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The Greatest Manager Of All Time - WWF Legend Bobby "The Brain" Heenan Passes Away

The Greatest Manager Of All Time - WWF Legend Bobby "The Brain" Heenan Passes Away

For former wrestling fans of a certain age (my age!), the arrival of Sky television in the early 1990s meant the arrival of the WWF in our lives. Soon the weekly editions of Superstars and Wrestling Challenge became a full blown addiction, with every rental from the video shop meaning another delve into the WWF archive and catching up on all the of the events and storylines from years gone by.

It was the era of Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior, Jake The Snake, and the Macho Man. There was Rowdy Roddy Piper, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and the Million Dollar Man. What a time to be alive.

Through it all though, there was one constant. Someone you hated back then, because you supposed to. He turned Andre The Giant against Hulk Hogan, he held the Warrior's foot down when he lost the Intercontinental title. He was a cheating manager and a bad guy commentator.

But when you look back at it now, it's Heenan you remember. He was the talent in those storylines, the guy who got us all going, the guy we wanted to see get his comeuppance. When he became a commentator, he was absolutely hilarious in cheering on the bad guys, not seeing cheating, and jostling his counterpart, the brilliantly named Gorilla Monsoon.

Wrestling fans and wrestlers alike almost universally count Heenan as the best manager the business has ever seen, as well as the best colour commentator.

His charisma and humour was everything that was great about wrestling. As a kid, we wanted Hulk Hogan, but without "The Brain", it wouldn't have worked.

Sadly, in 2002, at the age of just 57, he was diagnosed with throat cancer and his health deteriorated from then until his death yesterday, aged 72.

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The memories will live forever though.

He was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 2004:

In 1987, he became the manager of Andre The Giant, turning him against Hulk Hogan, leading to the biggest match of all time in front of nearly 100,000 fans at Wrestlemania III.

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His commentary on the 1992 Royal Rumble when his man Ric Flair won the WWF title is an example of his best commentary work:

He was also known for his many backstage interviews with "Mean" Gene Okerlund.

Like all good wrestling bad guys, he was perfectly cowardly before getting his ultimate comeuppance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUOSZY6DEiI

He will be sadly missed.

 

Michael McCarthy

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