Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, a world famous wrestling manager and announcer, died on Sunday, according to WWE.com and other reliable sources.
He was 73 years old.
Heenan is considered the best known and most successful ringside manager in the history of professional wrestling.
Following his run in this role, “The Brain” transitioned to the announcing booth, which is where he concluded a career that spanned over four decades.
The sad news was announced on Sunday by another legend in the business, Jim Ross.
“The news of Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan’s passing today gutted me. I loved our time together. No one ever did it better than the Wease,” Tweeted the former play-by-play man and current WWE executive.
Ric Flair was among the veterans who also passed along his condolences and dismay upon learning of Heenan’s death.
“Bobby Heenan… The Greatest Manager, One Of The Greatest Announcers, And One Of The Best In-Ring Performers In The History Of The Business,” wrote Flair on Twitter.
Heenan came up as a wrestler and manager through the 1960s and 1970s in the World Wrestling Association, American Wrestling Association and later the World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment).
He managed superstars over the years such as Angelo Poffo, Guy Mitchell, the Valiant Brothers, Nick Bockwinkel, Jesse Ventura and Andre the Giant.
In 2004, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, two years after being diagnosed with throat cancer.
Along with his time in the WWE, “The Brain” was part of the original broadcast team for Monday Night Raw in 1993; and also sat at the announce table for both Raw and WCW Monday Nitro.
He was widely respected by every organization he worked with and every wrester with whom he came into contact.
I was “allowed to express myself and bring my comedy into a business I often thought needed a kick in the pants and a couple of smiles,” Heenan once said of his unique role.
Indeed, few people in wrestling history can say they remained in the industry for as long as Heenan…
… or can say they played such a prominent part in so many different aspects of the business; from wrestling to managing to announcing.
After news of his death spread, many current and former wrestlers took to social media to share message of sorrow. For example:
We share these sentiments.
We send our best wishes to the loved ones of Bobby Heenan.
May he rest in peace.