LOP Column Forum September 2018 Columnist of The Month: The Life & Times of Bobby Heenan: The Tornado & The Nightstick (Feburary ’91) by Mizfan

Bobby Heenan

Wow, it has been a little while since we posted one of these!

Each month in the Columns section of LOP Forums, we hold a competition to determine who was the best of the previous month. In other words, the Columnist of the Month. The winner earns the right to present you, the Lords of Pain main page audience, with an example of their work, laying the foundation for what will hopefully, eventually be a permanent spot on the LOP Columns roster.

September’s winner Mizfan has actually taken out two of these this year alone, adding to his record tally of 13 Columnist of the Month wins. His series The Life & Times of Bobby Heenan has been going on for years now and stretches back right to the start of the Hall of Famer’s wrestling career.

If you would like to write for Lords of Pain, the path to doing so starts with the Columns Forum. You can visit it and begin your own journey by clicking the image below. It is also where you can read more of this series.

The Life & Times of Bobby Heenan

Greetings, mizfan fans! And welcome back to the massive compendim of weasel related knowledge that is the Life & Times of Bobby Heenan. We are closing fast on Wrestlemania VII, but there are a lot of stops to make before we get there. Time’s a-wasting, so let’s hit the road!

WWF February ‘91

Ongoing Heenan Storylines – The Tornado & The Nightstick

Bobby Heenan: Lotta trouble with the Heenan Family lately. Was driving in the limo in Beverly Hills the other day, we stop at the light and 33 ladies try to come through the sunroof. Keep driving, 42 ladies come in the back where the hot tub is. And why is that?
Mr Perfect: Because I’m perfect!

Mr Perfect (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Kerry Von Erich, WWF Intercontinental Championship 2/2/91 WWF Superstars

Bobby Heenan Mr Perfect
Managing Ain’t Easy

One cool thing about this era is that feuds tend to stick around and blend into each other, so here we get one final match between Mr Perfect and the Texas Tornado for Heenan to deal with, even though the Big Bossman is still snapping at his heels.

BH: I can’t understand the Texas Tornado’s popularity!
Gorilla Monsoon: What’s not to like?
BH: He’s from Texas!
GM: Are you going to start with that? I could get this guy on your case, no problem!
BH: I’m not worried about that, I’d just turn the one way street signs the other way and he’d never find me.

And there’s plenty to deal with! Tornado is deep into his babyface privilege int his one, as he starts the match by shoving Heenan bodily out of the ring and attacking Mr Perfect straight off! Tornado lays impressively into Perfect with some thunderous punches, among other nice bits of offense, and Perfect is going down hard! Heenan sees which way the wind is blowing and runs to the back for help, but he doesn’t get a step past the curtain when Bossman appears and drags him back down to ringside!

Bobby Heenan Bossman
Well that didn’t work out the way we hoped.

GM: You can come out from under the desk, Brain! The Bossman didn’t see you!
BH: No no, I just dropped my, uh, audio converterator down there. Testing, testing! Am I on?

Crowd goes nuts for this, this whole Bossman/Heenan feud has been so full of crowd popping visuals and unique moments. Truly one of the best fueds I’ve seen. It seems like Bossman is once again going to make Heenan pay for his weaselly ways, but Perfect gets involved and, between the two of them, Bossman goes headfirst into the ring steps!!

Mr Perfect Bossman
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work!

This one is wild, feels like stories are intersecting beautifully and bodies flying all over the place. Tornado comes out after Perfect and clobbers him on the outside, but he misjudged the count and has to rush back to the ring. Tornado gets the countout win but not the title. What a super fun, absolute chaos but everyone involved was at their best, including Kerry. Perfect and Bossman are clearly still on a collision course, and that match is going to absolutely rule all over again!

BH: This Wrestlemania is going to be perfect for me!
GM: It’s never been before, why should this one be any different?
BH: I’ve EARNED it!!

