In the third and final part of our look at the life and times of Mr. Perfect i will be reviewing 10 of Curt Hennig’s matches. As they always say…”Let’s go to the ring.”

Matches: AWA
Curt Hennig & Scott Hall vs. Steve Regal and Jimmy Garvin  11-26-85
The Steve Regal in this match was an AWA regular but not the same Steve Regal from WCW that we now know as William Regal in the WWE. We have a young Gary Michael Capetta as the ring announcer. Scott Hall is in full Tom Selleck appearance for the match. Regal & Garvin are the AWA tag champion, but this is a non title match. Regal and Hennig start the match with Regal and Garvin doing a lot of stalling early in the match. Hennig gets the first offense, but Regal quickly rolls to the outside for a breather. Regal comes back in and they do the criss cross the ropes spot. Curt tags in Scott Hall, and regal tags in Garvin. Garvin hits a couple blows to Garvin’s shoulder before making a quick tag to Curt who hits a double axe handle of the top rope, and continues to work the arm.

Regal tags in and takes control briefly before Curt takes control and starts throwing Regal around like a ragdoll. Garvin and Regal make a good cowardly heel duo. Regal throws Curt in Garvin’s knee and tags Garvin in, and Garvin starts working over Curt. Regal kind of looks like a slightly chubbier version of Steve Corino. Regal tags in and Curt is busted open and a quick tags between Regal and Garvin. Hennig rolls out of the way of an elbow drop and we get the hot tag to Scott Hall. Hall cleans house. Garvin tries to spray Hall with his signature perfume can thing, but accidentally blinds his partner instead. hall hits a bulldog and gets the win. this was your basic old school tag match where the babyface gets beat up, until near the end where the other babyface comes in and clears house for the win. I’d give the match a B, nothing super special, but Garvin and Regal made a good cowardly heel combo.

Curt Hennig vs. Nick Bockwinel 11-15-1986 AWA World Title
Both men shake hands at the beginning, but Nick dropkicks Curt as soon as he turns his back.Nick does a good job in the early minutes trying to intimidate the younger Hennig.  The early moments of the match are spent with both wrestlers trying to feel out their opponent. Nick Bockwinkel is a great mat technician and works Curt over with various headlocks. The announcers put Bockwinkel over mentioning many og the great legends he has wrestled and beat. The ten minutes is centered around two moves Bockwinkel usinga side headlock and hennig using a leg scissors and both men going back and forth between the two moves, before exchanging body slams and armdrags.

The announcers let us know that Bockwinkel’s debut match was at age 16 against then NWA World champ Lou Thez. In the 10-15 minute segment fo the match Curt is in control with a hammerlock and wristlock.  Bockwinkel delivers 3 or 4  body slams in a row on Curt but only gets a 2 count.  Curt hits another armdrag and goes back to working Bockwinkel’s arm. A ton of mat work here, but both men know when th bring the match back to its feet for some fast paced action before returning to the mat so the fans don’t get bored. Nick has switched his focus from the neck to working over the leg of Curt. About 25 minutes into the match Bockwinkel heads to the outside for a breather, after a minute he gets back into the ring and Bockwinkel takes Hennig down with a drop toe hold and we go back to more mat work.  Looking at this match which is almost 25 years old it’s great seeing the complete different style of match from what we watch today. I doubt we’d see this type of match today, and if we did I don’t think the current batch of fans would appreciate it as much as the old school fans. As we reach the 30 minute mark of a 60 minute time limit on the match Bockwinkel is showing why he is the long term champion and such a great methodical heel Cheating very little but knowing exactly when to do it to make it count. We go into the second half of this match with a ref bump and all three men tumbling to the outside.

Hennig smashes Nicks head off the apron then throws him inside the ring. Hennig is working over Bockwinkel and the ref is back in the ring. Hennig works over Nick’s leg slamming it into the ring post and then getting into the ring and going back to working over the leg.  Bockwinkel makes a comeback and hits a piledriver, but Curt is able to get his foot on the bottom this point about 45 minutes into the match both men are slowing down, but trying to go the extra mile to get the win. Hennig locks in a Boston Crab and  Bockwinkel tries to fight it and eventually does a push up to power out.  Hennig hits a piledriver of his own and gets a 2 count. Curt is proving he can hang in there with one of the best in the world in Bockwinle and this is definitely the match that elevated him to main event status with the AWA locker room and fans.

