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Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Honoring Bobby "the Brain" Heenan and WWE No Mercy 2017 Predictions
By Mr. Tito
Sep 20, 2017 - 12:41:28 AM

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Welcome back to the Mr. Tito column experience exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. My last grandparent passed away during mid 2013 and he lived to be 94 years old. Being born in 1919, he lived the Great Depression, fought in World War 2 and was a prisoner of war, started a family that produced 6 children, was able to see technology start and evolve into what you see now (cars, media, etc), and from he told me, he was most proud of seeing each of his children grow up, give him grandchildren, and after that, great grand children. And he was pretty well aware of his surroundings through age 94 with his mind in tact to enjoy quite a long life.

Bobby "the Brain" Heenan passed away on Sunday at the age of 72 (WWE and many major news outlets reported age 73). 72 years is quite a long time and he probably saw many great things in his life, family and otherwise. But what I admire greatly about Bobby Heenan is the fact that he had a front row seat to professional wrestling at its absolute PEAK moments. In other words, he was there as the American Wrestling Association (AWA) hit its peak in popularity and when the promotion was on the possible brink of national expansion...

Then, as Vince McMahon Jr. took over the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Heenan joined the WWF in 1984 and he was able to continue to see the rise of Hulk Hogan (Heenan also saw it in AWA before Hogan left) and then the Brain managed Andre the Giant to help headline Wrestlemania 3. Turning Andre heel was a touch sell but it was made easier with "the weasel" egging the Giant on to go after Hogan. Considering that Andre was babyface for most of his career and also falling apart physically, Heenan was a great help to keep the mystique of the Giant alive. Heenan would also begin to commentate as a heel color commentator and was amazing. Great one liners but his speaking ability as a heel really sold his fear of babyfaces to a wide audience. Heenan remained with WWE until its peak and the beginning of its early to mid 1990s decline.

During early 1994, Bobby Heenan joins WCW as a commentator and he continued his great work throughout the 1990s. He had a front row seat to WCW rising from the ashes and booming with the New World Order and Bill Goldberg. As a heel announcer, he was in quite a pickle when Hulk Hogan turned heel. He couldn't cheer for Hogan... During Bash at the Beach 1996 when Heenan was commentating, the Brain said "whose side is he on?" as Hogan approached the ring before joining Hall & Nash to form the New World Order. Because of his consistent hatred for Hogan, Heenan was put in a spot where he was a heel commentator but still treated Hogan/NWO as if they were the babyfaces. Then, the rise of Bill Goldberg... Heenan was 100% on board with Goldberg as the next big thing and was openly a fan. I was reading a Dave Meltzer quote of Heenan's in that he said that the "WCW ride was over" when Goldberg lost at Starrcade 1998. He was right...

WCW limped along for the next 2 years following Starrcade 98 and then the WWE purchased WCW during March 2001. Bobby "the Brain" Heenan was then able to rejoin the WWE for its Wrestlemania 17 broadcast as commentator for the famous Gimmick Battle Royal. It was like Bobby Heenan NEVER lost a step, as his one-liners during that match were hysterical and his support of the heels was still there. He, again, had a front row seat for the absolute best in wrestling as he was able to see possibly the biggest Wrestlemania of them all or at least since Wrestlemania 3, the event that he once helped to hype. Wrestlemania 17 was a nice way for Heenan's wrestling career to come "full circle".

Heenan's career saw appearances becoming less and less, notably as the throat cancer began during early 2002. Poor guy had an over 15 year health struggle though he remained in great spirits to wrestling fans at signings and appearances that he made.

Let's just declare it now... He was the BEST manager of all time in pro wrestling. It's that simple... He has the longevity and had the ability to draw heat like no other. As a color commentator, wow... That's a big debate to have with Jesse Ventura and Jerry Lawler... Ventura kinda fell off in WCW and Lawler's 2000s were kind of weak, particularly when he went babyface. Heenan was consistent as a heel commentator and consistent on performances. Maybe he got a little bored during 1999-2000, but who didn't for WCW back then? Poor Heenan had to talk up a deteriorating product.

It's almost a shame that nobody gave him a chance to be on a Creative Team. The guy knew how to drew heat simply by talking and standing at ringside. Why he wasn't given a chance at booking, we'll never know... Maybe he liked to entertain too much instead of doing things backstage?

Heenan had a GREAT career as a manager, but in my opinion, his best attribute was having a front row seat in seeing the peak years of AWA, WWE/WWF, and WCW... But what I'd argue about Heenan is that he's partially responsible for the many successes of those promotions.

Bobby "the Brain" Heenan getting over as a Manager and Commentator makes me wonder about what happened to the pro wrestling industry. Where are the managers? Where are the colorful heel commentators? Just by talking and having wit, Heenan could sell any wrestler and convince any wrestling fan to pay to see Heenan or his wrestlers "get theirs". As I keep saying, anyone can just tune into WWE Network and see how effective Heenan was. Why would not want to replicate that?

Rest in peace, Bobby... Thank you for the years upon years of entertainment. You are a shining example of what makes Pro Wrestling great. Any person, from any background can contribute to the sport even if they aren't an in-ring performer.

Late 1960s through early 2000s... Think about all of the wrestling he was able to witness and the peak years of AWA, WCW, and WWE. Furthermore, the thrill of getting people stirred up by simply speaking had to be fun for him.

