“ROUGH CUTS” REMEMBERS BOBBY “THE BRAIN” HEENAN

Posted September 25th, 2017 by 1Wrestling News Team

Welcome to this edition of Rough Cuts by Sal LaSardo, as I remember the late Bobby “The Brain Heenan who recently passed away at the age of 72.

Raymond Louis Heenan, better known as the Bobby the Weasel, I mean the “Brain” Heenan was more the just a successful manager. He was a wrestler, a commentator, a husband, a father, a grandfather, author, and top it all off a WWE Hall of Famer.

Growing up in the 70s and 80s I would watch WWF/WWE on WWOR TV channel 9 every Saturday morning — We tune into Pipers Pit, to Prime Time Wrestling with Gorilla and Bobby, Saturday Night Main Event, and on Tuesday Night Titans a talk show as well. Bobby was there to insult us humanoids like no other. I always look forward to the monthly live shows that came to Madison Square Garden as well, and to the Meadow-lands in NJ where I frequently attended.

Bobby Heenan was right in the middle of all it — especially when he was teamed with Gorilla Monsoon — They complimented each other just like Abbott/Costello, Laurel and Hardy — They had such incredible chemistry together and it was so nice to know years later that they actually were very good friends when the camera stopped rolling —

Bobby Heenan was the one person we loved to hate — yet as much as we loved to hate him we loved him more — he did his job to get the crowd to hate and boo — no one generated the heat that Bobby did — no manager in the history of professional wrestling was able to do what Bobby did and could do to incite a crowd — Make no mistake about it — No one and I mean no one could ever promote a heel/bad guy like Bobby Heenan. You truly believed that when he walked to the ring with whomever he was managing that he was going to win — except against Hogan…

Bobby headlined several Main Events for Wrestle Mania — Wrestle Mania 2 he managed King Kong Bundy in the Steel Cage against Hogan — and then he managed Andre in the Wrestle Mania 3 which will go down as one the greatest of all Mania’s — 93000+ in the Silver-dome to witness Andre and Hulk and Bobby was right there leading the way — Bobby was able to successfully manage on multiple occasions The Intercontinental Championship/IC belt — Rick Rude had for a bit — Mr. Perfect Curt Henning 2x. He managed several Tag Team Champions from the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), Andre and Haku became champions for a short time only to lose the titles to Demolition — Bobby never managed a World Champion — He had everything else in the WWF/WWE — That is what made him so special — It was the chase to get Hogan — We ate it up — At one point I believed Paul Orndorff was going to be champion and unfortunately that never happened — Especially after Paul turned on Hulk — It would have been nice to see Bobby manage a World Champion but then again he is the “Brain” and the bad guy as smart as he is doesn’t always get what he wants.

To put in perspective, considering the number of wrestlers Bobby managed over the years — The Brooklyn Brawler — a k a Steve Lombardi stands out to me above every one else — Steve was the ultimate jobber and wrestler who could never win a match — He was fun to watch but he was better with Bobby, especially when he started to win matches — With Bobby by his side you can see the difference in how to talk and cut a promo and get ready to do battle — Bobby was the voice that was needed to put wrestlers over not just on the heel side but on the baby face side — you need a true heel to make a face work — and Bobby was just perfection —

I enjoyed the skits he did with Gorilla on Prime Time was nothing short of comical — They ad libbed most of it — One of the funniest ones was the skit ” High Seas on Prime Time, Nov 22, 1988″. Please watch it — I guarantee you will laugh and watch it over and over. I have and still get chills over it. The purpose of these skits was to take light and show the entertainment side of wrestling — It was fun watching Gorilla put Bobby in his place — We cheered, we laughed and we cried — because it was just that good — Especially when Bobby had that phony neck brace on. Bobby would have a telephone on the desk and be making calls only to get a rise out of Gorilla.

Bobby did get the best of Gorilla with the story line involving the Machines — claiming one of them was Andre the Giant — which in fact was but Bobby couldn’t prove it —

Bobby was never afraid to take a bump in the ring and he did many times against Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and Andre — He always did what was best to get a reaction out of the crowd — I remember watching Wrestle Fest from Milwaukee when Bobby took on the Ultimate Warrior in a Weasel Suit match — To see the reaction of Bobby in the Weasel suit was priceless — He did it for the fans and make no mistake about it — deep down he loved the fans and it was his job to do the job and get us to boo we cheered and laughed when the good guys got the best of him and made him look like the Weasel– and no one ever could do what Bobby did —

When Bobby left WWE for WCW along with several others — how fitting was it for Bobby to be fired by Gorilla Monsoon — his life long friend — I read years later, off camera they shared a warm embrace and cried because they were best friends and Bobby felt it was time leave — to truly explain how close they were was when Gorilla died and Bobby paid tribute to Gorilla on WCW Monday Nitro — to see those tears in his eyes and sadness was something I never forgotten. At that point I realized they were very close off camera and no one felt Gorilla’s passing more than Bobby — We were sad and we felt for the Brain because he was person playing a part on television — Afterwards, like the pro he was — Bobby delivered as always —

I had the chance to watch Bobby’s WWE Hall of Fame speech several times and if you have not seen or heard it — please do — its worth the 20 minutes — it is to me one of the greatest speeches I ever heard and the fans saw the personable non-heel side of the “Brain” — Bobby started at the bottom as everyone does in the business and become the Greatest of all time — Often imitated and never duplicated — No one will ever duplicate what Bobby has done in the world of professional wrestling —

Bobby fought cancer like the champ he was — He had a long fight — I watched the interview with Apter and Bobby’s wife Cynthia Jean. She seemed like such an amazing person — They got married in June of 1978 and she was there when he took his final breath — How many people today can say that — Nearly 40 years of marriage and he spent a majority of it on the road managing and entertaining us 300 days a year and yet the bond he had with his family was something more special than words can say — From the interviews I have seen with Mr. Apter — Cynthia was the rock, heart and soul allowing Bobby to be Bobby — In my eyes she was the real Brain behind the Bobby — She kept the family together and when Bobby needed her the most she was there right to the end — Amazing woman… Thank you Cynthia… I admire you even though I never met you — I admire your strength and courage for taking care of the “Brain”.

I want to close with a couple of famous quotes, from Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, courtesy of Wikipedia.

A friend in need is a pest.
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. (in reality Bobby was only married once). Still a great quote.

Bobby you are now in Heaven with Gorilla and the rest that have left us — You will never be forgotten ever — You created a legacy that will carry on for generations to come. I for one thank you for making my childhood fun and exciting because I tuned into watch each and every week to see what trouble you will cause. Your tireless effort to manage a world champion. In the end you are a World Champion and you always will be in my eyes and to the rest of the humanoids.

Rest in peace my friend. God bless your wife, your children and grand children. They were blessed to have an amazing man apart of there life and ours.

This has been Salvatore LaSardo for Rough Cuts. May all your matches be a Main Event.. Your feedback is welcome to my email at salnbandit42@gmail.com

Category: Wrestling.

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