Former WWE manager, commentator Bobby (The Brain) Heenan dead at 73

World Wrestling Entertainment reports that Bobby (The Brain) Heenan died on Sunday at the age 72.

Heenan, whose popularity coincided with the wrestling boon of the 1980s as one of Hulk Hogan's foils, is regarded by most pro wrestling fans as the greatest manager of all time. He is also known for his loquacious microphone skills that made him among the greatest talkers in the history of the industry.

In a horribly ironic twist, Heenan, one of the soundtracks of pro wrestling for a generation of fans, was stricken with throat cancer in 2002 and his voiced was diminished seemingly by the year ever since.

Many on social media, from WWE chairman Vince McMahon to Hogan to other former and current pro wrestlers, expressed condolences Sunday night. 

Born Raymond Louis Heenan, he began wrestling in the mid 1960s. He eventually transitioned into managing, most notably standing in the corner of AWA champion Nick Bockwinkle.

Heenan joined the WWE (then WWF) in 1984, just as the company began to marry itself with pop culture. He played the perfect wrestling heel – a loudmouth know-it-all with a quick wit and an excuse for every mistake. His "Heenan Family" stable is a who's who of wrestling bad guys from that era: Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, Harley Race, Ravishing Rick Rude, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, Ric Flair and Curt (Mr. Perfect) Hennig, among others.

His biggest story line came in 1987, when he managed Andre the Giant to challenge Hogan for the WWF championship at WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdome.

Chided with chants of "weasel" for years for his shrewd antics, he transitioned into a commentator and his chemistry with former wrestler-turned-commentator Gorilla Monsoon is still considered the standard for wrestling announcing nearly 30 years later.

In 1994, Heenan left the WWF for rival WCW, where he continued to announce until 2000.

Earlier this year, George (The Animal) Steele, a.k.a. Jim Myers, another former WWE Hall of Famer who also taught and coached football at a Detroit-area high school for years, died.

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

© 2017 Detroit Free Press


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment