Mr. Perfect, as his name implied, was the epitome of perfection in the world of pro wrestling. The real-life Curtis Michael Hennig had a storied career that saw him win multiple titles in promotions around the world.
Henning met many opponents along the way and created iconic rivalries with some of them in the process. His feuds against the likes of Bret Hart and Ric Flair are considered some of the best rivalries the business has ever seen.
These are the five best feuds of Mr. Perfect’s “perfect” pro wrestling career.
Mr. Perfect’s feud with Roddy Piper stemmed from their bid to gain possession of the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship. The duo wrestled against each other on house shows throughout the nineties.
Henning’s immaculate in-ring acumen meshed incredibly well with Piper’s intense personality. Together, they had a great feud that helped turn the Intercontinental Championship into one of the most prized titles in the industry.
Hulk Hogan and Curt Henning knew each other from their time in the American Wrestling Association (AWA). However, it was their work in WWF that took their feud mainstream.
The Hulkster ruled the promotion as its world champion. Perfect stole the title from Hogan and destroyed it backstage during an angle. They had a couple of matches on house shows before Vince McMahon brought their feud to television.
Perfect’s superior in-ring psychology and technical prowess gave him several DQ wins over Hogan, including one at Madison Square Garden. The tides changed at Saturday Night’s Main Event XXV, which saw Hogan score his first pinfall win over Hennig on television.
Mr. Perfect was in Ric Flair’s corner when he delivered his iconic “with a tear in my eye” promo after Royal Rumble 1992. He also managed The Nature Boy during his two WWE Championship reigns in 1992. As Perfect recovered from injury, he saw that Flair and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan took him for granted.
The realization, coupled with Randy Savage’s offer for a Survivor Series partnership, turned Hennig into a fan favorite for the first time in his WWE career. He subsequently feuded with Flair, defeating him in a “Loser Leaves WWF” match on the first-ever RAW in 1993. The pair would pick up their feud in Ted Turner’s WCW in the late nineties.
Mr. Perfect was on an unstoppable run as the Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion in 1990-1991. Bret Hart, on the other hand, was transitioning from the tag team division into his first solo run in WWF. Hart’s popularity was growing every day and Vince McMahon saw that as the perfect (no pun intended) opportunity to pit the Hitman against Mr. Perfect.
The pair had an incredible feud over the prestigious title, with their match at SummerSlam 1991 considered to be one of the best matches in WWE history. Henning worked the match with multiple injuries and made the already-impressive Hart as good as ever. The closing stretch of the bout saw Hart reverse Perfect’s momentum into a sharpshooter for the win.
A true classic that has stood the test of time!
Nick Bockwinkel is regarded as one of the best workers in pro wrestling history. Bockwinkel was a wrestler’s wrestler and probably the finest AWA had in their formidable years. His feud with an up-and-comer in Curt Hennig led to some classic matches over the AWA title.
The pair produced multiple 60-minute Broadways. Bockwinkel, who was nearly 50 years old at the time, kept up with the much younger Hennig throughout their matches. Their chemistry told a great story inside the squared circle.
Bockwinkel would pass the torch to the future Mr. Perfect in one of their most legendary encounters at SuperClash on May 2, 1987.
Jeff Jarrett’s feud with Curt Hennig gained heat during the final years of WCW. The duo fought for the world title on multiple occasions. Though the feud was overlooked because of WCW’s crushing defeat in Monday Night Wars, it helped Jarrett gain a lot of heat as WCW’s champion.
The pair brought their rivalry to NWA/TNA during the promotion’s earlier days. However, years of putting his body on the line had caught up to Hennig at that point and he was forced to retire after spending just a year in the Nashville-based promotion.
Curt Hennig’s run as the AWA World Heavyweight Champion began with a win over the legendary Nick Bockwinkel in 1987. The heel champion solidified his title reign with notable wins over Jeff Jarrett, Greg Gagne, and Wahoo McDaniel, among others.
During this time, Hennig picked up a feud with Jerry Lawler. The pair battled on multiple events, with Hennig retaining his title every time. Then, the unthinkable happened. Lawler managed to defeat Hennig for the title in a CWA-sanctioned match (officiated by Lawler’s hero Jackie Fargo) on May 9, 1988.