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  1. #1
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018

    The Life & Times of Bobby Heenan: Battle Of The Devious (July '91)

    Greetings, mizfan fans! And welcome to another edition of this gargantuan, unwieldly, oh-so-fun thing known as the Heenan Series. Are you ready for another month of Brainy goodness? Heenan may be retired from the managing game, but I have a feeling heíll still be getting into plenty of hijinks. Itís the summer of í91 and weíre hot on the road to Summerslam, so letís do it!.

    WWF, July Ď91
    Ongoing Heenan Storylines

    Battle of the Devious

    Haku & Barbarian vs. Mr Fuji & Kato 7/1/91 WWF MSG

    As you may recall, Fuji and Heenan had a conflict last month in MSG and Fuji challenged Heenan to bring two Family members to face two members of Fujiís own stable. This is weird for several reasons: Heenan just retired so the Family kind of doesnít exist anymore, its heel vs. heel, and now that weíve made it to the match Fuji is in the ring himself but Heenan stays at commentary. But you know what? Iím still super excited! I love when managers have conflicts, and I love that the Family lives on past its official end date. Before the match Haku and Barbarian even cut a promo referring to Heenan as their manager and talking about the Family. I knew I loved those guys for a reason!

    As the match is about to begin, Heenan is laughing at Fuji because heís getting in the ring with his monsters, but Fuji doesnít seem to be fazed. In fact, he throws salt right in the face of Heenan!!!

    Can barely express how much Iím loving this.

    Heenan is so mad he almost jumps in the ring to fight Fuji! I think Heenanís last match ever was with Fuji, but it wasnít taped sadly. I would have very much liked to see that. The most amazing part of all this is Monsoon and Hayes are actually sympathetic to Heenan!! Is he the face here?? Heenan tells Haku and Barbarian he doesnít care about Kato, just destroy Fuji and leave him a scrap at the end to finish off. Heenan remains at commentary for the match but he keeps shoving Fujiís foot off the ropes!

    Barbarian with the heart punch at the end is the cherry on top!

    Heenan claims Fuji is kicking at him and thatís why heís tripping! They almost come to blows again in the middle of the match. Heenan gets up to try to help his man and Fuji actually knocks him down!!!

    Heenanís not used to being on the other end of a manager attack!

    Heenan sells it tremendously, but heís able to creep up and trip Kato, allowing Haku get the win!

    Calling the action like a pro.

    Heenan jumps into the ring and tries to fight Fuji again!

    Oh itís ON, cane boy!

    But Fuji throws salt in everyoneís eyes!!

    Hold me back!

    That was really incredibly fun. Itís so good Iím going to include the video here, please watch it if you have the time!

    BH: You know Slick, Jimmy Hart, Sensational Sherri, I try to get along with all the managers, Iíve done as many bad things as theyíve done, thatís the way we all do business. But for Fuji to throw salt on a respected broadcast journalist!!!
    Awesomeness Rating: ****ľ

    Prime Time Shenanigans

    Anybody got any hand sanitizer?

    Outside of New York City, Prime Time Wrestling continues to be the primary place where the Brain stirs up trouble.

    On one episode, we see Heenan getting ready for the show backstage when that ridiculous goof Jameson shows up.

    BH: What are YOU doing backstage?

    Jameson: The toiletís back here, remember?

    BH: Youíre gonna be a toilet! Get out of here!
    Heenan shoos him away, but Jameson discovers the Million Dollar belt in DiBiaseís dressing room and promptly steals it! I know itís worth a million bucks but still, theft like that is pure babyface privilege in action. Later on, as Heenan tries to host the show with my man Sean Mooney, Sensational Sherri shows up screaming about the belt being gone! Jameson has it with him in the audience, and he keeps ducking out to try to pry the diamonds out of the belt. This makes such a racket that Heenan screams at him to shut up!

    BH: How would Sherlock Holmes handle this situation, Alfred?

    AH: I suppose heíd call in Dr Watson and theyíd ask a few questions before revealing the guilty partner.

