Bobby Heenan

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Bobby Heenan : biography

November 1, 1944 –

Commentator

In 1986, Heenan became a color commentator in addition to his managing duties. He replaced Jesse Ventura on Prime Time Wrestling and All American Wrestling, aired on the USA Network, teaming up with Gorilla Monsoon. He also replaced Ventura to team up with Monsoon on the syndicated All-Star Wrestling, which was replaced in the fall of 1986 with Wrestling Challenge. Heenan and Monsoon’s usually-unscripted banter was very entertaining, and inspired many classic moments. Heenan, calling himself a "broadcast journalist", shamelessly rooted for the heels while they cheated or did something under-handed and referred to his audience as "humanoids," and babyface wrestlers, especially jobbers, as "ham-and-eggers." Another classic moment between Heenan and Monsoon occurred repeatedly when Heenan went on a long rant supporting the heel wrestlers, until an exasperated Gorilla Monsoon would say, "Will you stop?"

Heenan, still suffering from the broken neck he received ten years earlier and unable to cope with the long working hours, decided to leave the WWF at the end of 1993. He was given an on-air farewell by Gorilla Monsoon on the December 6, 1993 edition of Monday Night Raw, broadcast from the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York. Monsoon who, in kayfabe was fed up by Heenan’s constant insults, literally threw him and his belongings out of the arena and onto the street. Heenan mentioned that the idea was his and Monsoon’s. Afterwards, Heenan stated that he and Monsoon embraced each other and wept for over an hour in the hotel where they both were staying.Heenan, B: "Bobby The Brain: Wrestling’s Bad Boy Tells All.", page 90. Triumph Books, 2002. In an interview later Heenan recalls the incident saying he chose Monsoon to throw him out of the WWF seeing it as appropriate. He also poked fun at Monsoon saying he ate the bananas that Monsoon brought as a going away gift for Heenan.

Heenan’s original plan was to retire, spend time with his family, and relax, but he was contacted by WCW soon after he left the WWF. He was unsure at first, but accepted their offer once he found out that WCW provided lighter work schedules and health insurance. Heenan also cited the short driving distance between WCW’s home base of Atlanta and his daughter’s school in Alabama.Heenan, B: "Bobby The Brain: Wrestling’s Bad Boy Tells All.", page 94. Triumph Books, 2002.

World Championship Wrestling

In 1994, Heenan joined WCW as a full-time commentator. He served as color commentator on WCW flagship shows Monday Nitro and Thunder, as well as the Clash of the Champions specials and many pay-per-views. Heenan acted as the heel of the broadcast team, cheering on the heel of the fight and making excuses for them when they cheated. Heenan said he was uninspired in WCW due to the negative work environment, which he later described as night and day compared to the WWF, and due to conflicts with Eric Bischoff and Tony Schiavone.Heenan, B: "Bobby The Brain: Wrestling’s Bad Boy Tells All.", page 97. Triumph Books, 2002. In 1995, Heenan had neck surgery.

In 1996, during a live broadcast of Nitro on April 1st, Heenan made an announcement stating "tonight is going to be my last night on Nitro. I’m retiring from wrestling and I’m retiring from broadcasting". Before the show went off the air, Heenan shook hands with co-commentators Eric Bischoff and Steve "Mongo" McMichael and said his farewells, only to point out that it was just an April Fool. Later that year, Heenan made a one-off return to ringside at Slamboree, leading Ric Flair and Arn Anderson to victory over Steve McMichael and Kevin Greene and also conspiring with Anderson and Flair to bring McMichael into the fold. After Hulk Hogan’s heel turn and the formation of the New World Order (nWo) in the summer of 1996, Heenan turned face for the first time ever in his career, as he never sympathized with the nWo and criticized Hogan’s betrayal.