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Top 10 Wrestling Managers, Countdown Part Four, Who’s Number One?

April 24th, 2014 at 5:25 PM
By Peter Schifani

This month we have counted down the top 10 wrestling managers in the history of the sports. Now we conclude this effort with the number one manager of all-time, and widely regarded as such by very many wrestling fans, Bobby "the Brain" Heenan.

Number One: Bobby " the Brain" Heenan

"The Brain" began his career in 1969 for Verne Gagne in the AWA managing The Blackjacks (Lanza and Mulligan) as well as Nick Bockwinkel and "Crippler" Ray Stevens that became his first "family." A few years into managing Bockwinkel he finally was able to lead him to capturing the AWA World Championship by defeating Verne Gagne. In 1976, a year after Bockwinkel captured the World title, Heenan lead Bobby Duncum Sr. and Blackjack Lanza to the AWA World Tag titles as well. He would be the first manager in history to have both World Champions under his tutelage at the same time in the same promotion. Dick the Bruiser would give Heenan his other famous nickname during the feud of himself and tag-team partner The Crusher versus Duncum and Lanza as he called him "weasel" because of his cowering nature in the face of confrontation. In 1984, Heenan, along with many others, left the AWA for the WWF and started managing Big John Studd as he feuded with Andre the Giant. The Heenan Family in WWF would also include: King Kong Bundy, Ken Patera, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Harley Race, Brooklyn Brawler, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, Hercules, Terry Taylor, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff and teams such as The Islanders (Haku and Tama) and the "Brain Busters" Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. Of course he also managed Andre the Giant during his most famous feud with Hulk Hogan prior to there title tilt at 'WrestleMania' III. Heenan would join the commentary booth of "Wrestling Challenge" alongside Gorilla Monsoon and form very likely the best duo in the history of pro wrestling with there back-and-forth off the cuff banter throughout each episode. In 1991, when the "real World Champion" was coming to the WWF, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, Heenan was the one given the task of slowly introducing the WWF audience to him by utilizing the "Big Gold" belt on WWF television. Though it would eventually be obscured when shown, it was the first time a non-WWF title belt was ever shown on WWF television. In 1993, Heenan left the WWF due to a long time neck injury taking a toll on his health, but he was lured out of his retirement by WCW in 1994 and soon joined there broadcast team. He was always at odds with Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff and would eventually leave WCW in 2000. Just prior to 'WrestleMania' XX in 2004 Bobby Heenan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Bobby Heenan is one of the few in wrestling who was always regarded as a heel throughout his entire career. He continues to battle on after being diagnosed in 2002 with tongue and throat cancer.

We sprinkled the other prior parts of our monthly countdown all over the map this month so if you missed them you may read part one here, part two here and finally part three here. Next month we will have another new countdown of the top 10 commentators in wrestling that will split into the same four part format.

Tags: Andre The Giant, AWA, Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, WCW, World Title, WrestleMania, Wrestling, WWE Hall of Fame, WWF

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