One of the most influential managers and television commentators in the business.
Bobby Heenan brought a heel aspect to the booth which opened up the eyes of many
professional wrestling fans. With Heenan’s brand of humor and ability to produce spots
and lines, he paved the way for future participants of the sport. He was nicknamed the
“Weasel,” and fans throughout the world were quick to remind him of the name every
chance they got. Heenan led champions in the AWA, NWA and in the WWF. He proved
several times over that he was one of, if not the best television wrestling analyst in the
Originally beginning as a wrestler, Heenan was known as “Pretty Boy” well before he
was known as the “Brain.” He threatened NWA President, Sam Muchnick with a lawsuit in
the early months of 1971 after he was barred from participating in the sport in the city of
St. Louis. Heenan traveled to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Region, joining Verne Gagne’s
American Wrestling Association. He began to manage AWA World Champion, Nick
Bockwinkel and the AWA World Tag Team Champions, Bobby Duncum and Blackjack
Lanza. Needless to say, he had quite the stable of champs.
On January 10, 1979, Heenan was indefinitely suspended by AWA President, Stanley
Blackburn after the leader of the organization was attacked by the manager. Rumors
circulated that Heenan got into a fistfight with Blackburn. Whatever was the cause, he was
forced from the region. Heenan picked up and left for Georgia, where he was ready to
reestablish his gang. He eventually returned to the AWA in the early 1980’s.
Heenan signed with the WWF in 1984 and began managing Paul Orndorff, Ken Patera
and Big John Studd. Orndorff split from the group in 1985 and Heenan offered a $25,000
bounty. Heenan replaced Piper to host Piper’s Pit in 1985 during an interview segment
with Tito Santana. Between 1986 and 1990, Heenan managed many of the top names in
the WWF including Andre the Giant during his run at the WWF Title in 1987, Rick Rude
and his I-C win over the Ultimate Warrior in 1989, Harley Race, Arn Anderson and Tully
Heenan introduced Lex Luger to the WWF in January 1993, but mainly concentrated on
his commentary duties on Prime Time Wrestling and later Monday Night Raw. His final
managerial run came the year before when he guided Ric Flair. In 1994, after several big
names were signed by World Championship Wrestling, Heenan left the WWF for Atlanta.
He had a few run-ins with Hogan later in the year and was forced to wear a neckbrace.
On September 4, 1995 in Bloomington, Minnesota, Bobby appeared to host the first
episode of WCW’s Monday Nitro on TNT. At his side were Eric Bischoff and Steve
McMichael. Heenan had a issue with the “Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman during once wild
episode of Nitro. Many thought they had heard the “Brain” spout a explative during the
He announced his retirement from the sport on April 1, 1996 during Nitro. At the end of
the show, he stated that it was just an April Fools joke. Classic Heenan style. Between
1996 and 2000, WCW suffered through many changes both behind-the-scenes and in
front of the cameras. In April 2000, Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo teamed to form the
“New Blood.” Wrestling fans everywhere clamoured for Heenan’s commentary
responsibilities to grow during the summer of 2000, but Bobby eventually left the
Heenan appeared on the Women of Wrestling PPV in early 2001 working for David
McLane. The show saw Terri Gold regain the World Championship. Before 67,000-plus
fans at the Reliant Astrodome on Sunday, April 1, 2001, Heenan returned to the WWF with
Gene Okerlund for WrestleMania. Great respect was given.
In November 2001, Heenan made his managerial return at the side of Curt Hennig. The
two worked for a new independent promotion known as the “XWF.” The XWF held a two-
day series of television tapings at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Hennig had a
match against Hulk Hogan and lost by pinfall.
Fans of Bobby Heenan can go to his official website and read more about the legendary
manager at www.bobbythebrain.com.
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Bobby Heenan Wrestling History
|PPV Ring Record TV Ring Record Career Record
Legends of Pro Wrestling