During the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross covered the career of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Throughout the show, Ross mentioned how Heenan and a couple other WWE Hall of Famers pushed to get him hired in 1993. He also said when he first got hired, having the role of replacing Gorilla Monsoon was one of the toughest things to experience because he was replacing one of the greatest announcers of all time.
“Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon, and Mean Gene [Okerlund] were the three talents that really embraced me coming to WWE in 93′,” Ross said. “They were the vast minority because I was still looked at as the voice of WCW, the enemy. When I had got to WWE in 93′, I had been in the business for 19 years. I wasn’t some new kid on the block.
“I was replacing one of the most beloved characters behind the scenes in the whole history of WWE in Gorilla Monsoon. Everyone loved Gorilla; I was filling some big shoes, and if it had not been for Bobby’s willingness to give me a chance and for us to be given a chance to develop our timing, none of that sh** would’ve ever happened.”
Ross also mentioned Heenan’s role in creative, saying he was very outspoken. He also said that Heenan wouldn’t voice his opinion on camera, but more so behind the scenes and backstage.
“He, like Monsoon, was very outspoken about creative,” Ross said about Heenan. “Not on the air, but certainly behind the scenes and off camera. He would harp on things that he saw that were wrong. It’s no different than today. The presentation of today’s wrestling is much different in a lot of areas than what it was in that era. There’s nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with growing and evolving. The evolution of the product is more spot orientated.”
JR also said that Heenan would take issue with wrestlers not working over a body part during the match to set up the wrestler’s finishing move. He said Heenan and Monsoon were both heel wrestlers, and understood the importance of setting up to the finish of the match.
“Bobby and Monsoon both would complain about that,” Ross mentioned. “A lot of us old school guys didn’t understand the laxed version of things, the rules not being adhered to. They knew as former heels you needed rules to break. That’s what differentiated the good guys from the bad guys.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.