Name: Bobby Heenan
Year Inducted: 2006
Induction Category: Non-Participant

Bobby "the Brain" Heenan

Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, the self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Manager”, was born Raymond Louis Heenan on November 1, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois.

Heenan began his wrestling career working as a manager under Dick the Bruiser and Wilbur Snyder. Wally Karbo gave Bobby his gimmick of “The Brain". Heenan, who also had success as a wrestler, was a master at taking bumps when an opponent struck him. He was holder of the WWA Canadian Tag Team title at one point in time. Bobby worked for Verne Gagne's AWA and Georgia Championship Wrestling for years before being employed by Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation.

Heenan managed a wide variety of wrestlers over the years. The late "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Nick Bockwinkel, Ric Flair, Harley Race, the late Andre the Giant, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, The Masked Superstar, Terry Taylor, The Brooklyn Brawler, The Barbarian, Haku, the late Curt Hennig, Blackjack Lanza, Bobby Duncum, Sr., King Kong Bundy, the late Big John Studd were managed by Bobby at various times.

Heenan made many close friends in the business. In 1991, Heenan made the transition from manager to broadcast journalist. Basically, Heenan was a color-commentator. He especially enjoyed his relationship with the late Gorilla Monsoon, with whom he co-hosted Prime Time Wrestling on the USA Network. In December 1993, Heenan would leave the World Wrestling Federation for World Championship Wrestling. Heenan made his WCW debut on the Clash of Champions in January 1994 alongside another close friend from his AWA days, Gene Okerlund. Heenan did color commentating on WCW Monday Nitro and the pay-per-views. Heenan became close friends with Mike Tenay during his WCW tenure. In November of 2000, Bobby left WCW.

In early 2001, Heenan would face his greatest opponent: throat cancer. The example he has set for others with serious health problems is inspirational.

Heenan is a devoted family man. He is also very dedicated to the pro wrestling industry and has co-hosted the Cauliflower Alley Club conventions with Mike Tenay. With his humor and tenacity, Bobby Heenan is one-of-a-kind and it is likely that there will never be another one like him.

- Brian Westcott



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