Bruno Lauer (October 27, 1965), better known by his ring name Harvey Wippleman, is a professional wrestling manager, referee, and occasional wrestler who is best known from his long running stint as a manager in the 1990s World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He is the only male to ever win the WWF Women's Championship. He still performs as Downtown Bruno occasionally in Memphis Wrestling. He is currently signed with World Wrestling Entertainment.
Lauer has worked in the professional wrestling industry for much of his adult life, at various times taking on the role of wrestler, manager, referee, and executive in multiple federations. He began his career competing in various Southern territories performing under the names Downtown Bruno and Uptown Bruno as well as his current moniker.
World Wrestling Federation
Lauer debuted in the WWF as Harvey Wippleman, the Heel manager of Big Bully Busick, who had a brief and uneventful stint. When Busick left the WWF, Wippleman stayed and became the manager of The Warlord and Sid Justice. At this time, Wippleman began feuding with WWF ring announcer Howard Finkel, whom he felt had been introducing him in a condescending manner for all of his appearances. Their feud resulted in a number of Tuxedo Matches over the next few years. Wippleman, along with Kim Chee, managed Kamala. Kamala feuded with The Undertaker, whom The Undertaker defeated in a Coffin Match at Survivor Series 1992. After this, Kamala left Wippleman and Reverend Slick became his new manager; this led to a low-profile feud with Wippleman and his clients. Wippleman's main focus remained the Undertaker: Seeking revenge for the loss of Kamala, Wippleman brought a new wrestler to the WWF, the nearly eight-foot-tall Giant González, who interfered in the 1993 Royal Rumble and eliminated the Undertaker. Wippleman also hired Mr. Hughes, who stole Paul Bearer's urn and dominated the Undertaker for a brief period. At the 1993 SummerSlam pay-per-view, the feud came to an end when Undertaker defeated Gonzalez. Wippleman berated Gonzalez for the loss and received a Chokeslam as a result.
Soon after, Wippleman aligned himself with new clients such as Adam Bomb, the tag team of Well Dunn and Kwang, but eventually they all parted ways in their own manners (Bomb turned face when betrayed by Whippleman and Kwang, Well Dunn was released in 1995, and the Kwang character was discontinued). He later managed Bertha Faye; in an angle, he fell in love with her despite her abuses of him, much to the confusion of announcers and fans alike. He led Faye to the WWF Women's Championship as she defeated Alundra Blayze at the 1995 SummerSlam event.
In 1996, Wippleman took on a new role. He would show up at ringside during matches to observe the referees, seeking to report their inefficiency to (onscreen) WWF President Gorilla Monsoon. Monsoon, pleased with the report, made Wippleman an official WWF referee. In contrast to traditional pro wrestling referees (who usually need to see cheating to call a disqualification), Wippleman would disqualify heels when he even suspected cheating on their part. It turned out to be a position that Wippleman took seriously, as he made the three count for some high-profile matches before he was temporarily removed from onscreen roles when the Attitude Era came along. He made an appearance on Raw the week after 'Ravishing' Rick Rude left and did Rude's opening lines before he was pushed over by D-Generation X.
During the Attitude Era, he won the WWF Women's Championship from The Kat while he was in a (bad) disguise and used the name "Hervina" in a "Lumberjill Snow bunny" match (held in fake snow). The whole thing was played for comedy, as his disguise was intentionally obvious, with the announcers making frequent references to his real identity. He pinned The Kat after a cheap shot from Jacqueline to win the title. This made him the first male to hold the Women's Championship. He lost the title just two days later to Jacqueline.
Whippleman serves as a road agent on the Raw Brand, a position he has held since the Attitude Era. He also makes appearances for Memphis Wrestling under his old ring name, "Downtown Bruno."
- Big Bully Busick
- The Warlord
- Sid Justice
- Giant Gonzales
- Mr. Hughes
- Well Dunn (Timothy Well and Steven Dunn)
- Adam Bomb
- Bertha Faye
- The Brooklyn Brawler
- Rock 'n' Roll RPMs (Tommy Lane and Mike Davis)