Days Gone By: Life and Times of Mr. Perfect.

Curt Hennig known by many as Mr. Perfect is widely regarded as one of the best wrestlers of all time. He was great in the ring and on the mic. Like many of the most succesful wrestlers Mr. Perfect wasn’t just a gimmick, Curt was Mr. Perfect. In 2007 WWE inducted Curt Hennig into the Hall of Fame and in September 2008 thy released a 2 dvd set entitled The Life and Times of Mr. Perfect. The set debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Recreational Sports DVD sales list. It is this set that we will be looking at today.

The set has 10 matches, a documentary on Curt Hennig’s life and tons of extras that almost fill up a disc on their own. I’m glad that all these extras were included, but I really wish this would have been a 3 disc set. Some of Mr. Perfect’s best matches have been included on other sets, so that’s my guess why somethings aren’t included here. We get 6 matches from Perfect’s main run in then WWF, a WWF match from 1982, 2 AWA matches and 1 match from WCW. Unlike some wrestlers like Ric Flair or John Cena I doubt WWE is going to produce a second DVD set on Mr. Perfect so it would have been nice to have seen a couple more matches from WCW possibly from his fued with Flair and the Horsemen. I would of also liked to have seen a tag match from AWA where he teamed with his father early in he career.  That being said the set really does deliver with what it does offer. We’re going to start with the documentary.

Mr. Perfect documentary

People interviewed: Larry “the Axe” Hennig (Curt’s father), Lenice Hennig (Curt’s Wife), Joe “Michael McGuillicutty” Hennig, Greg Gagne, Brad Rehnighans, Tony Garea, Harley Race, Wade Boggs, Jerry Lawler, Bruce Pritchard, Arn Anderson, Steve Lombardi (Brooklyn Brawler),  Shawn Michaels, Jim Ross, Michael hayes, Joey Styles, Dusty Rhodes, William Regal, Bobby Heenan,  Bret Hart, Edge, Ric Flair,  Eric Bischoff,  and Chris Jericho.

Opens with the in memory of and photo, then we get a montage of pictures of Curt over the years. We open with Curt’s father, Larry running down a list of some of Curt’s accomplisgments. We then start at the begging with Larry talking about Curt’s childhood. Curt started amatuer wrestling at age 6. Verne Gagne, Larry Hennig, and Curt Hennig were all amatuer champions for the same high school. Larry decided to turn pro, and was trained by Verne.  Larry would bring Curt along to training. Lenice tells the story of how she met Curt and they got married. Curt’s football career is duscussed briefly and how he was well rounded athlete in multiple sports.

Curt starts training for pro wrestling with Bred Rehnigans and Greg Gagne. In 1981 Vince Sr. hire Curt to work for WWF. I knew Curt did a couple matches for WWF early in his career, but I didn’t realize he actually wrestled there before AWA.  The family dicusses how even though Curt was constantly traveling he always foudn a way to spend time with the family, and be there for major events. Harley Races discusses the father/son tag team dynamic. The tag team of Scott Hall & Curt Hennig is discussed. Seeing 80’s Scott Hall always cracks me up as he looks like Maagnum P.I., Tom selleck. Greg Gagne talks trash on Scott Hall and discusses how Curt carried him They then discuss the Bockwinle/Curt feud. Nick talks about droping the AWA World title to Curt.  Greg Gagne does most o fthe talking early on the documentary especcially on the AWA section. Curt drops the title to Lawler.

We then get a bunch of people talking about Curt coming to WWE and becoming Mr. Perfect. We see highlights of the “prefect sports” vignettes.  Lots of talk about how Curt was a great athlete and that he really was the gimmick.  Shawn Michaels tells a story about playing darts with Curt, the best part here is they show a pic of Curt, Shawn and some of the other guys backstage and standing with them is Willie Nelson wearing a championship belt. We then get the not so perfect blooper role, of him messing up filming the vignettes and promos. Bruce says that pretty much as long as Curt didn’t know the camera was rolling he would nail the shot.  The sports vignettes are all real, but most took multiple takes.  Wade Boggs talks about meeting Curt and their various hunting trips together. He re-tells the story of the WWE Hall of Fame about Curt saving his life.

They then show a montage of Mr. Perfect’s first few matches in WWF. We get a bunch of people telling us how perfect Curt was in the ring. We then get Joe talking about when his dad won the Intercontinetal title he would let him wear it around the house. Arn and Jim Ross talk about how the World champion might eb the guy selling tickets, but in the late 80’s early 90’s the Intercontinetal championwas the best wrestler on the card. It is also discussed that Curt Hennig made the IC title more valueable in the eyes of the fans. Just want to mention that in all the clips they show of Curt, I love his facial expressions. We then get a series of clips featuring Curt vs. Bret Hart.  Bret talks about how Curt wrestled injured during their famous Summerslam 91 match. Then we get Edge explains how that match is what a lot of the younger wrestlers were watchign that let them know they wanted to get into the business.

We then get a series of stories about various pranks Curt pulled. Some really great stories I won’t copy them out here as they are a lot funny listening to the wrestlers tell them.  Jim Ross tells us about  Curt receiving a back injury, but they don’t say how. This brings us to Mr. Perfect as a commentator. Perfect was great on the mic and had lots of great one liners. He did a great job of getting over the wrestlers in the match, and himself at the same time. This transfers into discussion of Perfect being paired with Flair and HHH at different times in a managerial role.

This takes us to Curt Hennig arriving in WCW. Eric Bischoff discusses why he hired and how he would go about booking him. They discuss the Horsemen/Hennig feud and we get to see one of my favorite segmetns of all time, with Arn giving Curt “his spot” in the Horsemen. Curt joins the NWO. Wade Boggs tells a story of the Wolf pac hand sign was soemthing he and Curt used to do and Scott Hall took it and used it for the NWO.  Gene Okerlund talks about the West Texas Rednecks and how Curt was often put in a situation or a group because it was known it would elevate the status of everyone else jsut by being there.

Mr. Perfect was a surprise entrant in the 2002 Royal Rumble as a one night surprise, and ended up earning a contract. Edge discusses getting to wrestle one of his favorite wrestlers.  Curt’s wife talks about his return to WWE and him enjoying helping the younger guys learn about the business. Then we get a graphic about Curt being released from WWE, but they don’t go into why. Then they show another graphic saying Curt was found dead February 10th, 2003. The family talks about getting the unfortunate news.  Various wrestlers discuss getting the news and their memeroies of Curt.  We then get Wade and Curt’s family talking about his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.   The documentary portion wraps up with Harley Race discussing training Joe and the next generation of Hennig wrestlers.

Overall I feel the documentary portion did a great job of highlighting Curt Hennig the person, but at times I felt portions of his wrestling career were glossed over. I would of liked to see them highlight more of his feuds and discuss various matches. That’s the only downside to this being a two disc set.  I can understand them wanting to keep the documentary focused on Curt Hennig the person, so I think if this would of been a 3 disc set they could of featured twice as many matches from his 25 year career. I’ll discuss this mor elater when I review the matches on this set, and I’ll comment on what matches I would of liked to have seen on the set.

Coming Soon: Part 2 Will take a look at the special features on this set.