Surrender after pinning him in a Legends Championship match, even though it was supposed to be paid for ending his career. Stevie tried to explain this to Nash, only to receive a Jackknife Powerbomb. On the next Impact!, Stevie took the money back after using a taser on Nash. The feud ended a week later, when Nash defeated Stevie in a non-title match.
On the October 8 Impact!, Mick Foley announced that Stevie would be the special guest referee in the Monster's Ball match between Foley and Abyss at Bound for Glory. The match ended after Abyss pushed the interfering Daffney off the top rope through a barbed-wire board (giving her a legit concussion), chokeslammed the enraged Dr. Stevie onto a pile of thumbtacks and slammed Foley onto the barbed wire board. He covered Foley, pulled an unconscious Dr. Stevie over, and used his hand to count the pinfall.
Two weeks later, Stevie assaulted Abyss after losing a match to him; Foley turned on him and saved Abyss. The next week, Foley explained he had manipulated Dr. Stevie all along, and had challenged Abyss to test how tough he really was. He then booked Stevie in a match with Abyss for the following week; if Abyss pinned Stevie, he would have to leave TNA. On the November 12 Impact!, Stevie defeated Abyss to save his job, after the lights suddenly went out and came back on with Abyss mysteriously laid out. After the match, Foley (who was commentating during the match) entered the ring and attacked Stevie, when the lights went out again. In the darkness, a fireball was thrown in Foley's face. When the lights came back, Raven was revealed as the one who had interfered. Stevie, Raven and Daffney then reformed their alliance and feuded with Abyss and Foley. During the feud, Stevie set Abyss on fire. Spike (TNA's broadcaster) didn't allow the footage to air, so it was streamed on the company's website. At Final Resolution, Abyss and Foley defeated Stevie and Raven in a "Foley's Funhouse" tag team match to end the feud.
EV 2.0 (2010–2011) 
After months of being off television, he (now billed as Stevie Richards) returned on the June 24 Impact!, in the audience beside Raven and Tommy Dreamer. The next week, the three were joined by Rhino. On the July 15 Impact!, Richards, Raven, Dreamer, Rhino, Brother Devon, Pat Kenney and Al Snow, led by Mick Foley, aligned themselves with TNA World Heavyweight Champion Rob Van Dam, by attacking Abyss and the rest of the TNA locker room, thus turning face.
The next week, TNA president Dixie Carter agreed to give the ECW alumni their own reunion pay–per–view event, Hardcore Justice, a celebration of hardcore wrestling and a final farewell to ECW. At the event, Richards defeated P.J. Polaco.
On the next Impact!, the ECW alumni (known collectively as Extreme, Version 2.0 (EV 2.0)) were assaulted by A.J. Styles, Kazarian, Robert Roode, James Storm, Douglas Williams and Matt Morgan of Ric Flair's Fourtune stable, who claimed EV 2.0 didn't deserve to be in TNA. During the assault, Abyss came out, fought Rob Van Dam backstage and caused him storyline injuries which forced him to vacate the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, and caused EV 2.0 to seek vengeance. On the August 26 Impact!, Richards volunteered to take out Abyss, but ended up beaten when he attacked him backstage. The following week on Impact!, Richards defeated Abyss in a singles match. After the match, Abyss was about to attack Richards with a nail-studded board, but he was saved by EV 2.0's newest member, Brian Kendrick.
In late August, Richards began writing a weekly health and fitness column for TNA's website.
At Bound for Glory, Richards, Dreamer, Raven, Rhino and Sabu defeated Fourtune members Styles, Kazarian, Morgan, Roode and Storm in a Lethal Lockdown match. At Turning Point, EV 2.0 faced Fortune in a ten man tag team match, where each member of EV 2.0 put their TNA careers on the line. EV 2.0 lost the match and Sabu was released from TNA. Richards then challenged TNA Television Champion A.J. Styles to a match on the next Impact!. He failed to bring the Television Championship to EV 2.0, and was taken from the ring in a neck brace, suffering a storyline injury. Despite this, TNA streamed a match on Xplosion, in which Richards defeated Okada.
On January 11, 2011, Manna announced he had quit TNA.
Outside of wrestling 
In 2011, Manna pitched a perfect game in the MLB 2K11 video game. A promotional contest offered a million dollars to the first person to accomplish this, but because Manna did so before the contest officially started, he did not win the money.
In 2007, Manna and Josh "Colm" Coleman started their own technology podcast T4 (meaning Tech Today Tech Tomorrow). In March 2013 T4 signed with Andrew Zarian's GFQ Network (Guys From Queens Network). The show airs Mondays at 2pm ET on http://www.gfqlive.tv
In wrestling 
- As Stevie Richards / Steven Richards
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Double knee facebreaker
- Multiple short-arm knee lifts followed by a vertical suplex
- Rat Trap (Full nelson / Camel clutch combination)
- Flatliner (Reverse STO)
- Single arm DDT
- Sitout facebuster
- Stevie Bomb (Sheer drop release powerbomb)
- Snap suplex
- Vertical suplex, with theatrics
- As Big Stevie Cool
- As Dr. Stevie
- Wrestlers managed
- Entrance Themes
- "Nitro (Youth Energy)" by The Offspring (ECW)
- "Come Out And Play" by The Offspring (ECW, with Raven)
- "Dead and Bloated" by Stone Temple Pilots (ECW)
- "BWO Theme" by Swamp Candles
- "Censored" by Jim Johnston (While in Right to Censor)
- "Tuff Stuff" from Extreme Music Library (WWE)
- "You'll See" by Jim Johnston (WWE)
- "Paging Dr. Stevie" by Dale Oliver (TNA, as Dr. Stevie)
Championships and accomplishments 
- Allied Powers Wrestling Federation
- APWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- American Championship Pro Wrestling
- ACPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time, current) 
- Cajun Wrestling Federation
- CWF United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Liberty All-Star Wrestling
- LAW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Maryland Championship Wrestling
- National Wrestling Alliance
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Pro Wrestling eXpress
- PWX Tag Team Championship (1 time) with The Blue Meanie
- Steel City Wrestling
- Top Rope Promotions
- Unified Championship Wrestling
- UCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
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- Hamilton, Ian (2006). Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition. Lulu.com. ISBN 1-4116-1210-8.
- Loverro, Thom (2006). The Rise & Fall of ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 1-4165-1058-3.
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