Today is a very sad day for the wrestling world. One of the greatest managers in the history of the business, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan passed away just a few hours ago at the age of 73.
Heenan was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2002, and in more recent years he dealt with complications from tongue cancer and jaw infections as well. One of the first to break the sad news was Jim Ross who tweeted that the news of Heenan's death gutted him:
The news of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan's passing today gutted me.— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) September 17, 2017
I loved our time together.
No one ever did it better than the Wease.
Both Ric Flair and The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer also tweeted out messages confirming Heenan as the greatest manager in the history of the business:
Bobby Heenan... The Greatest Manager, One Of The Greatest Announcers, And One Of The Best In-Ring Performers In The History Of The Business— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) September 17, 2017
Bobby Heenan just passed away a few hours ago. He was the best ever at what he did.— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) September 17, 2017
Also, "Mean" Gene Okerlund posted on his Facebook page about his sadness at the loss of his great friend and sending his condolences to Heenan's family.
Bobby Heenan began his wrestling career back in the 60s and 70s with the World Wrestling Association and the American Wrestling Association. In 1984, Heenan was lured away from the AWA by Vince McMahon to come manage in the WWF.
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As, arguably (not even an argument to many), the greatest wrestling manager of all time, "The Brain's" clients include the likes of Rick Rude, Ric Flair, and Mr. Perfect to name but a few. His "biggest" client was no doubt, Andre the Giant who he got paired with just before his famous match with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III in 1987. A pairing that was done by the WWE to show how important Heenan was to the organization even though he was not an active wrestler.
It didn't take long for McMahon to realize how talented of a talker Heenan was, and in 1986 he put Bobby on commentary to go along with his managerial duties as well.
In 1993, Heenan—still dealing with a neck injury from 10 years before—decided to leave the WWE and the long hours. But then in 1994, the WCW came calling, and although he had planned on relaxing and spending time with his family, the lighter work schedule and the health insurance offered by WCW had him back behind an announce table. And that gig lasted until 2000.
In 2004, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
He will be greatly missed and all of us send our thoughts and condolences to his family.