Wednesday, 9 February 2011

WWE DVD Review: Bobby The Brain Heenan

WWE DVD Review: Bobby The Brain Heenan

By Phil Allely

The role of a wrestling manager has an awful lot to it, much more than it looks when you see them stroll to the ring with their charge. The person in the on-screen managerial position has got to be able to work a crowd, build heat during matches and in many cases be the mouth piece for that particular grappler or team. Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan was one of the very best at doing all of those things and so many other vital things as well. His comic timing, mannerisms and everything else he possessed were perfectly suited to his chosen career path.

As one of the most famous wrestling managers ever Heenan has a special place in many fans hearts, he always brought fun and entertainment to the fore and seemingly put his all into each and every appearance he made. This two disc set is the perfect way to showcase the talents of a man who is most definitely a legend of the ring.

The documentary section is a first rate affair, looking at how Bobby worked his way through many jobs and left school to fend for his family. It looks at his first forays into wrestling management, covering his early career and with each piece we get some old footage and classic promo’s and in-ring fan incitement. There are some great stories here as well, there are details of the infamous ‘weasel suit’ matches, an incident where a fan shot at the ring and numerous segments of Heenan at work with some of his more famous guys, including Andre the Giant, The Blackjacks, Mr Perfect and Rick Rude.

The flip side to Heenan’s career as a manager and sometimes wrestler was his stint as commentator with Gorilla Monsoon on WWE programming. Their real life friendship and witty banter made them essential viewing in everything they did and their combined commentaries made even the dullest bout a pleasure to see. Bobby Heenan was the man everybody loved to hate, but secretly we all knew he was the reason we watched too. There even some interesting pieces about the period where he worked for WCW, this was not a pleasurable time for him, but he made the most of it. However his return to the WWE and induction to the Hall of Fame was a wonderful way for his hard work to be recognised by all.

Considering the mans current health situation (he has hopefully overcome throat cancer) this two disc set makes for a timely celebration of Heenan’s life and career to date, his monumental in-ring moments with Hulk Hogan, Andre, Ultimate Warrior and many others from the 1970s-2000s, Heenan’s presence and inclusion in a match or commentating on it helped put the WWE where it is today.

On the extras front the second disc houses some fine examples of Bobby at his very best. There are some rare weasel suit brawls with Greg Gagne (1980) and Ultimate Warrior (1988), a fine old school scrap with Lord Alfred Hayes (AWA 1980) and a fun handicap match between Hulk Hogan and Nick Bockwinkel and The Brain himself (1980 AWA). Two other matches are included in their entirety (both of which feature Heenan on colour commentary duties) they are the legendary Royal Rumble 1992 (featuring a who’s who of wrestling and Heenan’s main man Ric Flair), the other is the Gimmick Battle Royal from Wrestlemania X7. There are no bad things to say about this release, it is a superbly made look at the career of one of wrestling’s finest managers, minds, personalities and performers, Heenan has inspired so many to enter the ring and he finally has a DVD set to share his best moments with all those very people.

Bobby ‘the Brain’ Heenan is available now from all good retailers and

Coming soon from are the following WWE titles.

Bragging Rights 2010

Knucklehead (starring Big Show)

Tagged Classics: Rebellion 2000 & Insurrexion 2001

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