Saturday, March 14, 2015.
I strode into the LaGuardia Plaza hotel for the very first time with my lovely girlfriend, Jenna, at my side. There was a long yet orderly line in the lobby. Staffers from the Big Event were handing out tickets to those who pre-ordered. Soon after, the line broke off with everyone darting straight into the main vendor room where wrestlers from all eras awaited them.
Instead, I made a beeline for a table stationed in the lobby. K&S Wrestlefest, one of the premier vendors in the wrestling convention game, were advertising appearances from some major names: “The Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko, the Bullet Club trio of the Young Bucks & AJ Styles…
But none of those names were bigger than Bobby ‘the Brain’ Heenan.
I purchased an autograph ticket to meet ‘the Brain.’ He was currently en-route to the convention, so I went off to meet the likes of Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, the Dudley Boyz, and more.
After a frenzied hour or two in a sea of humanity, my girlfriend and I fought our way back to the lobby. I was panicked.
Bobby Heenan was nowhere to be seen.
After re-checking the jam-packed vendor room, I came to believe that Heenan had cancelled his appearance.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
I spotted him sitting in the back corner of the lobby with one person on his line, a far cry from the dozens and dozens of people I expected to be on his line.
I approach his table and I put my WWE Encyclopedia down and say, “Mr. Heenan it’s such an honor to meet you, would you mind signing this?.” He says something under his breath but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. “What was that?, Mr. Heenan?” He points to a stack of 8x10s on his table. “You’re only signing your 8x10s?” Heenan again says something while pointing to his 8x10s, only this time he’s pointing more empathetically at it. “I don’t understand, Mr…”
Suddenly Zbyszko, who was sitting next to him, says, “He wants you to call him Bobby, kid! Not Mr. Heenan!” Then I realized Heenan was pointing to his name that was printed on the 8x10s. I go, “Oh sorry, Mr. Heenan!” and he just throws his arms up and rolls his eyes at me before signing my encyclopedia.
I was a mere humanoid amongst the Brain.
Rest in Peace, Bobby. Thanks for the memories.