Hennig gets shoulder first into the ring post and tumbles to the outside. Curt is now busted open. Bockwinkel goes after the open wound smashing Curt’s face into the apron and punching him repeatedly. Hennig’s face is covered in blood, and there is blood everywhere including the ring mat, Bockwinkel’s leg and Curt’s white & blue trunks. Curt makes a comeback and hits his father’s signature move the axe twice. Bockwinkel is out on his feet as Curt works him over. According to the ref one of the wrestlers lost a tooth as we head into the last few minutes of the match. The time keeper starts to get annoying at the end of the match and pretty much gives away the ending. To start we get the time every 5 minutes, but as we hit the 50 minute market he announces every minute. We head into the final minute and Hennig has a figure four on Bockwinkel. Bockwinkel is able to hold on and we get a 60 minutes time limit draw. This was a solid match and a  great addition to this set, but I’m slightly disappointed we didn’t get Hennig’s AWA title win.

Matches: WWF
Curt Hennig vs. Eddie Gilbert 11-21-82
This match took place in the early 80’s during Curt’s first run in WWF before he would return years later to become Mr. Perfect. Eddie Gilbert at this time was also jsut breaking into the business. Gilbert would become a big name in the Memphis territory, he also worked for Jim Crockett Promotions and ECW during its early years. Both Gilbert and Hennig come from wrestling families.

Gorilla and Vince are the announcers. The opening minutes of the match are some solid chain wrestling. Eddie Gilbert does a nice flying cross body from the second rope. Vince mention the WWF Jr. heavyweight title with Tiger Mask as champion, and how Hennig and Gilbert could both be in the running for a shot at that title. The match has a slow pace, but it doesn’t hurt the match. Lots of arms, wrist locks and mat work. The announcers spend a little time discussing the difference between Curt and his father Larry “The Axe” Hennig”.  Pace picks up about halfway into the match with both men get knocked down after a double drop kick attempt. Nothing real special in this match, solid wrestling, no botched moves so a decne tmatch for two rookies. Curt tries to end the match with his father’s finisher the elbow drop, but the bell rings before he can get the count and the match ends in a time limit draw. Seems like an odd decision, I understand they wanted to showcase both rookies, but this ten minute match really wasn’t anything special and a solid finish would of helped it a lot.

Curt Hennig vs. Terry Taylor 7-31-88
Special commentary on this match by Mick Foley and Michael Cole. this match took place early in Curt’s second run in the WWF, right before he became Perfect and Taylor became Red Rooster. There has been a rumor floating around for years that Taylor was supposed to be Perfect, Foley brings this up on commentary as we start.. This looks like an opening match as fans are still going to their seats and neither man gets much of a reaction to start. Curt had just dropped the AWA title to Jerry Lawler before coming to WWF. The commentators give some great background on Curt Hennig, but they pretty much ignore the match. Taylor and Hennig put on a great back and forth match showcasing both of their styles and letting us know whats to come in the near future from both of them. In my eyes Terry Taylor has always been an underrated wrestler. He had some great matches in NWA/WCW and did the best he could with the Red Rooster gimmick which was essentially a rib at Ric Flair.

Foley talks about meeting Nick Bockwinkel and discussing the 1 hour draw match with Curt. They then mention Curt’s undefeated streak in his first year in WWF. Near the end of the match the fans really start to get into it and Curt picks up the win with a clothesline.

Mr. Perfect vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart 4-24-89
We are a little over a year into Curt’s run as Mr. Perfect when we get the first of 3 matches on this set where he faces off against Bret Hart. This is one of those odd WWF matches where Tony Schivone is a commentator. No matter how many times I hear him call matches from this time frame it always feels odd, as to me he will always be the voice of WCW. Fast paced match to start with the running the ropes leap frog spot. Bret has the advantage in the opening moments. Curt gets in a couple offensive moves, but Bret keeps regaining control. Bret is able to get a couple 2 counts, but Perfect keeps kicking out. There is a series of reversals and Perfect gets dumped to the outside. Curt takes his time walking around the ring taking a breather. Curt gets back in the ring and takes control of the match attacking Bret kicking him in the back and taking him to the outside ramming his back into the apron.

