Mr Perfect

The "perfect" trading card

Curt Hennig -- (born July 2, 1958, in Robbinsdale, MN) was a professional wrestler best known for his versatile athleticism in various sports, performing under the moniker of Mr. Perfect in the World Wrestling Federation, as well as his birth name in American Wrestling Association, World Championship Wrestling, Total Nonstop Action, and other promotions. His finisher (The Fisherman's Suplex) became universally known as The Perfect Plex from his WWF days.

As the son of Larry The Ax Hennig, Curt Hennig grew up in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, as a childhood friend of Rick Rude. His father directed him to Verne Gagne about a year after graduating high school. While Hennig got his feet wet in New York with WWWF and Oregon as the Pacific Northwest tag champions with his father, it was in his home state where he first gained national exposure as a headliner. Although he was unsuccessful at winning the AWA Tag Team titles with his father in the early years of his career, he won the titles with a young Scott Hall to secure his first nationally recognized wrestling championship.

Curt Hennig wrestled AWA Champion Nick Bockwinkel in a classic, bloody 60-minute time-limit draw, which is the match that many analysts believe served as a turning point towards his becoming a viable singles competitor. In a rematch, Hennig won the AWA World championship. While reigning as the AWA World champion for over a year, Hennig signed with the WWF and moved to New York.

According to Bruce Prichard, Curt Hennig adopted the ring name of "Mr. Perfect" when Vince McMahon asked what was his best sport outside of wrestling, and Hennig curtly answered, "All of them!" To introduce the character, the WWF aired several vignettes of him excelling at various sports, often alongside sports legends like Wade Boggs (baseball), Steve Jordan (football), Mike Modano (hockey), etc.

Arriving in mid-1988, Mr. Perfect ended his first year with a "perfect (undefeated) record," which he maintained until a program with WWF Champion Hulk Hogan where he won their first match in Madison Square Garden by count-out before losing several house show matches in early 1990. His first high profile (on-screen) loss was at WrestleMania VI event. Luckily, his blemished record did not derail his career and he won the WWF Intercontinental championship in a match on WWF Superstars in May 1990 when Bobby The Brain Heenan became his manager.

During a time when the WWF Intercontinental championship represented the best 'wrestler' in the locker room, Mr. Perfect became the centralized figure in that division until August 1991 when he dropped to Bret Hart after suffering a back injury (although he still gave Bret a five-star classic match to launch Bret's singles career).

During a 15-month hiatus from the ring, Mr. Perfect served as technical adviser for Ric Flair (Bobby Heenan was originally set as his manager, but Heenan's body couldn't tolerate the travel schedule, so the WWF inserted Hennig to second Flair instead). For the 1992 Survivor Series, Mr. Perfect turned on Flair & Heenan to become the replacement partner for Randy Macho Man Savage after The Ultimate Warrior left the company abruptly. In January 1993, he beat Flair in a "Loser Leaves WWF" match on Monday Night Raw. Perfect had many memorable matches through 1993 with the likes of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and even Lex Luger before stepping away from the ring again into the role of color commentary through 1996.

Amidst the Monday Night Wars, Curt Hennig appeared on WCW Monday Nitro in June 1997. In a retirement speech, Arn Anderson offered Hennig his spot within the Four Horsemen, which Hennig graciously accepted; only to double-cross Ric Flair during a War Games match to join the New World Order. Despite an over-crowded locker room making it difficult for anyone to find a place in WCW, Curt Hennig won the WCW United States championship and the WCW World Tag Team championship during his tenure in the company.

After the WWF purchased WCW, Curt Hennig worked the XWF as well as an Australian main event match with Dennis Rodman, but, before the XWF found an outlet to air its programming, Hennig signed with WWE after a successful tryout match at the 2002 Royal Rumble. Unfortunately, his notorious pranks got him fired on May 5, 2002, during the infamous flight from Hell. Hennig had prominent matches in Total Nonstop Action and other independent promotions over the next nine months before February 10, 2003, when Hennig was found dead inside his hotel room.

On March 30, 2007, Curt Hennig was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. In September 2008, World Wrestling Entertainment released a DVD entitled The Life & Times of Mr. Perfect to commemorate his entire career. Curt Hennig remains one of the most highly-regarded technical wrestlers in the business today.

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