Awesomeness Rating: ****

Faces of Fear Prequel

One of the low key best tag teams of the late 90s was the Faces of Fear, Meng & Barbarian. Meng, AKA Haku, has been hanging around the Family with Barbarian for a while now, but finally it seems like Heenan has gotten the bright idea to team them up. I feel like this will be a short term thing, but I have no idea why as this is a team WWF could have run with for years. I guess we’ll see how it goes, but either way they are announced as the opponents of the Rockers at Wrestlemania! And of course, it’s never just a match with Heenan involved, you know it’s gonna go deeper, so let’s see what we’ve got…

GM: I never see Barbarian doing armdrags.
BH: He doesn’t like to drag arms, he likes to take them off.

Mr Perfect (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Shawn Michaels (w/Marty Jannetty), WWF Intercontinental Championship 2/18/91 WWF World Tour

This is from a Coliseum Video release much later, but it’s pretty obvious from the date it was taped that it was set up to further both of Heenan’s Wrestlemania programs. Nevertheless, Heenan is actually not around at the start. Perhaps he thinks the reigning Intercontinental Champion can handle a mere tag wrestler, but we shall see how he deals with the future legend!

Perfect wants to fight instead of wrestle, but then HBK knocks him clean out of the ring! And DAMN, Michaels dives out onto him in a way that makes my jaw drop!! I try to only include gifs that involve Heenan directly, but I have to make an exception for this.

Shawn Michaels Mr Perfect
Jesus Sweet Christ Shawn!

Perfect is able to crack Michaels into the rail, so Jannetty comes out to support his partner. After some more great action, Perfect slaps Jannetty, and Jannetty slaps him back! Heenan runs down to ringside and orders the ref to throw the match out, but of course he doesn’t. I guess this really wasn’t aired for a LONG time, because on commentary Sean Mooney says Heenan is retired as a manager, which doesn’t happen until the summer at least. The future HBK goes up top and Heenan runs on the apron to push him off, and HBK jumps clear and grabs him.

Ah, if only Bobby was a few years younger…

Perfect saves Heenan and hits the Perfect Plex on Michaels, but Bossman runs out to attack Perfect for the DQ. Still, that was a tremendously fun match, far, far superior to their disappointing match in ‘93. I highly recommend seeking this one out. All three faces take shots at Perfect before he flees to the back.

BH: My Haku and Barbarian will be taking on the Rockers. THEN we’ll see who the most handsome team in the WWF is!

Awesomeness Rating: ****¾ 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What It Means To Virgil

It’s happened! Virgil has been pushed too far and has split himself off from DiBiasae. He comes out for an interview with Okerlund, and we find out that Roddy Piper, who encouraged him to stand up for himself, is training Virgil for a match with DiBiase! I think this is actually a pretty good fit, as a from-the-streets guys like Piper is sure to hate a guy like DiBiase, and chafe at the sight of him abusing a guy under his power. Very interested to see where this feud goes, Virgil has his limitations but the crowd is very hot for it and the idea of the feud is potentially pure gold.

GM: What do you think about this situation with Virgil and DiBiase?
BH: You know when I was a kid we had a maid, and the neighbors wanted her to work for them, so they talked to her and told she’d have better maid quarters and stuff like that. That’s what Piper’s doing now, he just wants Virgil to drive him around and carry his bags.

Haku (w/Bobby Heenan & Ted DiBiase) vs. Virgil (w/Roddy Piper) 2/23/91 WWF Superstars

Nice to see Haku here! Despite being announced for a Wrestlemania match, this is actually the first time he’s had a TV match since November, which is just ridiculous. I love how consistent the Heenan/DiBiase alliance is through the years, ever since the Andre deal of ’88 they have often gone back to do more business with each other and it’s a low-key partnership that works really well. Here DiBiase has hired Heenan to bring one of his monsters to face Virgil, who is accompanied again by Piper. The match is pretty decent actually, mostly thanks to Haku but Virgil does alright and the crowd is really hot for it. Haku sells too much for Virgil for my taste, but I guess that’s a sign of how far he’s fallen. Virgil bumps to the floor, and Piper and DiBiase converge to encourage/discourage him to get back to his feet. They milk the spot well and Virgil beats the count. Haku regains the advantage but he gets distracted by Piper, and Virgil wins via roll up!! Heenan and DiBiase are furious, and the crowd is hotter than ever. They are presenting this really, really well, I’m getting more and more excited about this feud.

