The pro wrestling world is still in mourning over the loss of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. We’re sure to be hearing memories and tributes for years to come, because Heenan touched the lives of countless fans and contemporaries over his 40-plus years in the wrestling business. His was an unparalleled wit, and everyone who knew him on a personal level was proud to call him a friend.
One of those friends was Bruce Prichard, who was with WWE for nearly 20 years and spent a lot of that time serving as Vince McMahon’s right-hand man. He was also a manager in his own right, going by the name of Brother Love.
Prichard recently spoke to Sports Illustrated about Heenan, and talked about how the two were so close that Heenan and his family served as a surrogate family to him.
“The first time I really got to know Bobby was when I worked for Vince. I was just a kid, and they threw me in to produce Bobby and Gino [Gorilla]. I usually produced the shows he was on, which was easy to do because he was just so damn good.
“We became fast friends. We traveled together, we hung out together. We were in Stamford, Connecticut one night having dinner, and Bobby was making me laugh throughout the entire meal. The waitress walked over to us, looked at the both of us, pointed at me and asked Bobby, ‘Is that your son?’ From that point on, Bobby was ‘Dad’ and I was ‘Son’.
“Bobby called his wife, Cyndi, later that night and said, ‘Honey, we’ve got another child.’ Cyndi asked if he’d gotten another woman pregnant, and Bobby said, ‘No! It’s Bruce!’
“The last time I got to sit down and talk with him was in Houston when I introduced him to my daughter, Amber, who was 17. His reaction to meeting my daughter was almost like he was meeting his granddaughter. That was the relationship we had. He’d make me laugh so hard I’d cry. I loved him to death.”
Prichard seems understandably devastated by Heenan’s passing, and it’s clear that his friends will be impacted by his loss for a very, very long time. Our deepest condolences and sympathies to Bobby’s friends and family, a group of people lucky enough to get to know the man behind the Brain.