**Possible Spoiler** Legendary wrestling manager backstage at Impact Slammiversary


**Possible Spoiler** Legendary wrestling manager backstage at Impact Slammiversary

One particularly sinister wrestling exec is backstage at Impact’s “Slammiversary” pay-per-view.

Father James Mitchell is in Nashville tonight for the Slammiversary PPV and subsequent TV taping, according to a new report from PWInsider.

Mitchell, 57, first debuted in professional wrestling in the Carolinas in 1989 and worked his way up to televised Smoky Mountain wrestling. There he was known as Daryl Van Horne and managed the offbeat character Prince Kharis, billed as a 4,000-year-old mummy. The gimmick was dropped after just a few months and resulted in Mitchell joining Kendo the Samurai, a masked gimmick played by Tim Horner, Scott Antol and Brian Logan and others, but Mitchell left the promotion shortly after the new direction .

He then went to World Championship Wrestling as James Vandenberg, the manager of Mortis (Chris Kanyon), another masked wrestler who was one of the “rare oddities” Vanderberg had in store for WCW audiences. They had a long-running feud against Glacier in the corner titled Blood Runs Cold, with each side adding a new ally to their ranks. For Vanderbilt and Mortis it was Wrath (Bryan Clark), and for Glacier he found a partner in Ernest “The Cat” Miller. In early 1998, Wrath was sidelined with an injury that forced Mortis and Vanderbilt to branch off and try new methods to deal with the WCW crowd. After an unpopular “Vandenberg’s Odditorium” segment he tried out, where he appeared alone in front of the camera in a dimly lit room and discussed current feuds, he was sent home and paid for two years until his contract expired.

Mitchell later became a crowd favorite on ECW, renaming himself “The Sinister Minister” and devoting a stint as a commentator before becoming the manager of The Unholy Alliance (Yoshihiro Tajiri and Mikey Whipwreck). Unfortunately, he was injured in an accident involving a portable machine used to shoot fireballs and would not do much with Extreme Championship Wrestling before their demise in the early 2000s.

Que Mitchell’s arrival at TNA/Impact Wrestling in June 2002 and any die-hard fans of “The Sinister Minister” probably know the rest of the story. He would make his first big mark on the company introducing the personality of Father James Mitchell and welcoming the Disciples of The New Church (Slash & Brian Lee) to TNA. The team would face top TNA duo America’s Most Wanted for the remainder of the year. They would plunge into a rivalry with Raven thereafter, allowing Mitchell to pursue new clients in The Gathering, Raven’s former protégés

Arguably the manager’s most iconic pairing is Abyss, which began on July 1, 2005 and propelled the monstrous TNA star to victories over top talent, culminating in an NWA World Heavyweight Championship victory over Sting on 2006’s Genesis. The two would go through some turbulent times during their pairing, including Abyss’ facial twist on the April 19, 2007 issue of Impact when he punched Black Hole Mitchell to symbolize their breakup. He would also manage stars like his “son” Judas Mesias (Ricky Banderas). The storyline eventually led to the revelation that Abyss is also Mitchell’s on-screen son, but after the storyline wrapped, Mitchell remained inactive for six months and was released from his TNA contract on July 7, 2008.

Mitchell would continue to appear on some of the new ECW shows rebranded from WWE in 2005. He would return to the business in 2017, having more appearances with Impact Wrestling and continuing interactions with Joseph Parks/Abyss. He later became a central part of the feud between Rosemary, Su Yung, and Allie, introducing himself as the keeper of Rosemary’s soul. Sporadic appearances by the veteran would continue throughout 2019.

His last work was with AEW, where he acted as Wedding Officer at the wedding of Penelope Ford & Kip Sabian. He has also appeared frequently in NWA as the manager of rising star Judias.

Stay tuned to Wrestling Inc. for tonight’s live coverage of Impact’s “Slammiversary” pay-per-view!

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