Awesomeness Rating: **¾ 

Goodbye to the real Prime Time Wrestling

This is the month they change Prime Time, and I’m really, really broken up about it. Instead of Heenan and Monsoon together in the studio, they bring in an audience and replace Monsoon with Vince McMahon. I know there will be some good stuff from this format, but the classic Prime Time format is one of the best things in wrestling history and it really feels like the end of an era.

Also may as well throw this in, all through this month they are making a big stink about supposedly adding instant replay for wrestling referees. I assume it’s a topical reference but I wish they’d all shut up about it!

Elsewhere in the WWF…

Hulk Hogan in Cloud Cuckoo Land

So, remember last month I talked about how Hulk Hogan started spiraling into madness in 1991? Believe me, we’ve really just begun. Just in the month of February, Hogan:

-Declares that Sergeant Slaughter should not be protected by American rights.
-Asks parents to imagine their children in a head on collision with a semi truck.
-Explains that Saddam would torture child wrestling fans if he captured them, and personally promises he’ll stop that from happening.

And I’m still just scratching the surface here. Meanwhile, Slaughter burns a poster of Hogan, because it represents America, which is silly but actually significantly less disconnected from reality than Hogan seems to be.

Career vs. Career

BH: Savage and the Warrior, career vs. career? These guys need to have their lawyers look into this, you can tell by the way they wrestle that this is their whole lives. Then again, it’s good for me, one more guy out of the way!

The career ending stipulation for Savage and Warrior is announced for Wrestlemania. Hey Warrior, Savage did you a favor by costing you the title. Chill out, you raging nutjob.

And the Blind Shall See

GM: Everybody down here in cotton country is going crazy for Jake Roberts!
BH: Everyone in cotton country is crazy anyway.

Even though the Jake/Martel feud doesn’t really advance this whole month, the crowd seems to just get hotter and hotter for the coming confrontation.

BH: Don’t count the Model out against Jake!
GM: I never count anyone out, Brain.
BH: You count me out every day!
GM: Ok, you’re absolutely right!

The match is also announced to be a blindfold match. I’ll reserve judgment and comment on that stipulation until we get to the match, but I will say it at least makes a lot of sense!

BH: What happens when all the Martel fans yell out wrong directions to Jake in the blindfold match?
GM: Yeah, but how many Martel fans do you really think there are?

Here Comes The Consolation Prize

Hawk & Animal vs. Crush & Smash (w/Mr Fuji) 2/10/91 WWF Challenge

So I said last month that these two teams finally feuding was as exciting as a wet fart, because Demolition has been downgraded so badly, and I stand by that overall. However, they do actually get to have this match on TV, and it’s probably about as good as we’re going to get, which actually isn’t that bad. It’s not especially long but it is a very wild brawl. Fuji gets involved and almost gets a Doomsday Device for his trouble. Everyone brawls but the ref never DQs anyone, and the match is total chaos for a while. LOD knocks Demolition out of the ring, and the referee just suddenly declares them the winner. Well, a lame ending to a feud that a year ago would have been a huge Wrestlemania match, but at least it was fun while it lasted.

Awesomeness Rating: ***¼

Goodbye to the real Slick

GM: The Warlord and the British Bulldog are, next week, going to have a full nelson challenge!
BH: That’ll make the Undertaker happy, somebody is gonna get carried out with a broken neck!

Davey Boy accepts a challenge from the Warlord to put him in the full nelson. That’s right, the Warlord was doing the Masterlock challenge about 15 years before Chris Masters.

GM: Here comes Davey Boy Smith!
BH: Looks like he swiped the shower curtain from Buckingham palace.

Slick distracts Davey as the challenge is about to begin, and Warlord attacks him from behind and beats him up. Davey recovers and powerslams Slick. This is noteworthy and also very sad because it will lead to Slick being absent from the WWF for a little while, and then returning as a very lame babyface character. Slick has been a huge pleasure to discover over the course of this series, and it stinks that the peak of his career is cut short in service of a damn Warlord feud.

