bobby heenan

Bobby The Brain Heenan might be best known as a fantastic manager and mouthpiece. But he started his career out in the ring as a pro wrestler.

Heenan loved the wrestling business and even lied about his age so he could work with local promotions. He got close to Dick The Bruiser and eventually found himself working very closely in the business he loved.

Bruce Prichard covered Heenan’s amazing career in length on Something To Wrestle With where he discussed Bobby Heenan’s first match. It was against a local DJ and in true Brain fashion, he put his opponent over.

But Prichard said nobody had to smarten Bobby Heenan up about the nature of pro wrestling because he took to it like a duck swimming in water.

“Bobby — and I think everybody they think that they know they think they know wrestling’s a work they don’t think to call it a work. They know that something’s not right, they’re cooperating with one and other. And he had kinda figured it out without anybody ever coming to him and smartening him up and telling him this is how you do this, this is how you do that.”

“And he went out and he started working. He was able to work and do everything like a wrestler because he had been watching it forever and he had been watching as a kid, he loved it so he was just emulating his heroes in the ring.”

“Back in those days even going to when Shawn Michaels broke into the wrestling business, a lot of the old timers — they didn’t smarten you up for your first match. You weren’t smartened up until you were a good three, six months into the business sometimes. Sometimes you never got smartened up.”

“But the old timers would throw you out there, Bobby didn’t even have an old-timer to mentor him and throw him out there. Bobby just put himself out there and started doing this and says, ‘yeah, I can do that’ and lied. Put himself out there and started working with people that didn’t know what the hell they were doing either. But Bobby was better at it than everybody else.”

Prichard said Heenan was one of the greatest workers in the ring but his ability to speak made him an even bigger asset.

Heenan loved to take bumps and getting color during a spot. Adding in his amazing ability to utilize his quick wit only it made him an even more amazing asset to the pro wrestling landscape.

If you use the quotes in this article please credit Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard with a H/T to Still Real To Us for the transcription