WWE legend and Hall of Famer Bobby "The Brain" Heenan passed away this past Sunday. In 2002, he was diagnosed with throat cancer, and although he recovered from that and went on to live a further fifteen years, the famous wrestling manager suffered from complications relating to tongue cancer as well as infections of his jaw. At the age of 73, however, those battles came to an end with his passing. As is evident via the reaction on social media, Heenan was an extremely well-loved figure in professional wrestling.
Related: Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan Passes Away
Heenan's career started all the way back in the 1960s, and he wore many different hats in that time since. Most notably, his managerial and announcer roles will go down as some of the best work in wrestling history. Heenan worked for WWE and WCW, among others, and his storied career effectively came to an end when he finished announcing for WCW in 2000. Being in the business for over 30 years meant Heenan touched a lot of lives, and that has become abundantly clear over the past 24 hours.
The news of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan's passing today gutted me.— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) September 17, 2017
I loved our time together.
No one ever did it better than the Wease.
Jim Ross was one of the first wrestling personalities to take to Twitter and pay his respects, and he likely broke the news to a lot of fans. Ross said that news of "The Brain's" passing "gutted" him, while also saying Heenan was the best at what he did. The 16 time World Champion Ric Flair, who has been going through some health issues of his own as of late, also paid his respects via Twitter. The Nature Boy declared Heenan as the greatest manager and one of the greatest announcers of all time, and few would argue with that.
Bobby Heenan... The Greatest Manager, One Of The Greatest Announcers, And One Of The Best In-Ring Performers In The History Of The Business— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) September 17, 2017
Flair and Ross may have been two of the first to tweet out their thoughts about Heenan, but they most certainly were not the last. Bubba Ray Dudley tweeted out a photo of himself with Heenan, revealing that the last words he ever said to the legendary manager were "I love you, Bobby". Stephanie McMahon has also paid her respects by tweeting out photos of Heenan when performed color commentary alongside her father Vince McMahon, along with a humble quote from the legend, revealing that he didn't see himself as smart or a hero, but he'd had a lot of fun.
Heenan is most fondly remembered for his work in WWE. Most fans will likely remember him for his time as a manager, and he is widely considered to be the best person to ever take that position. Some of the big names that got to work with Heenan as a manager were Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude, and most notably Andre The Giant. In fact, Heenan managed Andre for his historical WrestleMania III match against Hulk Hogan. Heenan also transitioned to color commentator while at WWE, working with McMahon and making up the legendary pairing of him and Gorilla Monsoon.
If any younger fans are not familiar with Bobby Heenan's work, now is the time to get acquainted with it. Most of "The Brain's" run will be available for your viewing pleasure on the WWE Network including his later commentary work with WCW. There are likely very few present-day managers or color commentators that wouldn't cite Heenan as being an inspiration to what they do now. He gave so much to the industry and he will most certainly never be forgotten.