On the latest episode of the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross covered the career of WWE Hall of Famer Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Throughout the show, Ross mentioned how Heenan was the greatest manager of all time and was one of the biggest reasons Ross came to WWE in the 90s. He also mentioned how tough it was to see his friend Heenan at a convention years after cancer had been affecting his body. Ross talked about seeing Heenan again and how upsetting it was to not be able to have a conversation with his friend because the cancer had ruined his golden ability of talking.
“The one thing I dreaded on this particular booking was to see Bobby [Heenan] again,” Ross said. “The reason why, the cancer had just eaten him up. He didn’t even look like the same guy. He had all these surgeries, he had tears in his eyes, and I couldn’t understand one word he was saying.
“It just broke my heart; it killed me, shattered me, to see what he had become through this f***ing cancer. I was thinking that of all of the places to get cancer, for a guy like Bobby, that was so cruel. Bottom line man, I couldn’t believe what I saw. His attitude was pretty damn good. I think he was glad to be alive. It’s a visual that I will never forget.”
On September 17th, 2017, Bobby Heenan passed away at the age of 72 from cancer. Ross talked about Heenan passing away and how he felt that day.
“It’s a day I’m never going to forget,” Ross said, talking about Heenans death. “I knew it was inevitable, but you can never fully prepare to lose someone so special in your life. Without a doubt, in a business that’s not known for long-term friendships, Bobby was that guy.”
Ross boldly said Heenan was the greatest manager and all around talent in the history of the wrestling business. He continued his opinion by mentioning how Heenan can teach the wrestlers today in any aspect of the business because he was very flexible and able to do anything he was asked.
“I just believe when you look at all the skill sets, Bobby Heenan never let anyone down,” Ross said. “Bobby made a bump taking manager more viable than anybody who preceded him in wrestling. He always delivered in a big way. I don’t believe there was ever anybody before or since that could do as many things great as he did.
“Broadcasting, he aced, he aced it in the ring, there were a lot of great managers but nobody was a better manager than Bobby Heenan. His legacy will never die. If you’re a wrestler today and you can go back and watch Heenan’s work, you can learn some things.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.