I have asked many questions in this column. I pride this column on the fact the readers and I can agree and disagree on many different topics. The great thing is at the end of the day what we all have in common is not our opinions but the fact we are all fans. I have seen people ask the popular questions, such as who is the greatest tag team of all time? Who is the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time? Who is the Greatest World Champion of all time? And the list of questions goes on. Every question having many good answers and no clear cut right answer. But, today when I got home from the Fire Station I turned on the WWE Network. They aired the Bobby Heenan documentary, and I couldn’t help but notice most of the people interviewed said he was the greatest manager to ever live. I quickly thought about it and agreed. As the day went on I was reading some interviews from other wrestlers online. Many that I read mentioned the greatest manager of all time was Paul Heyman, well this got me to questioning is there a debate or is Heenan the clear cut favorite. I decided to debate this with three questions, the questions are
1. Who managed the greatest secondary champion of the two? (Secondary meaning Intercontinental, U.S, or Television Title, etc.)
Now to pick this I compared the wrestlers that each had managed. I was looking for the secondary title holder in the NWA/WCW, AWA, or WWE that had never won a world championship.
Bobby Heenan: Two names stuck out with Heenan. First was Rick Rude, but Rude was also managed by Paul Heyman so I excluded him (other wrestlers were also excluded for this reason).Then I came to perhaps one of the greatestIntercontinental Champions of all time “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. He without a doubt was the greatest secondary Champion to be managed by Heenan, maybe the greatest champion he managed period.
Paul Heyman: This one was hard but using the criteria, and taking into consideration they had to hold the title while being managed by Heyman the best would have been Shelton Benjamin. Shelton was/is a great in ring talent, although not all with Heyman he held the I.C Title 3 times.
I think we all would agree Benjamin is no “Mr. Perfect”.
Winner: Bobby Heenan
2. Who managed the greatest tag team of the two?
Bobby Heenan: This could be a debate in its own, but after careful consideration I picked the Brain Busters. The team of Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson was already well established in the NWA, but not to the WWF fans. Heenan led them to the WWF Tag Team Championships, and introduced them to millions more fans.
Paul Heyman: This one was simple for Heyman; the greatest tag team he has ever touched would have to be the Dudley Boyz. Many would argue they are the greatest tag team to ever wrestle. I will say this; they are the greatest to ever wrestle for Heyman.
Basing this on what both teams accomplished while with each manager they are pretty equal in accomplishments.
3. Who managed the greatest world Champion?
Bobby Heenan: For me this is simple Flair and Bockwinkel. They were both great champions under Heenan. While in the WWE Flairs run was not long but very entertaining. Flair is perhaps the greatest to ever wrestle, but his time in the WWE was short. Bockwinkel in the AWA had a very long title reign. He was a fighting champion, and one of the best technical wrestlers to ever live, and Heenan was along for much of it.
Paul Heyman: Although Heyman has managed Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle, to me the greatest he has managed is CM Punk. He held the title the longest of any wrestler in the modern era. Punk was a great champion; most of his matches as champion were classics, but Heyman made his reign that much more entertaining.
At the end of the day you have to ask was Punks run greater than Bockwinkel and Flairs. I do believe it was better than flairs WWE run. I d not believe it was better than Bockwinkels run in the AWA though.
Now this is all debatable, and we could argue this all day long. Many great wrestlers do not fall under any of the questions asked. Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, and Big John Studd were all managed by Heenan. Big Show, Rey Mysterio, RVD, and Tazz were all at one point managed by Hayman. In all over 100 wrestlers have been managed by these two men. To me Heenan is the greatest manager of our time, and one of the greatest entertainers. Heyman guys and gals don’t worry though, the debate is still open, and Heyman is still managing.
My question to you the readers is which is better, being a member of the “Heenan Family” or being a “Heyman Guy”?