    BH: Hm. How about beating someone with a rubber hose?
    The mystery remains unsolved for the moment, and they bring out Andre the Giant as a guest. Heís had a recent knee surgery and is on crutches, but Heenan still keeps his distance and acts scared of him. Jameson is finally found out by Sherri, but tries his best to keep the belt anyway! Just a flat out criminal, is Jameson. Virgil and Andre help him keep it. Poor Ted, both those guys used to support him! Everybody betrayed him. Andre grabs Sherri and Ted abandons her so he can grab the belt and run, which in fairness is behavior that may lead to betrayal.

    Mooney: Jameson has been doing very well with our hotline challenge, heís won a free WWF Fan Club membership!

    BH: They gave him a free membership just so heíll go away. If he came to your house for something, wouldnít you give it to him to get rid of him? Look at that girl sitting next to him, with pretty blonde hair. Poor thing, itíll turn green in half an hour.
    Elsewhere in the month, we see Bret Hart giving Jameson his shades and treating him kid, which is just weird. Stop befriending Jameson, babyfaces!

    BH: Nice tie, theyíll never guess your age at the fair.

    Mooney: It took me a long time to pick out this tie!

    BH: So who did pick it out, Stevie Wonder?
    We also see a lot of Heenan and Mooney together, and they have some really nice chemistry between them. Heenan thinks the crowd likes Mooney too much and itís going to his head. Mooney says his sister is here, so Heenan makes fun of her too.

    Mooney: You know Bobby, I may be back on the program to stay.

    BH: I doubt it, I put an ad for you in the paper. Rent a hostage, they can use you whenever they want.
    In another segment we see IRS taking a woman backstage and grilling her about her taxes until she cries. Now thatís a heel!

    Towards the end of the month Slaughter and his goons are on as guests, and they take Alfred Hayes hostage! Itís unclear if anybody ever rescues the poor Lord.

    Mooney: Bobby, you seem really worried about Lord Alfred Hayes.

    BH: Yes, Iím worried that theyíre holding him for ransom and they donít know heís not worth a dime.
    Last but not least, the week Bossman is meant to be the guest he ends up ambushed in the parking lot by Mountie and Jimmy Hart. They beat him up and shock him with the shock-stick. Bossman ainít happy about that, you can bet!

    Mooney: Maybe the Big Bossman found a lawbreaker out there, and thatís why heís late.

    BH: Oh sure, probably found somebody jaywalking and really laid the law down on them.
    Iíll always miss the classic Monsoon and Heenan at the desk format for Prime Time, but this studio audience thing has continued to be a true highlight of the wrestling week. Props to all involved for keeping it very fresh and fun, especially Heenan himself!

    Elsewhere in the WWFÖ

    The Match Made in Heaven

    This is the month they first use that iconic tagline ďThe Match Made in Heaven, The Match Made in HellĒ for Summerslam í91!

    GM: Itís going to be red hot in Madison Square Garden when we see the match made in hell!

    BH: What, the wedding?

    GM: No, thatís the match made in heaven!

    BH: Savage wonít be saying that after a few hours of doing the dishes.
    On an episode of Superstars, we see Miss Elizabeth being interviewed in the ring and revealing publicly that yes, she loves the Macho Man! That may sound like a simple thing but youíd be impressed at what a great reaction this gets from the crowd. People were INVESTED in this relationship, and itís so cool to see. That statement also brings Savage up to his feet and out of the commentary booth! Savage joins Liz and says he wants to return to the ring, not to wrestle but to marry Liz.

    GM: Next week, Jack Tunney will announce the special referee for the match made in hell at Summerslam!

    BH: They need a special referee for the wedding??

    GM: No! Thatís the match made in heaven!
    He proposes and she says, oh yeah!!! Fans are actually crying, full on sobbing in tears. This is what happens when you invest in characters with real stories and motivations, itís really quite incredible.

    BH: Whatís worse, getting married or going to jail?

    GM: Well, both of those things will happen at Summerslam!

    BH: At least in jail you know when youíre getting out!
    As youíve seen, Heenan had quite a few opinions of his own to share on the impending nuptials.

