Legendary WWE Broadcaster and Manager Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan Dies at Age 73

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

Legendary wrestling color commentator and manager Bobby Heenan died Sunday at 73.

Former wrestling broadcaster "Mean" Gene Okerlund posted on Facebook that Heenan's daughter, Jess, confirmed Heenan's death.

A number of wrestling luminaries eulogized Heenan on social media:

Heenan is arguably the greatest manager in wrestling history. His list of clients is a who's who of legends: Andre the Giant, Rick Rude, Harley Race, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Mr. Perfect and Nick Bockwinkel.

Heenan not only bent the rules of wrestling to help his client in the ring, but his mere presence alone was enough for the crowd to vociferously boo anybody. The fact WWE partnered Andre the Giant with Heenan before his match with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III in 1987 emphasized how important he was to the company despite not being an active wrestler.

Demonstrating his nearly unparalleled wit and comic timing, Heenan set the standard for heel broadcasters as well when he moved to the commentary table. Especially when he partnered with Gorilla Monsoon, Heenan was routinely a highlight of Prime Time Wrestling or a pay-per-view broadcast.

After he put up with Heenan's mock insults for years, it was fitting when Monsoon fired Heenan during the Dec. 6, 1993, edition of Raw.

Heenan joined WCW in January 1994, where his duties were almost exclusively limited to color commentary. At the 1996 Great American Bash, he "coached" the team of Flair and Anderson in a victory over former NFL players Kevin Greene and Steve McMichael. Otherwise, Heenan remained at the broadcast table.

Most famously, Heenan appeared to telegraph Hogan's defection to the NWO when his existing bad blood with Hogan caused him to question whether the Hulkster was joining Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.

Heenan worked in WCW until November 2000.

Doctors diagnosed Heenan with throat cancer in 2002, and he had experienced complications from tongue cancer and jaw infections in recent years as well.

WWE inducted Heenan into its Hall of Fame in 2004.

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