GM: I love it, Davey Boy powerslamming Slick!
BH: And he kicked his hat!

Return of Ricky Steamb- I Mean, “The Dragon”

Vignettes for Steamboat are airing again! It’s the goofy dragon stuff, but still. I hope we get some nice Steamboat performances, I’ve missed him since he left.

GM: Ricky Steamboat, heating things up again in the WWF!
BH: Breathing fire? I guess he just came from dinner at Santana’s house.

He’s The Mountie!

The Mountie, AKA Jacques Rougeau, is announced to be facing Tito Santana at Wrestlemania! I’m interested to see more of what he can do as a singles guy. He hasn’t wowed me in the ring in the past but he seems to be throwing himself 110% into the gimmick and having a lot of fun with. His foreign weapon of choice is a “shock stick”, which is a cattle prod or taser of some kind.

BH: When the Mountie uses that shocker on Tito, all his hair is gonna stand on end and he’ll look like the bride of Frankenstein.
GM: That thing needs to be thrown out!
BH: Tito’s hair?
GM: No, the shocker!

Hammer Time

We finally see why Valentine broke up with Jimmy Hart. Jimmy hit him with a guitar by mistake at an MSG show. Bit random, but sure? Wonder if they wanted to quickly scrap the team, since I think HTM takes some time off from the ring soon after this. Strengthening my theory is the fact that Valentine is now feuding with Earthquake instead of his former partner. Also, wow, from Hogan to Greg Valentine is quite a downgrade for Earthquake in terms of big name opponents. I LOVE Valentine, but he hasn’t been treated as a big deal in quite a while.

Greg Valentine vs. Dino Bravo (w/Jimmy Hart) 2/24/91 WWF Challenge

But yeah, Valentine is still really, really, REALLY good in the ring. Like, easily in the top 10 of the company. He drags Bravo to an enjoyable little match and is about to put the Figure 4 on when Earthquake runs in for the DQ, and along with Jimmy Hart they all beat the Hammer up.

Here’s where things get abit weird… A mysterious man in a mask runs out and makes the save for Valentine, then runs off. I’ll spoil things now by telling you that this storyline goes absolutely nowhere. The identity of the masked man was meant to be Brutus Beefcake, but turned out he wasn’t healthy enough after his accident to actually return to the ring. I think probably best for all that he held off on that return. I do think it’s a bit funny that after so many years, Valentine and Beefcake were working together again. Where’s Johnny V for that Dream Team reunion? On second thought no, let’s not do that. But hey, extra points for Bravo being there and making the Dream Team connection even stronger!

Awesomeness Rating: ***¼

Miscellaneous Quotes

GM: That’s just your opinion, and it’s stupid.
BH: No, that’s just YOUR opinion. I’m a journalist.

GM: The Undertaker kind of smells like formaldehyde, you ever notice that?
BH: Oh, that’s just his musk.

BH: I’ve got a column in the new WWF magazine, the Brain Storm! Want me to read it to you?
GM: We don’t have time!
BH: Do you want to read it to me?
GM: Have YOU even read it yet?
BH: I WROTE it, whaddya mean have I read it??

GM: Jim Duggan is ready to go!
BH: No, he’s saying he’s choking on a Ho-Ho.

BH: My good friend Regis Philbin will also be at Wrestlemania!
GM: And what’s he gonna do?
BH: What he usually does, nothing.

And that wraps up another month! We are getting very close to Wrestlemania, and the card isn’t looking too shabby at all. It’s a shame they couldn’t get something better together for the main event though, Hogan slowing losing his mind and saying stupid things while Slaughter makes generic anti-American comments is far from compelling. But Heenan’s got some great stuff going on, between the Rockers and the Big Bossman he’s got his hands full, not to mention mastering the new format of Prime Time. Lots more to see as the year goes on!

That’s it for today, humanoids. I’ll be back soon with the next entry, until then don’t let the ham-and-eggers get you down, and stay awesome!

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