    GM: What kind of ceremony is it gonna be? Whoís gonna give the bride away? Whatíll Elizabeth be wearing?

    BH: I donít know!!

    GM: Why not, arenít you the journalist?

    BH: I donít do weddings!!
    The Match Made In Hell

    GM: Hulk Hogan had some harsh things to say about the match made in hell!

    BH: Oh, he doesnít like the wedding either?
    While Savage is dealing with some emotional content, Hogan is still defending AMERICA in a feud that literally seems to be never-ending. Heíll be teaming up with the Ultimate Warrior to take on Slaughter, Iron Sheik, and General Adnan, in what looks to me like a pretty lame lineup. Also, apparently Sid is now in the company and heíll be the referee for the match, and nobody knows if heís a face or a heel.

    Also, because Hoganís madness is well advanced by now, at one point during the month Hogan does a promo against Undertaker and mentions a million graves for the children who love him. Just stop talking about dead children, Hulk. Iím begging you!

    Trust Me

    Jake Roberts (w/Andre the Giant) vs. Earthquake 7/1/91 WWF MSG

    In a nice twist on an old feud, Andre has now aligned himself with Jake. Is Andre still afraid of snakes though? He may be, but Jake has left the snake backstage and instead uses Andre himself as a tool to psyche out his opponent. I canít claim this match is terribly exciting, but at least itís relatively smart, as Jake maneuvers Quake into Andreís reach several times and continuously takes advantage of Earthquakeís paranoia that the Giant will reach out and take some vengeance for injuring his leg. Itís also a reasonably good use of Andre, who is way too banged up to wrestle but can still look menacing at ringside. Jake eventually uses his psychological advantage to get the win!

    GM: Iíll try to have Jake bring Lucifer over to the commentary table after the match!

    BH: Donít do that! I feel the same way about snakes as I do about our ring announcer, Mike McGuirk. Iím not afraid of her, I just donít like her.
    Awesomeness Rating: **ĺ

    More importantly, this is also the month where we see Jake Roberts as a guest on the Funeral Parlor to kick off one of his most iconic angles. Jake stares down Paul Bearer and says he will spit in deathís eye when he comes, because the devil is on his shoulder. Bearer warns Jake that one day even he will face the Undertaker, on his final walk. Jake wonders if he should share his secrets of darkness with the Undertakerís current opponent, Ultimate Warrior. This greatly disturbs Bearer, but Jake says those immortal wordsÖ trust me.

    Itíll be next month before we get further into this angle, but itís absolutely one of my favorites so I canít wait!

    Foundations Crumble

    Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart vs. Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags, WWF Tag Team Championships 7/1/91 WWF MSG

    Nice to see the Anvil out of the commentary booth, honestly. Heís not awful in the role but heís really, really unnecessary when youíve got Heenan and Monsoon together. Bret Hart is MORE than ready to continue as a singles act though, Neidhart is just holding him back at this point. I really want someone to beat the Nasty Boys so I can stop watching their lousy matches, but itís not going to happen today as we get a fairly lame DQ finish. Interesting fact, I believe this is the very last time Bret and Neidhart would team together as a duo.

    Neidhart: I really donít like these Nasty Boys.

    BH: You sound like a sore loser, Anvil.

    GM: And I suppose youíre a good loser?

    BH: No, Iím a bad loser, I hate to lose. But I never lose, so it doesnít matter.
    Awesomeness Rating: *Ĺ

    War Hammer

    Greg Valentine vs. Warlord 7/1/91 WWF MSG

    You know Iím not going to miss a chance to talk about a Valentine singles match! Warlord is pretty slow (Alfred Hayes calls him lethargic!) but I love Valentine, heís got such heavy blows and really uses smart offense to make up for the size and power difference here. Itís still odd to see him working face but he turns this into something quite fun. Warlord gets the win, sadly but I think this is actually my favorite Warlord singles match Iíve seen, better than the Davey Boy Wrestlemania match.

