In this interview, Bobby Heenan gives his insight into his long career in the wrestling business. The Brain tells about his many exploits with the AWA, the WWF and WCW.
- Why did he stop managing?
- What are his true feelings about Hulk Hogan?
- Did he ever have one fun day on the job at WCW?
- What are his feelings about the demise of WCW?
- Will he ever work for the WWF again?
These questions and many others are answered only in Wrestling Perspective #91.
Bobby Heenan On ...
How WCW treated its announcers: "They don't think anything of the announcers. They think they're like referees or something like that. They don't realize for two hours a week, four hours a week, we have to make chicken salad out of chicken stuff. They don't realize there are some people who are capable of doing it and some people who aren't. First of all, Vince has a wrestling company that needs television to survive. I worked for a television company that just happened to have wrestling on it. And they didn't really hire the right people to do the right things."
Can WCW succeed as a WWF-owned company: "Under Vince McMahon only. I don't think anyone else who would get involved could do it. Vince McMahon, if it can be saved, will do it. But if there's only one wrestling organization going, it's bad because you need competition. But Vince is good enough that he can create his own competition. He's just that much of a genius when it comes to this. I'm not sucking up to him to get a job. I said that when I worked for him and I knew that when I first decided to work for him and knew what he had in mind. He just has a knack. Some guys just have that and some guys don't."
Why he left the AWA for the WWF: "Verne was an okay guy, but his mentality was amateur wrestling. He was pushing Brad Rheingans. If you push Brad Rheingans then you push me away. Nothing against Brad. I'm just talking about you don't take Pamela Anderson off Baywatch and put Zsa Zsa there. You know? Vince was in Minneapolis already and he had a couple of shows with Hogan and George Steele and Gene Okerlund at the Met Center. They were sold out. I could just see it. I was excited about watching their show and what they were doing and the way he was doing things. It was something I wanted to do. I thought this was my big run at it. That's why I gave it a shot."
Why he left the WWF for WCW: "I was so tired of flying and working and my daughter went to the University of Alabama. I wanted to be closer to her so I was going to take a year off and do nothing. Try to get involved in commercial work or do commercials or something like that. I got a call from Bischoff and they gave me an offer. So I did it because it wasn't every day and I could be in Atlanta, which was closer to Tuscaloosa so it was easier for me. That was the only reason I left Vince. There's no heat there. I was there nine years. You'd work 10 days, you were off three and one day is travel to get home. You've got two days at home and you're mind's going, ÎI've got two days home to do two things.' Christ, it just got so busy. You go back on four, then you go back on two, then you go back on 10. It was just a lot of work."
Working for Vince McMahon: "(He's) the most creative man I've ever met in my life. He would make you do things you didn't think you could do. He took it to a new level. We were doing NBC stuff, I was doing Arsenio Hall, they had all different kinds of things going, which was different than when you came out of the AWA or any place else. It was totally different and exciting."
On what made him a great manager: "It was timing. I could have taken 25 bumps a night. So maybe I took 20, but I took them at the right time. When I started managing, I had a philosophy. I'm going to manage as a wrestler and wrestle as a manager. When my man is getting the sh-t beat out of him or he's doing something, I'm not going to be on the outside yelling at the fans and distracting them. When my man took a bump or got beat up, I registered outside. When I got in the ring, I was a coward. That's the way it worked. Nowadays, there's nothing on managers. This is so-and-so and this guy. They don't say where the guy's from. They don't say at one time this guy's family had millions of dollars and they deserted him and he took the money and he always thought about owning these wrestlers. They never tell the stories to tell anything about the character to make somebody over."
That's not all. In this 13,000+ word interview Bobby Heenan is as insightful as he is witty. He's at the top of his game here.
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