MY TRIBUTE TO “THE BRAIN”, BOBBY HEENAN This post is…
MY TRIBUTE TO “THE BRAIN”, BOBBY HEENAN
This post is weeks late, it’s been quite a busy time, but I wanted to pay tribute to the great Bobby ‘The Brain” Heenan, who the 17th of September, 2017. There have been a lot of tributes that have reflected on Bobby Heenan’s talent as a hilarious, witty and cleverly crafty colour commentator and his partnership with Gorilla Monsoon. For my tribute, I will reflect Heenan’s time as a manager in the 1980s.
For years, people have debated the question, “Who was Hulk Hogan’s greatest rival?”. My own answer to that question would be, Bobby Heenan. Bare with me, and try not to think smart, rather think kayfabe. The Hogan/Heenan rivalry started in early 1980s, AWA, just as Hogan had become the most popular wrestler in the promotion following his portrayal as the flamboyant, gigantic Thunderlips in the movie, Rocky III. Hulk Hogan became top contender to Heenan’s client and Heenan Family member, the AWA World Champion, Nick Bockwinkel. Hogan had tried on many occasions to part the wily, astute Bockwinkel from the AWA gold, but due to reasons that included Heenan’s interferences, DQs, the referee overturning one decision, Hogan was never able to attain the AWA gold.
So when Hogan jumped to the WWF and captured the WWF Title from the Iron Sheik on January 1984, Bobby Heenan was not far behind. This time around, the scenario had changed, Hogan was the defending champion and Heenan was on the attack. Upon his arrival to the WWF, Heenan created a new Heenan Family and stacked it with talent which initially started with Big John Studd, Ken Patera and Adrian Adonis, aiming their efforts at Hogan and his friend Andre the Giant. Over the years, Heenan would add more members to his Family to continue his pursuit at killing Hulkamania and capturing the WWF gold. These members included Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndroff, King Kong Bundy and King Haku. But the one addition that Heenan managed to lure into his Family and that really shook Hogan, was Andre the Giant.
I feel the Andre and Heenan pairing was a good fit. Even without the WWF’s acknowledgement of other wrestling companies in the ‘80s, the Hulk/Andre WrestleMania III build up has it’s roots laid in the Hogan/Heenan feud that started in the AWA. The backstory is out of a ‘80s cult action film where the main antagonist (Heenan) is a greedy business man who has a diverse fleet of fighters at his disposal. Heenan’s time and resources are put into gaining possession of material gold, and he does not rest until all the prize is in his grasp. That is what helped maintain Hogan’s spot as a defending World Champion and headliner, and to a greater degree, Heenan’s talent helped sustain WWF’s success, creatively in his various roles as a manager, television host and colour commentator. There were other managers that played a role in the chase to dethrone Hulk Hogan, but Bobby Heenan was the OG, Hogan’s first enemy. Thank you, Brain
RIP Bobby Heenan