    Awesomeness Rating: ***ĺ

    Ricky ďThe ObscureĒ Steamboat

    Ricky Steamboat vs. Paul Roma 7/1/91 WWF MSG

    BH: Roma waited 12 seconds before following up on that move, just too long!

    GM: Good thing he didnít wait any longer, you were getting close to the limit of your counting abilities!

    BH: Not my abilities! I can take off my shoes and count on my toes, you know!
    Look, I like Roma more than most. But it really sucks that they arenít interested in doing anything with Steamboat. Why did they even hire him back? For his sake, canít wait til he goes back to WCW for that awesome 91-94 run. At Steamboat gets the win here, even though the ref gives him a bizarrely fast count for some reason.

    GM: Roma, shoving the Dragon back first into the apron!

    BH: Good amateur wrestling move.

    GM: You wonít see that in amateur wrestling!

    BH: Sure, I shoved an amateur wrestler like that once. If you just wait for them when theyíre getting off the bus, you can waylay just about anyone.
    Awesomeness Rating: ***ľ

    WWF vs. ECW

    Shane Douglas vs. Dino Bravo 7/1/91 WWF MSG

    I include this match for two reasons. One, itís always weird to me to remember Shane Douglas had an actual run in the WWF during this time. Like, not a huge push or anything but way more than you might expect. Two, Dino Bravo is long gone from regular TV at this time but is randomly popping up on house shows, with black hair and no Jimmy Hart at his side. I think his regular career is over and heís a bit fatter, but still looks strong. He even gets the win here, so maybe I overestimated how much attention Douglas got in this era. Weird match on paper for sure but not a bad one either.

    GM: Could have snuck out the backdoor earlier, but itís too late now.

    BH: You talking about me?

    GM: No, I mean Shane Douglas in this hold! I know youíre used to sneaking out of backdoors though!
    Awesomeness Rating: **Ĺ

    The Boy Who Cried Steroid

    Vince McMahon, famous muscle drooler and the guy who has been shilling the WBF nonstop, does a special segment saying the WWF has the best drug testing program in the world, and specifically says they test strictly for anabolic steroids. Oh VinceÖ

    USA, or Whatever

    This month, Jim Duggan made his 2x4 into a gun and wrote USA on it. Just in case you missed the subtlety of his character. Good griefÖ

    Miscellaneous Quotes

    GM: There are counters for every move, Brain, as you well know.

    BH: And moves for every counter.

    GM: Counters upon counters.

    BH: More counters than a K-Mart.
    GM: Berzerker wanted a piece of Howard Finkel!

    BH: Why would anyone want that?
    GM: The Rockers donít have much trouble getting a date on Saturday night, do they?

    BH: They shouldnít, they have each other.
    Neidhart: Gorilla, you have a tremendous amount of patience.

    BH: What about me? Putting up with him, I have more ďpatientsĒ than the Mayo Clinic!
    GM: Weasels are an endangered species! Look out for the Skinner, Brain!

    BH: What?!?
    GM: What if Skinner wants to make a weasel jacket?

    BH: Then heíll have to go out and find a weasel. I wouldnít know anything about that.
    GM: Why are you always down on guys like the Texas Tornado, Brain? Just because they never put any money in your pocket?

    BH: Itís not that, I just donít like him! I donít like his attitude, I donít like Texas, I donít like tornadoes, and I donít like guys with long hair!
    BH: The best way to combat the British Bulldog is to bring a mirror.

    GM: A mirror?

    BH: Yeah, just show it to him and heíll see his silly haircut, and when he starts laughing youíve got him!

    Phew! Youíd think Heenan being out of the managerial role might cut down on how much there is to cover each month, but really it just means heís free to be in the booth nonstop and bear witness firsthand to one of the most colorful periods in WWF history, and Iíve got to say Iíve been loving it. Amazing to me, thinking back, that I thought going through this era in detail would be dull. Itís become one of my favorite eras in wrestling, and I donít say that lightly. Canít wait to see what happens next, and how our man Heenan will make fun of it!

    Thatís it for today, humanoids. Iíll be back soon with the next entry, until then donít let the ham-and-eggers get you down, and stay awesome!

