Revisiting The Legend That Is Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Article By James Klonowski

WWE Hall of Famer Bobby “The Brain” Heenan sadly passed away this past Sunday night
surrounded by his loved ones at the age of 73 following a long battle with cancer.

Bobby “The Brain” Heenan: One Of The Greatest Of All Time

Heenan, for my money, is the greatest all-round performer in the history of sportsentertainment.
As a manager, no one could touch him. Paul Heyman may come the closest, but even his brilliance is a few rungs below that of The Brain’s.

During his legendary career Heenan’s list of clients reads like a Mount Rushmore of professional-wrestling: Ric Flair, Harly Race, Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, Nick Bockwinkel, and of course Andre The Giant.  Heenan knew how to sell tickets like no one else. He could get under the skin of fans quicker
and faster than anyone. His heel tactics are still being used today. He was sensational at whatever he did.

Everything he touched was instantly turned to gold. He reached his pinnacle as a manager at WrestleMania 3 in front of nearly 100,000 fans as he stood ringside to watch Hulk Hogan slam his client Andre The Giant to the mat to retain the WWE Championship.

He was so important to that match, and WWE at the time. I’m not sure if it would’ve been as big a success as it was had it not been for the involvement of Heenan. Fans would never have bought Andre as heel, that’s for sure. Heenan was so good that I’m sure he could even make fans boo the Dalai Lama.

Pioneer Of The Industry

Along with his unparalleled skills as a heel manager, Heenan also had wit and comic timing that
made him Jay Leno before Jay Leno. We saw snippets of his genius comedy during his time as
a manager, but only got to really see it when he transitioned behind the commentary desk in
the early 1990s.

Heenan’s light-hearted and smart way of talking up the bad guys has become the template for colour commentators ever since. Heenan and the legendary Gorilla Monsoon created arguably the greatest announce team in all of wrestling history. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are many people’s favourite duo, but without Heenan and Monsoon, there would never have been a JR and King.

WWE Depature & WCW Years

Bobby Heenan’s WWE career came to a premature end in 1993 on an early edition of Monday
Night Raw after he had accepted a lucrative offer to join WCW, where he stayed until the turn
of the new millennium.

During that episode of Raw, Heenan’s long-time colleague and friend Monsoon fired him and threw him out of the building. It was the perfect end to Heenan’s WWE career. He came in as a Weasel, and he left as a Weasel.

No one was willing to sacrifice their character for the benefit of the business more than Bobby Heenan.

Heenan headed to Atlanta and signed for WCW in January 1994 to become their lead colour
commentator. I felt as if WCW missed a trick by not letting him manage a few of their up and
coming superstars.

One of his most infamous moments came when Heenan appeared to  telegraph Hogan’s defection to the NWO when his existing bad blood with Hogan caused him to question whether the Hulkster was joining Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.

Heenan’s time in WCW was a miserable one. He didn’t enjoy working there mainly due to the
unprofessional nature of the men in charge. The only reason he decided to join them in the
first place was the money and light schedule so he could spend more time with his family. The
only thing more important to him than wrestling was his family.

WWE Return

Thankfully, Heenan got to return to the WWE in 2004 where he was inducted into the Hall of
Fame. He delivered one of his trademark monologues and had fans in stitches throughout his
performance. I would suggest any aspiring comedian to take a look at that speech, they may
learn a thing or two.

Sadly, doctors diagnosed Heenan with throat cancer in 2002, and bravely battled it for over 15
years. There will never be another like Bobby Heenan. Our thoughts are with his family and
friends at this deeply sad time. Heaven just got the greatest announce team of all time. God
speed, The Brain.

Here are a selection of Bobby Heenan’s greatest quotes:

“Ya listen to me, you’ll go to the top! You don’t listen to me, you’re never heard from again!”

“A friend in need is a pest.”

“You know they say money can’t buy happiness. Give me 50 bucks and watch me smile.”

“I’m a legend in this sport. If you don’t believe me, ask me.”

“I know all about cheating. I’ve had six very successful marriages.”

“If you’re poor and you do something stupid, you’re nuts. If you’re rich and do something
stupid, you’re eccentric.”

Make sure you follow James on Twitter @JK_CFC3!