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WWE Confidential February 8, 2003
Posted by Retro Rob on Feb 10, 2003, 18:40
WWE Confidential February 8, 2003
First and foremost, I would like to send out my condolences to Curt Hennig’s family. Hennig, 44, passed away earlier this afternoon. Cause of death is still unknown. Mr. Perfect was always one of my favorite wrestlers. Mostly because he was a heel and had a good look. His matches with Bret Hart helped to revolutionize the WWF mid-card in the early 1990’s. Of course in the late 90’s he returned as a commentator and perpetrated the “Perfect Hoax” with Triple H. Soon thereafter he jumped to the WCW, turned on Ric Flair and joined the nWo. Hennig made his triumphant return at the 2002 Royal Rumble where even while getting his ass handed to him by both HHH and Steve Austin, he managed to do his old “spit and catch” routine with his gum. Unfortunately, after an altercation with Brock Lesnar he was pretty much finished in the WWE. He turned up in TNA earlier this year and even appeared on one of their PPVs a few weeks ago.
Someone posted this career history on the message board. I’m not sure where they stole it from, but I thought it was a good read, so here you go:
"I stand for wrestling, cause that's what I do best. But if you want to fix it up and you want to have a fist fight, I can run faster, I can jump higher, I can do everything better than you! Know why? Cause I am what I say I am: Absolutely...PERFECT."
Curt Hennig was born in Minneapolis on March 28, 1958, the son of legendary wrestler Larry "The Axe" Hennig. Raised in the Minneapolis suburb of Robbinsdale, Curt was friends with, and even graduated with, future wrestlers Tom Zenk, Rick Rude, and Brady Boone. At a young age and throughout school, Curt showed tremendous athletic ability; he claims to have "lettered in more sports than anyone in the state of Minnesota". But it was a stint at Verne Gagne's Wrestling Camp that sealed his future, and Hennig gave up collegiate offers for football, baseball, and wrestling after a stellar prep career.
Following in his father's footsteps, Curt started as a jobber in the WWF. He learned quite a bit about wrestling in this time, including one match where he did the job to WWF Champion Bob Backlund. But things didn't work out, and Curt headed to Don Owen's Pacific Northwest territory for some time. In 1981, Curt returned home to Minnesota and joined Verne Gagne's AWA. During this time, Curt began to get a nice push and became one of the federation's biggest stars. He teamed up with Scott Hall to win the AWA Tag Team belts from Jim Garvin and Steve Regal in January 1986 and held the title until May that year. Perhaps his most shining moment came May 2, 1987, when he beat Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA World title, but this victory came with controversy. Curt didn't officially get the title until 9 days later, when the AWA ruled in a vote that videotape evidence showed that Curt had not been illegally aided by Larry Zbyszko. Curt held this title for over a year before losing it to Jerry Lawler in May 1988, with one exception. In late 1987, Hennig was cleanly beaten by former tag partner Greg Gagne for the title in a cage match, albeit with controversy. This change was not cleared with the bookers, though, and in a rematch, Curt beat Gagne.
Following his loss to Lawler, Curt was contacted for a contract with the WWF. When asked by Vince McMahon what kind of high school athlete Curt was, as an idea for a character, Hennig replied "Perfect", and thus, he became Mr. Perfect. Mr. Perfect made his debut in the WWF in late 1988 and began a winning streak that lasted until Wrestlemania 6, losing to Brutus Beefcake. Establishing himself as a superstar (including beating WWF Champion Hulk Hogan before WM6 by DQ in Madison Square Garden), Perfect won the coveted Intercontinental title just 3 weeks later in a tournament final, beating Tito Santana. He held this title until Summerslam 90, when he lost it to Kerry Von Erich. But Perfect would get his revenge, winning it back 3 days before that year's Survivor Series. Mr. Perfect would go on to hold the I-C belt for 280 days. Then Curt suffered a back injury that would haunt him the rest of his career, but before going to the sideline, he lost the I-C belt to Bret "The Hitman" Hart at Summerslam 91.
Now on the sidelines, Hennig became "Executive Consultant" to WWF newcomer Ric Flair. But once his back healed, Hennig began a feud with Flair, including a victory over the "Nature Boy" in a "Loser Leaves WWF" match following the 1993 Royal Rumble. However, before making his wrestling comeback at Survivor Series 1992, Hennig signed a contract with Lloyd's of London to insure his back for further injury. Perfect began a feud with another WWF newcomer, Lex Luger, then started a feud with WWF I-C champion Shawn Michaels. Hennig looked to beat the champ at Summerslam 93 but lost via countout, and during the match he re-injured his back. With his Lloyd's of London contract, Hennig collected millions in annual settlements. To keep active in wrestling, Perfect worked as a Guest Referee at Wrestlemania 10, disqualifying Lex Luger when Luger shoved Perfect in a World Title match against WWF Champ Yokozuna. He didn't show up again until working occasional guest commentary starting at Survivor Series 1995. By 1996, Perfect was either ready to return to the ring, or insurance was unwilling to keep paying him, so before a scheduled comeback match, he began a feud with Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, whose valets Perfect began stealing. Slated to fight "Triple-H", Perfect's knee was injured by HHH before the fight, and Perfect was replaced by I-C champ Marc Mero, only to be set up; Perfect had conspired with HHH so Helmsley could win the belt.
