What â<80><9c>The Life and Times of Mr. Perfectâ<80> (available Tuesday, September 9th) lacks in a few key matches and blips in his WWE timeline more than makes up for with a moving and very personal documentary on the late Curt Hennig. A still-visibly heartbroken father, Larry â<80><9c>The Axeâ<80> Hennig tells his sonâ<80><99>s story with pride, as does his widow Leonice and son Joe.
From birth to his untimely death, the story is told in this two-disc DVD about a child who caught â<80><9c>the bugâ<80> early in life, only to become one of the top superstars in the wrestling industry. Retired AWA wrestler Greg Gagne talks about how Curtâ<80><99>s star-making match with AWA champ Nick Bockwinkel on November 15, 1986 (featured on Disc 2). The bout went 60 minutes and served as a turning point. Wade Boggs reveals his close friendship with Hennig and tells about how Curt saved his life during a hunting trip and stole the â<80><9c>Wolfpacâ<80> sign.
Bockwinkel, Gene Okerlund, and Brad Rheingans offer insight as well. Including these AWA stalwarts is a nice touch. Be warned, Rheingans, Gagne and Okerlund reveal the prankster in Curt Hennig, including a few â<80><9c>poop stories.â<80> If youâ<80><99>re not a fan of scatological anecdotes, hit fast forward.
Hennigâ<80><99>s WCW days and 2002 return to WWE are featured. He was entering a new chapter of his career. A time when he was helping the young stars and passing on the spotlight. A time that was sadly all too abbreviated.
The â<80><9c>not-so-great endingâ<80> is dealt with in very emotional detail. From the perspective of his father, wife and son, you will see that even after five years, the pain still exists. His friends weigh in on the loss as well. Finally, the Hall of Fame induction features his family celebrating the life of Curt Hennig, not his death. A better, if not great way to end the documentary.
The DVD reveals what many fans of Mr. Perfect has always known. Pound-for-pound, Curt Hennig was one of the best technical wrestlers in this business. He was many times flawless. But perfect? Well, he didnâ<80><99>t just live up to that moniker in video vignettes not as â<80><9c>stagedâ<80> as you may think, he also showed it in the ring.
There are some aspects to the DVD that makes it less than perfect. His 1992 comeback is completely ignored. â<80><9c>Macho Manâ<80> Randy Savage cajoled Hennig into turning babyface on an episode of Prime Time Wrestling to face Ric Flair and Razor Ramon at that yearâ<80><99>s Survivor Series. One of the better angles and turns is forgotten, likely because of Vince McMahonâ<80><99>s ongoing tussle with Savage. Instead, the story fast-forwards several years to when Hennig briefly managed then-Intercontinental champion Triple H.
I also took exception to Chris Jerichoâ<80><99>s assertion that Hennig was the best wrestler never to be a world champion. Okay, maybe he didnâ<80><99>t take the WWEâ<80><99>s or WCWâ<80><99>s top prize. But that does not mean that he did not reign as the AWA WORLD champion from 1987 to 1988. At that time, the AWA belt was an important title. A world title from a promotion steeped in history.
While the â<80><9c>Rap is Crapâ<80> video and the Mr. Perfect vignettes are worth the price of the DVD alone, the other extras, particularly the matches, fall a bit short. Curtâ<80><99>s AWA title win is missing. Where is his first Intercontinental championship victory? The Survivor Series comeback match would have been a nice touch as well.
Yes, the DVD set is far from â<80><9c>perfect,â<80> but overall a nice tribute to one of the best wrestlers of his generation. Watching it will show you what you may have missed and what you are missing today when it comes to â<80><9c>Mr. Perfectâ<80> Curt Hennig.
Specs of the disc include:
Madison Square Garden 11-21-82
AWA Championship Wrestling 11-26-85
Mr. Perfect WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony 3-31-07
“Rap is Crap” Music Video
Curt Loved Karaoke
AWA Championship Wrestling 11-15-86
Madison Square Garden 4-24-89
Madison Square Garden 1-15-90
Madison Square garden 11-24-90