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WWE NO MERCY 2017 PREDICTIONS

RAW Tag Titles: Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins (c) vs. Sheamus/Cesaro
I believe this will be the HOT OPENER of this show and it should be... Hard to say where the WWE is going with Ambrose & Rollins. In my opinion, I'd reunite the FULL Shield with Roman Reigns and push the 3 as a babyface stable. Helps everyone... But if there is no interest in Roman joining them, what happens to Ambrose and Rollins? At some point, Dean Ambrose may turn on Seth Rollins and a night like No Mercy is ripe for that to possibly happen. But I think that would happen until later. Both wrestlers need each other. As for Sheamus/Cesaro, they are a damn good tag team. Hard to argue against them. Both guys are consistently turning in good tag matches.

WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins

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Women's Title: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Emma
Hard to call here... Nia beat Alexa on RAW, so that's probably out of the question. Not happening for poor Emma, although it would be hilarious for WWE to randomly give her the Women's Title despite all of the poor booking given to here. That leaves Bayley and Sasha... Yeah. I just don't see it. I believe that Sasha has burned WWE bridges by openly speaking about the disappointment in her recent title loss while WWE doesn't believe in Bayley at all. Makes my decision easy...

WHO SHOULD WIN: Nia Jax. She's legit and I'd push her HARD from here until Wrestlemania 34 as Women's Champion until we can get Nia vs. Asuka at that show.

WHO WILL WIN: Alexa Bliss retains. Maybe Nia gains the Women's Title at another event in the future.

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Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
Just don't care. Bray Wyatt has had a disappointing year since he became WWE Champion.

WHO SHOULD WIN/WHO WILL WIN: Finn Balor

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WWE Cruiserweight Title: Neville (c) vs. Enzo Amore
Man, if Enzo didn't have so much backstage heat... He is a legitimate draw in the midcard and fans like the guy. Having the title on him could help 205 Live, although that show will never be successful when it's airs after Smackdown Live.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Enzo Amore because the rest of the division can't draw attention like he can.

WHO WILL WIN: Neville. The backstage stuff will get in the way here.

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Intercontinental Title: The Miz (c) vs. Jason Jordan
WWE would have egg on their face if they did the Kurt Angle long lost child storyline and did nothing with it. They'll try to force Jordan and making him become IC Champion here will began that force... But I sense that the WWE knows that it is failing and could turn Jordan heel immediately following this. Who knows? I wouldn't doubt that Miz will work a lighter schedule for the next, oh, let's say 9 months after successfully dropping his troops off to the shores of Maryse. He deserves more than the Intercontinental Title for that.

WHO SHOULD WIN: The Miz. Jordan just isn't over as Kurt Angle's son.

WHO WILL WIN: Jason Jordan, as WWE will attempt to force this storyline one last time.

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John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
In my opinion, the money is in the rematches here... I believe that the WWE is going to attempt to fool everyone into believing that Roman's push is over by Cena defeating him. However, this feud has just started. I believe that John Cena wins here but Roman has some sort of heel-like (but not turning heel) response. This prompts another month or two of promos against each other to hype rematches. I just don't believe that John Cena returns and endures a JOKE of a SummerSlam rematch just to lose instantly to Reigns. I could easily see Survivor Series being headlined by Reigns vs. Cena... Unless the Undertaker is truly coming back to feud with John Cena. If so, the angle will be Undertaker going after Roman but accidentally hits John Cena.

WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: John Cena. Just like Cena mocked the Rock before Wrestlemania 28 for being a movie star, Roman did it against John Cena. Who won that first Rocky/Cena match-up again? I believe the same pattern occurs here. But Cena's win is only to set up a rematch with Reigns for future shows.

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WWE Universal Title: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Braun Strowman
Wow... Personally, I would have scheduled this for Wrestlemania 34 by having Braun Strowman win the Rumble match to become #1 contender. Then, put over Strowman HUGE at Wrestlemania 34. Instead, we're doing it now... Plans remain that Lesnar is WWE Universal Champion by Wrestlemania 34 and Roman Reigns is the one who beats him there (ugh). The big thing for me is protecting Braun Strowman, particularly if Reigns fails to gain any heat from beating Lesnar at Wrestlemania 34. Something simple like Paul Heyman interfering could work here. That, or Strowman wins and becomes Champion and Lesnar wins the rematch to set up a 3rd match in the future? Maybe consider Lesnar vs. Strowman vs. Reigns at Wrestlemania 34 instead? Remember how much fun SummerSlam 2017's main event was?

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Braun Strowman wins. Lesnar is a former multiple time WWE Champion, UFC Champion, New Japan Champion, and NCAA Heavyweight champion. He'll NEVER lose heat, even if he loses.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Brock Lesnar wins. What Vince wants, he gets. I figure we'll see Paul Heyman interference, however, to cause a controversial finish to salvage a rematch. Hopefully, at least, as Strowman losing cleanly does significant long-term damage.

SO JUST CHILL... 'TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!

Comments and feedback are welcome. Follow and Tweet me @titowrestling or login in below to post comments.

Bookmark Mr. Tito's Column Archive to read the current and past columns.

© Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com - 1998-2017

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