Bulldog's DVD Rack: Bobby The Brain Heenan
By Canadian Bulldog
Jan 4, 2011 - 1:06 PM
Previously reviewed on the Rack:
Click Here To Get The Bobby Heenan DVD Set Now!
I could start this review off with a really obvious statement, such as "Bobby Heenan is hands down the greatest manager of all time," but who on earth would even dispute that point?
So let me take it a bit further and state that, I wouldn't be nearly as big as a wrestling fan as I am now, if not for Bobby The Brain Heenan. He was that effective, that memorable and that good. And considering he hasn't appeared in a major promotion (aside from a handful of cameos) in over a decade, that's quite a legacy.
What I've always loved about Heenan is the passion he put into his work, bumping like a madman and providing quick-witted humor as the situation called for it. Heenan's "Family" was also my all-time favorite stable, containing at times the likes of King Kong Bundy, Paul Orndorff, Harley Race, Ravishing Rick Rude, The Brainbusters and Mr. Perfect.
To its credit, WWE realizes these truths and embrace them, with a documentary that is largely a "love in". The feature boasts commentary from a diverse panel of ham-and-eggers including Mean Gene Okerlund, John Cena, Nick Bockwinkel, Michael Hayes, Matt Striker, Blackjack Mulligan, Arn Anderson, Ken Patera, Baron Von Rashke, Jim Brunzell, Steve Lombardi, Jerry Lawler, Greg Gagne, Dusty Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler and Vince McMahon. Yeah, I'm not sure what the hell Ziggler's doing on there, either.
While the voices also include Heenan's wife Cindy and daughter Jessica, the one that's sadly missing is Bobby himself. Heenan's battles with throat cancer (including an entire reconstruction of his jaw that left him unable to speak for some time), so I completely understand the potential reasons behind the omission.
Having said that... WWE has a significant collection of archived interviews with Heenan conducted over the past decade, when he was able to speak fairly clear. They used some of that footage in the extras section of the DVD, but I wish WWE would have interspersed snippets of it in the documentary itself -- if for no other reason than to include Heenan's narration.
Still, many of the stories appear to be from Heenan's autobiography Bobby The Brain, so at least his tremendous stories are heard. The documentary explores everything from his strange Chicago upbringing to the AWA, and then the WWF and WCW before falling ill.
Of course, no retrospective on The Weasel (as Bubby Bulldog and so many other fans referred to him) would be complete without examining his chemistry with Gorilla Monsoon, and this doesn't disappoint. I remember as a young fan, staying up once until 2:30 a.m. to watch an episode of Prime Time Wrestling (reformatted for a generic Canadian clip show) in which the two commentators were horsing around on a boat. Unlike what you see in wrestling today, their humor actually worked.
The most unfortunate thing behind this DVD set? At two discs, it's not nearly not long enough!
There are a generous helping of extras -- Prime Time shenanigans, golf tips with Mean Gene and Sean Mooney, interview clips, his announcing of the legendary 1992 Royal Rumble and his can't miss (seriously, you NEED to watch this speech) 2004 Hall of Fame acceptance speech -- but there's so much more they could have added here given WWE's voluminous video library. As Jim Ross mentioned recently on his blog, you could have a 10-disc DVD collection and people still would be hungry for more.
Honestly, that's my only real problem with this DVD set; it's on the short side at about six hours of material. But otherwise, I'd definitely tell you humanoids to watch this.
Canadian Bulldog has been writing about
since 2003, and became a WWI Superstar at
World Wrestling Insanity
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