After this match, Hennig began contract negotiations with WCW for a full-time return to the ring. This comeback became a reality in July 1997, when Hennig showed up at Bash At the Beach as Diamond Dallas Page's mystery partner. Hennig looked good in the time afterward, after being away for nearly 4 years. Curt, trying to establish himself as a babyface, accepted the role of Horseman upon the retirement of Arn Anderson of the Four Horsemen, but this, in typical Hennig fashion, ended up as a setup at Fall Brawl 97, when Hennig turned on the Horsemen to reveal himself as a member of the heel New World Order stable, and in the process, seriously injuring his old nemisis Ric Flair. The following night, Hennig won the WCW U.S. Title from Horseman Steve McMichael. Hennig held this belt until Starrcade 97, when he was beated by former partner Dallas Page. Doing his best to work around various knee and back injuries throughout 1998, Hennig re-emerged in 1999 to win the WCW Tag-Team belts with Barry Windham and held the belts for about a month. Curt worked various angles, wrapping up with by losing a "Loser Must Retire" match against Buff Bagwell at Mayhem 99, but turned around to reveal he was aligned with the heel "Powers That Be". In 2000, Hennig's contract expired and has since wrestled independently.
That is where the bio stops, but we all know the rest of the story. Nonetheless, we do have some business to attend to, so we can’t grieve forever… Well, I guess we could at least put off grieving for the time it takes me to get through this review.
As much as I hate to do it at this point and time, I would like to thank everyone who read my WCW Wrestle War 1991 review and helped put it over the 1,000 hit mark. Now if only 1% of you started sending me feedback, we would be set.
This week on Confidential we look at the TE3 controversy involving Bob Holly. We also learn why Steve Austin joining Raw IS NOT a foregone conclusion and Arn Anderson tours his hometown or something like that.
First though, Freddie Blassie celebrates his 85th birthday. Blassie started wrestling in 1935. His only regret is getting old because he wishes he could relive the past. Freddie's mother always considered wrestling to be nothing more than foolishness. After making $1 and getting the shit beat out of him in his professional match, Freddie began to believe his mother, but still never conceded. He was without a doubt the most hated man in wrestling. He incited many minor riots. Blassie had been cut and stabbed 21 times. The first time was in Georgia while he was taunting the fans. The guy was fined all of $120 for stabbing Freddie. Another time someone threw acid on him. In Boston, two mongrels threw a hard-boiled egg at his eye. "I enjoyed agitating those bastards." While living in Southern California, Freddie met Burt Reynolds, who went as far as to kissing his hand. Blassie was never a drinker, but was invited to all the parties based on his reputation. Blassie ever had a role on the Dick Van Dyke Show. "You could spend all the money in the world and you wouldn't have had as much fun as I had." Not listening to his mother was the best move he made in his life. See that kids, sometimes rebelling against your parents does pay off. Freddie is a class act (HAHA “Classy” and “class act… nevermind). I just wish the WWE would utilize him better when they decide to use him on TV. Having Steph and Shane wish death upon the guy isn’t really what he deserves.
Segment 1: 1/1
Gene relates a story of a 15 year old girl at a Bob Holly autograph signing. The girl was so mad at Holly for the way he treated Matt on Tough Enough; she refused to even talk to him.
OK, I have two problems with that scenario.
1. Why would someone want a Hardcore Holly autograph?
2. Specifically a 15 year old girl?
Clips of Bob Holly beating up Matt on TE3. Maybe Scott Keith doesn’t frequent this site, but it sure seems like the Confidential crew does considering I spoke at great lengths about this situation. Big wanted Holly to beat Matt's ass in order to see if he really was "tough enough". Holly says that someone should have prepared him. Big didn't see why he would have needed to. Holly says that if he kicked Matt as hard as he could, he would have had broken ribs. Supposedly he does the same exact things in all his matches. Bob was there to teach him what the WWE was really all about. Holly adds that Matt has no heart for thinking about quitting. "I'm not an asshole, people may think I am. They could kiss my ass." Al was angry over how Holly treated Matt. Holly calls Al too much of a "mother-figure". Looking back it, Matt believes that getting beat up by Holly is what motivated him to keep going. Holly concludes with, if Matt decided NOT to shake Holly's hand, he would really get his ass handed to him if they ever squared off.