You can see Curt really starting to flesh out the Mr. Perfect character in this match and some signs of what we will see in the next couple years. Curt keeps kicking Bret off the apron not letting him back in the ring. Curt is being a great heel here just completely working over Bret tossing him out of the ring repeatedly and just kicking the crap out of him. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about Curt is that he works in old school moves with the modern ones. He locks a spinning toe hold on Bret, but  gets kicked off and sent shoulder first into the turnbuckles. I always though Mr. perfect was one of the best at selling this particular spot. Bret continues to work on Curt’s arm and shoulder. Curt is able to reverse a crucifix attempt into a samoan drop to gain the advantage. Bret regains control and drops his signature elbow from the second rope, but the bell rings before he can get the count giving us a time limit draw. Bret asks for five more minutes, Perfect says no, but then sneak attacks Bret from behind. Bret is able to knock Curt off the top rope  and give him a beating before Curt rolls out of the ring and heads for the back.

Mr. Perfect vs.Hulk Hogan  1-15-90
This is a WWF World title match and took place at Madison Square Garden. Mr. Perfect has “The Genuis” Lanny Poffo as his manager for this match. Hogan over powers  curt in the beginning, and Perfect goes to the outside and Hogan gives Genuis and Perfect the double noggin knocker.  Hogan slams Genuis on the outside, back in the ring Hogan goes after Perfect but Genuis climbs in the ring and attacks Hogan and they double team him right in fron of the ref, but the ref lets it go. Hogan fights back and throws perfect over the ropes where he gets his head stuck between the second and top ropes. Meanwhile Hogan beats up Genuis before punching Perfect until he falls out of the ropes. Hogan continues to work over Hennig in and out of the ring.

Perfect makes a comeback with a clothesline and chokes Hogan on the top rope. Perfect knock Hogan to the outside and follows him out. He attempts to throw Hogan into the ring post but Hogan reverses it. Back in the ring Perfect regains control with the old fashioned thumb to the eye. Perfect locks in a sleeper hold, but Hogan fights out. Hogan lifts Hennig up and drops him crotch first across the top rope multiple times. Hogan wastes time yelling at the ref and misses an elbow drop. Curt hits the perfectplex, but Hogan kicks out and “hulks up”.  Big boot knocks Perfect out of the ring and Hogan follows. Perfect gets back in the ring, as Hogan attempts to get back in Perfect this him with brass knuckles. Hogan gets back in the ring takes the knuckles and hits Perfect with it getting himself disqualified since the ref didn’t see Perfect use the knuckles.  Hogan threatens to hit the ref, and the ref bails to the outside. For the biggest babyface of that era Hogan sure used a lot of heel tactics.

Mr. Perfect vs. “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich 11-24-90
This is an intercontinental title match with “Rowdy” Roddy Pipper as the ref. Texas Tornado is the champion going into the match.  Piper takes the belt from Tornado and holds it up then hands it to the time keeper. We have Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart on commentary with Sean Mooney.. Piper blocks Perfect from doing a closed fist punch allowing Tornado to knock Perfect down with a punch. Tornado is in control of the match, while Piper does little things as ref to keep himself the center of attention which makes things a little distracting. A lot of spots where Perfect tries to do a dastardly heel thing, but is thwarted by ref Piper and it backfires on him.  The finish sees a double pin with Perfect thinking he won, but Piper declaring Tornado the winner saying he got his shoulder up first. Perfect nails both Tornado and Piper with the belt and the refs come down to break things up.

Mr. Perfect vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart 8-26-91
I watched these matches out of order and saved this match for last. When I looked over the matches listed on this set this one was my favorite and I wanted to see if it stood up to the test of time. This is another Intercontinental title match and Perfect is the champ going in. Perfect is managed at this time by The Coach who is former wrestler John “Golden Greek” Tolos. Perfect is going into this match with a back injury and would be sidelined for over a year afterwards, but still showed up to put Bret over. Bret’s parents are also in attendance. Piper, Gorilla, and Bobby Hennan are the announcers.

