The professional wrestling world has lost another legend. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan died at the age of 72. Here’s some details on the life and career of this beloved wrestler.
Sadly, former pro wrestler and manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan has passed away, according to the WWE. Social media has already been flooded with posts commemorating the performer including from the likes of fellow former wrestler Ric Flair, 68, who wrote “Bobby Heenan.. the greatest manager, one of the greatest announcers, and one of the best in-ring performers in the history of the business.” Faced with his passing, now feels like the perfect time to get to know the wrestling trailblazer a little better. Here’s 5 things everything should know about “The Brain.” Take a look back at the celebs who we have lost in 2017 right here.
1) Bobby was originally from Chicago. He fell in love with wrestling at an early age and began working in the industry doing any odd job he could get. He carried bags and sold refreshments. In fact, he had to drop out of school in the eighth grade in order to support his mother and family. By 1965, he was known in the industry as “Pretty Boy” Bobby Heenan. In no time he established “The Heenan Family,” a stable of talented wrestlers that lasted roughly 20 years.
2) He made a name for himself as a manager. Over the years, Bobby managed numerous young wrestlers including Angelo Poffo and Chris Markoff, The Valiant Brothers, The Assassins and The Blackjacks. But, when push came to shove, he never hesitated to step in the ring himself. He carefully crafted a big-mouthed character who crumbled when faced with real competition.
3) In 1974, he became “The Brain.” He was integral in orchestrating a longstanding feud between Nick Bockwinkel and Ray “The Crippler” Stevens, who he managed, and The Crusher and Dick The Bruiser. In doing so, Bobby played an important role in the growth of the American Wrestling Association in the 1970s.
4) After years as a manager and wrestler, he transition to a commentator role. In the mid-80s, WWF owner Vince McMahon, now 72, knowing Bobby’s gift for commanding a crowd, asked him to provide color to wrestling events including Primetime Wrestling, All American Wrestling and All-Star Wrestling. He became known for his wild, off-the-cuff banter with Gorilla Monsoon. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
5) Prior to his death, Bobby battled throat cancer for over a decade. He made the gut-wrenching announcement in 2002. According to TMZ, recently his manager Gilbert Boyes told Bobby’s wife, Cynthia Jean Heenan, that he would not longer be able to do public engagements.
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