Those of you who read last week’s review may recall all of the negative things I had to say about Bob. Well, I think that now I will elaborate. Hardcore Holly has been involved in this business for over a decade. Not once has he ever been pushed past the mid-card. Even his time in the mid-card was all of a few months. Obviously, based on his career, he would have good reason to pissed off that these 20 year old punks go on some TV show and automatically become more famous than he is and higher on the card than he is. Thus, I can understand why he would want to rough up the TE competitors, but I highly doubt he ALWAYS uses the amount of force he used on Matt. Gimme a break. Does he expect anyone to believe that he actually stiffs guys like Bradshaw, Faarooq, Saturn, etc. on a regular basis? What it comes down to is that the guy is a jealous, asshole. As for Big, I don’t see the point in having Hardcore Holly completely annihilate one of the TE guys in order to see how tough they are because I would like to think that will never receive a malicious beating like that in the WWE. This segment was nothing more than the WWE covering its ass. By naming Matt as a Champion, they covered that end of the situation. Yet, they still had to clear it up with the fans and the press, so that’s what this segment was all about.
Segment 2: 1.5/2
One way or another, McMahon seems to have decided that Bischoff's job comes down to whether or not he can sign Austin tonight. At least that's what Gene says.
March 8, 1997 Newsport- Austin tells the story of how he was fired from WCW. He has nothing good to say about Bischoff mainly because he was fired by phone and not in person.
Arn Anderson goes into how no one in WCW knew how to market Steve Austin. Eric states that when Hogan came aboard Steve asked to team with him. But since Hogan already agreed on a feud with Flair, Bischoff turned Austin down. Austin began to act less than enthusiastically afterwards. He missed many TV tapings/house shows without giving any notice. Eric fired him for lack of guts, confidence, and the courtesy to call in ahead of time. "When Steve wasn't getting what he wanted, he became very difficult to work with." Eric’s reasons for firing Steve were valid IMO, but Austin also had good reason to walk out. It’s not like any of the fans would be disappointed, seeing how Austin was relegated to dark matches and TV squashes.
The Austin Desire Video airs YET AGAIN.
Segment 3: 2.5/3
WWE Rewind>> The King lays out William Regal
The King takes us on a tour of Memphis in order to promote his book. First stop is the FOX Studio, which used to host Memphis wrestling. The Men's Room was their dressing room. He does an interview with Good Morning Memphis, where he discusses the break up with Stacy. Next up is a radio station. On the radio they talk about the feud with Kaufman. Let's stroll down Beale Street BABY. Final destination (not the movie) is WAL*MART. He does a book signing. Everyone there is the "biggest Lawler fan EVER".
Segment 4: 3/4
It's about damn time they give us the promised Arn Anderson segment. Arn grew up in Rome, Georgia. He shows us the house he grew up in. He lived with his grandparents for 22 years. He also takes us to his grandfather's barbershop. Arn never really understood at the time why his grandfather would give very poor kids free haircuts. He used to think that he would be without things because of those kids. Arn never met his father. His mother was married and divorced five times, they never had a relationship. Arn introduces us to his childhood friend Bob Moss. They were practically brothers. Their high school had a helluva football team. Arn got hooked on that roar from the crowd. He used to love Georgia Championship Wrestling. Arn used to fight all of his friends. He lived for GCW on Saturday nights at 6:00 PM. He decided to leave town because “reputation always follow you”. Arn met a local wrestler, who trained him and broke him into the business. Arn never believed that normal people could be wrestling stars, but he himself proved that theory wrong. Very nice feel good segment.
Segment 5: 4/5
What Would You be if You Weren't a WWE Superstar?
Gene: Hugh Hefner beat me to the punch.
Brock: Training for the Olympics or playing in the NFL.
Hurricane: Trying to become a WWE Superstar. How witty that Shane Helms is. He is also interested in computers.
Bob Holly: Welding and racing at home.
Trish: Med School, fitness model.
RVD: Comic book industry, although sadly he cannot draw.
Nunzio: Working for his father in the beer and soda industry.
Red Dogg: Coaching football.
Matt Hardy: Engineer
Charlie Haas: Working on Wall Street.
Booker T: A regular laid person.
Christian: Wizardry. Best. Response. Ever
Lita: A roadie.
D-Von: He used to be a postman.
Spike: He was a 3rd grade teacher.
Next Week: RERUN BABY!!!
Segment 6: 4/6
Surprisingly, the Arn segment is what put this one over the top. I was really disliking this show until Double A came on. I really don’t have much more to add.
RIP Curt Hennig
(1958 – 2003)
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