Both men are being aggressive in the opening minutes, and Curt not showing any sign of his injury. Fast paced back and forth action, Curt keeps pulling Bret’s hair, and Bret returns the favor. Curt goes to the floor and Bret throws him back in. Perfect makes a comeback delivering multiple kicks to Bret’s gut. Curt tosses Bret to the outside and Curt won’t let him back in tossing him into the guard rail, but Bret lands on a camera man. Bret slides into the ring and the two exchange blows again.  Curt dropkicks Bret to the outside and follows him out and attacks him. Curt goes to the top rope and both men get to the top and Curt pushes Bret into the ring and drops the elbow.

Curt gets multiple 2 counts, but can’t keep Bret down. Curt hits the prefectplex, but Bret kicks out again.  Bret fights back tossing Hennig around like a ragdoll.  Coach attempts to distract Bret and gets punched in the face. This allows Perfect to attack Bret from behind. a really loud “let’s go Bret” chant.  Bret reverses a leg drop to the mid-section into the sharpshooter to get the win.

Mr. Perfect vs. Shawn Michaels 8-30-93
This is another Intercontinental title match with Shawn Michaels coming in as the champ. Shawn is also accompanied by his body guard Diesel aka Kevin Nash. Bobby Hennan and Vinnie Mac are the announcers for this match. Shawn and Curt mimic each other a little bit in the early moments of the match. Quite a few reversals and back and forth action in the early minutes of the match. Curt shows why he is Mr. Perfect, and we see signs from HBK of his future show stopper status.  Things go outside and Diesel distracts Perfect long enough for Shawn to hit sweet chin music. Bobby Heenan is amazing as always on commentary.

They get back into the ring and Shawn works over Curt’s back. Curt tries to fight back and hits a drop kick. Curt this the Perfectplex, but Diesel pulls him out of the ring, and the two start exchanging blows. Diesel throws Curt into the ring step. The bell rings and Shawn wins by count out. Shawn and Diesel then double team Curt and leave him laying in the ring.

Matches: WCW
Curt Hennig vs. Bret Hart 3-15-98
This is the only WCW match on this set, and while Bret and Curt always put on a great show there is the third Bret/Perfect match on this set. It would of been nice to see one of the Curt/Flair or Curt/DDP matches from WCW. Curt is accompanied by Rick Rude. Bret gives the glasses to a fan. We get a discussion about Bret and Curt’s father who would win in a match of the daddys. The match starts with a couple break a parts before Bret gets advantage with a headlock. Curt keeps attempting to pull the hair, but Bret keeps in control with variations of the headlock. Curt breaks free, but Bret takes him down and locks in the headlock again.

Curt heads to the floor to consult with Rude. Tenay puts over the Hennig/Hart match “for a major wrestling title in the summer of 91” when talking about the history of the two men. Curt is back on the apron and attempts to smash Bret’s face into the turnbuckle  but it backfires and his face meets the turnbuckle. Bret brings Curt back into the ring and locks in the sharpshooter, while the ref is checking on Curt, Rude slides into the ring and punches Bret in the face to break the hold and then quickly slides back out before the ref sees it. Curt starts working over Bret’s leg. Rude and Perfect really work well together. I wish Rude would of been healthy during this era, because they would of made a great team in the ring. Rude takes shots at Bret every chance he gets. Curt smashes Bret’s leg around the ring post, meanwhile Rude talks smack on Bret the whole time.

Bret tries to fight back, but Curt just kicks him in the leg. Bret makes a comeback when Curt climbs the ropes and Bret knocks him down so he crotches himself on the top turnbuckle. Bret goes for his patented five moves of doom trying for a pin after each move, but Curt kicks out at two on each. Curt reverses an irish whip and sends Bret chest first into the turnbuckles and follows it up with a perfectplex but only gets a two count. Bret pushes Curt into Rude and goes for a roll up, but Curt reverses it and again get s a two. Curt goes for another roll up, but Bret rolls through into the sharpshooter and Curt tapes before Rude can get in the ring to make the save. Rude then demolishes Bret. Rude hits the Rude awakening and Curt hits Bret with a chair. While not the scientific masterpiece of Summerslam 1991 this was still a great match especially for the managerial antics of Rick Rude.

Overview: I give this DVD set a solid B. What is on that set is good stuff, but it is what is missing that stops it from getting an A. I would of liked to see a little more variety in matches, especially since it’s only a two disc set. They also didn’t include any of Curt Hennig’s title wins. Sill a ton of good matches and the set is worth it for the Mr. Perfect vignettes alone.