A particularly sinister wrestling manager is behind the scenes at the Impact’s “Slammiversary” Pay-Per-View.
Father James Mitchell is in Nashville for tonight’s Slammiversary PPV and subsequent TV taping, according to a new report from “PWInsider.”
Mitchell, 57, made his professional wrestling debut in the Carolinas in 1989 and worked his way up to televised Smoky Mountain Wrestling. There he was known as Daryl Van Horne and led the outlandish character Prince Kharis, billed as a 4,000-year-old mummy. The gimmick was dropped after only a few months and led Mitchell to align himself with 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 management.
He would then move on 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 Angle titled “Blood Runs Cold”, which saw each side add 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 due to injury, which forced Mortis and Vanderbilt to branch off and try new methods of getting over the WCW crowd. After an unpopular ‘Vandenberg’s Odditorium’ segment he tried where he appeared alone on camera in a dimly lit space, discussing current feuds, he was sent home and paid for two years until his term expired contract.
Mitchell became a crowd favorite in ECW, renaming himself “The Sinister Minister” and having a stint in the commentaries before becoming the manager of The Unholy Alliance (Yoshihiro Tajiri and Mikey Whipwreck). Unfortunately, he was injured in an accident with a portable machine that was used to shoot fireballs and wouldn’t do much more with Extreme Championship Wrestling before their decline in the early 2000s.
Que Mitchell’s arrival in TNA/Impact Wrestling in June 2002, and any diehard “The Sinister Minister” fan probably knows the rest of the story. He would put his first major seal on the company by introducing the character Father James Mitchell and welcoming the New Church Disciples (Slash and Brian Lee) to TNA. The team would continue to feud with TNA America’s Most Wanted Top Duo for the remainder of the year. They would then plunge into a rivalry with Raven, allowing Mitchell to pursue new clients in The Gathering, Raven’s former proteges.
Arguably the manager’s most legendary pairing is with Abyss, who debuted on July 1, 2005 and would propel the monstrous TNA star to victories over top talent, ultimately culminating in an NWA World Heavyweight Championship win over Sting at “Genesis” 2006. The two reportedly had tumultuous moments throughout their relationship, including Abyss’ face on the April 19, 2007 edition of “Impact” when he Black Hole Slammed Mitchell to symbolize their dissolution. He will also manage stars like his “son”, Judas Mesias (Ricky Banderas). The storyline led to the eventual revelation that Abyss is also Mitchell’s on-screen son, but after the storyline was completed, Mitchell was inactive for six months and was released from his TNA contract on July 7, 2008.
Mitchell would go on to appear on some of the new ECW shows, rebranded by WWE in 2005. He would return to the company in 2017 making 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, posing as the guardian of Rosemary’s soul. The veteran’s sporadic appearances would continue throughout 2019.
His most recent job was with AEW, appearing as an officiating at Penelope Ford and Kip Sabian’s wedding. He also appeared often in NWA as the manager of rising star Judias.
Stay tuned to Wrestling Inc. for live coverage of tonight’s Impact “Slammiversary” Pay-Per-View!
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