Wrestling / Curt Hennig

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Curt_Hennig_9928.jpg

"You have just witnessed perfection."
Mr. Perfect, after winning a match

Curt Hennig was a wrestler who debuted in the American Wrestling Association in 1981 after being trained by Brad Rheingans, Larry Hennig and Verne Gagne at the promotion's training camp. He'd later debut for The WWF four months into his career and work their on and off until the early '90's, eventually developing his "Mr Perfect" gimmick. He then left WWF behind, working for enterprises such as WWC, All Japan, New Japan and eventually winding up in WCW but was, and still is, counted among the best technical wrestlers in WWE history. Among his in-ring achievements, he was a 1x AWA World Heavyweight Champion, a 1x AWA World Tag Team Champion w/Scott Hall, a 2x WWE Intercontinental Champion, a 1x WCW United States Heavyweight Champion and a 1x WCW World Tag Team Champion w/Barry Windham. Briefly competed in TNA when it was still a member of the NWA. He passed away in 2003 from acute cocaine intoxication. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.

You can learn more about his career at The Other Wiki.


"These tropes are absolutely..... perfect."

  • The Ace: While a face.
    • Even as a heel, he usually won cleanly and both the face and heel commentators would laud Hennig for his immense technical wrestling talent.
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Badass Boast: The ring name says it all. He was able to slip "perfect" into his promos in all manner of ways, always with utter conviction.
  • Calling Your Attacks: "Now, you're going to see a Perfect-Plex."
  • Canon Name: His real name was this at best for the vast majority of his Mr. Perfect gimmick.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: In WCW, Hennig betrayed Diamond Dallas Page, The Four Horsemen and the nWo Wolfpac. Likewise, in WWE, he did the same to Ric Flair, Razor Ramon, Lex Luger and Marc Mero.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Mostly subverted for his first few years of the Mr. Perfect gimmick. While he had managers who would cheat on his behalf, Hennig rarely cheated himself.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Went undefeated for his whole first year in WWF, to play up his "Perfect" gimmick. The streak ended rather anticlimactically with mid-carder Brutus Beefcake beating him at Wrestlemania VI.
    • He had lost to Hulk Hogan at some house shows a few months earlier, but none of those were televised.
  • Demoted to Extra: As part of the nWo B-Team in WCW.
    • While recovering from a vicious back injury in '91 and '92, Hennig served as a commentator and as Ric Flair's "executive consultant."
  • Downer Ending: His death of a cocaine overdose at the age of 44.
  • Enemy Mine: Got so fed up with Bobby Heenan's treatment in late 1992 that for the Survivor Series that year, he teamed up with former rival Randy Savage out of spite. They then won the match, and cemented the Mr. Perfect Heel–Face Turn.
  • Finishing Move: The Perfect-Plex was almost impossible to kick out of, but these days it seems more like a Name Of Power move.
  • Hired Guns: One of many brought into WWC by La Familia to defeat Carlito Colón for them and one of th temporarily successful.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Hennig used a combo of power moves, more agile attacks, and submission holds in his arsenal. In a meta-sense, Curt also had great psychology, variety of moves, promo skills, and a great general charisma about him.
  • Jerk Jock: May have been the first notable one in professional wrestling since Buddy Rogers. His success probably led to Kurt Angle and Jack Swagger's gimmicks.
  • Large Ham: Maybe not to Hulk Hogan's extent, but his promos were definitely ten pounds of cocky in a five pound bag.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Agility? He could hit missile dropkicks and jump over opponents. Strength? Once Perfect-Plexed The Big Show. Endurance? Could wrestle for long periods of time and put on great matches even with real injuries. (He wrestled through his Summerslam classic against Bret Hart with a back problem.)
  • Loveable Rogue: In a time when nobody rooted for the bad guy, he was the asshole heel who was secretly admired by many fans. It's why his Face–Heel Turn was more seamless than others.
  • The Nicknamer: Coined Shawn Michaels' famous moniker, "The Heartbreak Kid." Interestingly enough, he was also the first to refer to Hunter Hearst Helmsley as Triple H.
  • Power Stable: He was a member of the Heenan Family in WWE from 1990-1991.
    • In WCW he was a member of The Four Horsemen, the New World Order, the West Texas Rednecks and the Powers That Be (led by Vince Russo.)
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Hennig really was an accomplished athlete and Mr. Perfect was a caricature of his real personality.
    • The skills he shows in his vignettes are all real, but Curt needed to not know the camera was running in order to pull them off.
  • Red Baron: Mr. Perfect was this briefly before becoming his official ring name.
  • Ricky Morton: He served this role in the AWA, taking a beating in the ring only for Scott Hall to save him at the last minute. Years later, Hall mentioned that Curt was so good at this role that fans would advise him to split from Curt as he was "holding you down".
  • Signature Move: The Perfect Plex, naturally. Also, when his opponent was sitting up in the ring, usually in a daze, Perfect would run up from behind, somersault over the other guy while grabbing and yanking his head, causing a whiplash.
  • Tag Team:
    • (in the AWA): Ax Attack, with his father, Larry "The Ax" Hennig
      • Gagne's Raiders, with Greg Gagne.
      • He was partnered with Scott Hall at the tail end of the AWA
    • The Perfect Team, with Randy "Macho Man" Savage, at Survivor Series 1992.
    • With his "executive consultant", otherwise known as "The Genius" Lanny Poffo.
  • Theatrics of Pain: He had the ability to make his opponents look much better than they were. This was probably why he was used more to put lesser talents over rather than being a Main Eventer.
    • To be more specific, he was well-known for twirling in mid-air while taking powerful strikes (such as a clothesline). He also had his own variation of the "Flair Flip" that he would work into most matches, especially before his back injury.
  • Trickster Archetype: In Real Life, Curt loved to prank people not unlike Owen Hart. Once he went to a party and crapped in the hosts' baby's potty and managed to convince them their kid took an adult-sized shit.
    • Whenever he was part of a show that took place in a high school he would test all of the padlocks on the lockers. If one came off he would use it to lock the gym bags of two wrestlers who hated each other together.
    • Another one worthy of mention is put rubber bands over a couple of tube socks and shoved them down the front of his pants. Gorilla Monsoon, who was notoriously visually impaired, didn't realize it, so Curt came out and wrestled a job match, with what appeared to be a huge boner. Needless to say, Vince McMahon was not happy about this and went to yell at Monsoon for allowing Curt to go out there like that. Curt promptly received a chewing out when he got backstage from an irritated Monsoon.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: After turning face he had this relationship with old adversary Bret Hart. They teamed together quite often, and bickered about who was better just as often.
  • Wrestling Family: Curt was the son of Larry "The Axe" Hennig and now his own son Joe wrestles in WWE as Curtis Axel (formerly Michael McGillicutty of The Nexus). His daughter, Amy, is also a wrestler.
  • Wrestling Psychology

Alternative Title(s): Mr Perfect

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Wrestling/CurtHennig