The Wrestling Merchandise and Memories Interview
Originally published February 5, 2017
"A 'fan' tried five times to shoot me, but unfortunately (or fortunately) connected with a couple fans."
Ask any humanoid out there who the greatest manager of all time is, and they will almost always answer Bobby The Brain Heenan.
During his legendary Hall of Fame career, Heenan managed some of the biggest names in the industry, including Ric Flair, Nick Bockwinkel, Harley Race, Mr. Perfect, Ravishing Rick Rude, Ken Patera, Paul Orndorff, Nikolai Volkoff, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd, Angelo Poffo, The Valiant Brothers and The Blackjacks.
Beyond that, Heenan was an outstanding color commentator in the WWF and WCW and one of the most iconic heels in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. And while health issues may have affected him in recent years, he's still as sharp as ever.
Ahead of his appearance at The Legends Of Wrestling Professional Wrestling & Sports Convention in Winnipeg this month, The Brain was gracious enough to give Canadian Bulldog's World some brief answers via e-mail to some of our biggest questions.
Canadian Bulldog: You will be a part of the first wrestling convention of its kind in Winnipeg. What are some of your memories of working in that region, through the AWA or elsewhere?
Bobby Heenan: Great crowds, but very cold.
CB: Did you have a favorite territory or promotion to work in? And if so, why?
BH: New York (WWF). For the money.
CB: Throughout your managerial career, you seemed to have this innate ability to make wrestling fans hate you. I vividly remember my grandmother (Bubby Bulldog) screaming at the television set, half in English and half in Yiddish, about that no-good Weasel -- but she was always having fun jeering you, as were so many of us. Were there ever any times, though, that kind of "heat" got you in trouble with the fans?
BH: Chicago in 1974. A “fan” tried 5 times to shoot me, but unfortunately (or fortunately) connected with a couple fans.
CB: One constant throughout your career seemed to be Hulk Hogan - he was with you in the AWA, WWF and even WCW. A lot of people were impressed that, even when became a heel in the nWo, you never praised him. What was your relationship like with Hogan behind the scenes?
CB: Was there a favorite person you managed in the Heenan Family? Or is that kind of like trying to pick a favorite child?
CB: You were also a fantastic commentator, mixing comedy with a heel edge. Of all the different people you announced with, whom was the easiest to work with, and why?
BH: Gorilla Monsoon. He was very talented and knew me so well.
CB: A couple of years ago, we ranked you as number one in our list of the Top 50 Wrestling Managers. Apart from a handful of people out there, there are very few managers these days. Why do you think that is?
BH: Good question!
CB: Do you watch the current product today, and if so, what do you think of it? Would anyone stand out to you among today's stars as being a good fit for the Bobby Heenan Family?
BH: I don't watch much TV. Of today's talent.... Vince is still the only one.
CB: When all is said and done, how would Bobby Heenan like to be remembered?
BH: As one of the top performers.
CB: Finally, do you have any message for your ones, especially the ones you'll be meeting at the Legends of Wrestling convention in Winnipeg?
BH: Why do you live here? Bring earmuffs!
Bobby The Brain Heenan is just one of the many legends that will be on hand for the Legends of Wrestling Professonal Wrestling & Sports Convention on Saturday, February 18 in Winnipeg.
Among the other participants: WWE Hall of Famers Arn Anderson, Howard Finkel, Paul Orndorff, Ricky Steamboat and Tully Blanchard, as well as Baron Von Raschke, Cyrus, Lanny Poffo and The Grappler.
For more information on this historic convention, please visit here.