  2. #2
    Man, the MGS stuff with Heenan and Fuji is an awesome hidden gem. I really like Fuji as a wrestler just a stout little cheater. Bobby took a hell of a bump...Maybe, it's those two announces sympathetic for Bobby that puts the icing on the cake. I never knew about any of this! Great find!

    Jameson strikes me as someone Vince would love.

    I didn't make the connection of Andre and Virgil together and opposite of The million dollar man at first, but after you did the surreal effect kicked in.

    Mooney..wish AEW would hire him as the backstage announcer. Still has a great voice.

    Man, Jake, to me, is one of the best minds in wrestling. This summer with his fued with Warrior and Savafe, he was at his best. Some of the best storytelling ever in wrestling.

    Love Heenan's match made in heaven/hell jokes all summer. That Savage Liz thing as really a big deal at the time. I don't think fans have ever fallen so in love with a wrestling relationship. As for the match made in hell, the interesting thing about the match is 3 of the 5 men in that match pinned Andre. The match and feud itself sucked, but I do like how it segued into Sid Viscous. Miss those kind of smooth transitions.

    Did not know Dino was still around this late into 91. I always think of him as a 1990 guy.

    I remember really enjoying Valentine's matches back then. he was really good even this late in his career. He did a lot of TV main events. And back then, anything not a jobber match on TV was special.

    got two good chuckles in that misc quotes 1 by 1. The Howard Finkle one and the Rockers dating each other one

    Great, fantastic read!

  3. #3
    Funny column. I remember Sgt. Slaughter taking Alfred Hayes hostage. I think they drove off somewhere and kicked him out of the car in a random place.

    Heenan referring to Savage's wedding as the Match Made In Hell was great. Heenan had a gift for coming up with great jokes and delivering them well. Part of how funny a joke is depends upon how funny the person telling it is.

  4. #4
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    A little F2F for the loyal feeders!

    Benny! The Heenan/Fuji stuff is a real trip, ain't it? And yeah, I've no doubt that Vince cackled many a time over Jameson's booger-eater persona. Considering the guy keeps showing up in random places for years, I'd say it's all but confirmed. YES to Mooney still being great, I would adore him as the Gene Okerlund of AEW. Is Slaughter or Sheik the 3rd man who beat Andre? Valentine is pretty much always great, as are comments about your favorite Heenan quips. Thanks so much for the read, my friend!

    Ripper! Really glad you enjoyed. I coudn't find the conclusion of the Hayes kidnapping skit online but that sounds like a very likely conclusion. Dangerous to be on Prime Time in this era! Great point about Heenan's delivery being above and beyond, many guys have tried to imitate Heenan's style in the commentary booth but nobody has ever come close to matching him. Thanks for the read and feed!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Wow, the fans were actually crying when Elizabeth said yes? I guess that's where investing in characters comes in, like you mentioned. That wouldn't happen in the modern age. That's why the fans loved seeing Heenan getting his ass beat because they were invested in him being a prick and because of kayfabe they believed it. Also, Heenan played that part to perfection as well.

    Okay, any more insight into why Hogan was acting batshit crazy during this time period? Was his heat running out and that literally started to drive him crazy in the really real world or What. His promos are weird as hell.

    Wow can't believe that segment with Vince and the steroids. Knowing what I know after all these years that just sounds brutal.

    Favourite quote:

    Mooney: Bobby, you seem really worried about Lord Alfred Hayes.

    BH: Yes, I’m worried that they’re holding him for ransom and they don’t know he’s not worth a dime.

  6. #6
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Donny! Glad you could stop by. I'd say except for the kids fans of that era didn't really think wrestling was "real", but the stories and characters were so big and vibrant they were able to invest emotionally. As for Hogan, I'd say there probably was a little bit of desperation on his part, or maybe even a little bit of laziness as he was already looking into a film career at this time. He had the magic touch for so long, maybe he started thinking he could say anything and get away with it? Thanks so much for the read and love that quote, thanks for taking the time to shout it out!

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