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WRESTLING COLUMNS

My Tribute to my All-Time Favorite Superstar
The Late Great, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning
August 9, 2003 by Jimmy Seals


I was on my computer waiting for WWE RAW to come on at 9pm on the East Coast as I always did. I was on a wrestling news website. All of a sudden I paused when I read the top story it read "Mr. Perfect Curt Henning found Dead". My heart felt like a ten-ton brick hit it. I was that devastated. I could not believe that one of my heroes as a child passed away. I didn't want to believe it. I started to question why? As anybody does when some one passes away weather it's a family member or a person that is close to you. Even though I never knew Curt personally I just saw him live when he was in WCW (World Championship Wrestling) at Freedom Hall in Tennessee. When he took on Chris Benoit at a house show for the Television Championship that Curt was holding at the time. The match was amazingly well coming from Chris Benoit and Curt Henning I don't think anybody thought it was a bad match, because these two guys were the greatest technical wrestlers in the world of pro wrestling. Chris Benoit is still one of the greatest in the ring now in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) on the Smackdown! brand. Getting back to Curt I always was a major fan of Curt when he was Mr. Perfect. I loved everything about the Mr. Perfect character the cocky persona, the wrestling style, and the theme song. Mr. Perfect had it all. the gimmick I thought was cockier than "The Million Dollar Man" gimmick that Ted DiBiase had, or the "Model" gimmick that Rick Martel had.

Curt had a unique wrestling style I remember when he use to get another wrestler down in a setting position and use to do a neckbreaker on them. I couldn't imagine being in that kind of move. One move that Curt did was a fisherman suplex, one of the most uninteresting moves ever in the history of wrestling a long with the snapmare. But Curt made the fisherman suplex look cool he called It the "Perfect Plex". Curt gave 100 and 10% every time he went out to the ring to entertain the fans of wrestling. Curt could make fans love him or hate him; one of the greatest matches' form Curt I did see was when he was wrestling Bret Hart at SummerSlam for the Intercontintle title. Curt was suffering from a back injury, but he made the match one of the most memorable matches ever in the history of the WWE then known as the WWF. Bret would walk away the champ, but Curt would gain respect from his peers and fans. Henning retired from pro wrestling a short time after that. He would come back as a commentator. Curt may have been a legend in the ring but a commentator he was not the old curse of good promo men make terrible commentators struck Curt as well. When Curt left the broadcasting booth he began managing. Curt first managed Marc Mero a.k.a. Johnny B. Bad. Curt was a baby face until he attacked Marc and went to manage young Tripe H. the heel was in Curt after all, but Curt in my opion was better as a heel than a babyface.

When Curt left the WWE to join WCW I missed the Mr. Perfect gimmick, but now I was getting to know Curt. I always called him Mr. Perfect in my mark out years as a fan, but now I was calling him by his real name Curt Henning. I also learned that Curt's father was also a wrestler the great Larry "The Ax" Henning. A good example of the heel side of Curt was when he debuted in WCW. There was a lot of rumors flying around about Diamond Dallas Page's tag team partner at Bash at the Beach 1997 it turned out to be Curt Henning. The match featured Scott Hall and Randy Savage of the New World Order taking on DDP and Henning. Henning turned on DDP during the match. Curt was great at manipulating people that wanted to tag with him, Arn Anderson gave his retirement speech on Monday Night Nitro. When wanted to let Henning take his spot as a member of the Four Horsemen of course Henning said yes. Curt would double cross again this time The 1999 Fall Brawl during the War Games match between the Four Horsemen and the New World Order. This would re spark a feud that first brewed between Ric Flair and Curt Henning back in the WWE. When Ric Flair came into the WWE when he first left WCW. Curt was his manger. Curt managed Flair during Ric's match with "Macho Man" Randy Savage at WrestleMania VII Flair was not the victor by the way. Curt then left Flair and began a feud with him. Curt wrestled Flair on RAW in a Looser Leaves Town Match. Curt won the match that sent Ric Flair back to WCW. When Hogan, Nash, and many others kicked Curt Henning out of the New World Order. He wrestled alone, but not until he put the West Texas Rednecks together a stable that consisted Bobby Duncum Jr., Barry Whindam, and Kendol Whindam later on Curly Bill also known as Virgil would join the group. They had a funny feud with Master P, and the Filthy Animals it was a Country Music vs. Rap Music feud. Curt also sung along with Whindam and Duncum the song "Rap is Crap". Curt went on to face Shawn Staskia to see who was really the perfect one.

When the WCW was bought by the WWE in March of 2001 Curt traveled the Independent promotions. He was one of the top stars of Jimmy Hart's promotion the XWF (Xtreme Wrestling Federation). The XWF was a short lived federation Curt retured at the Roayl Rumble in 2002 when he wrestled the likes of Triple H, Kurt Angle, Steve Austin, and Rob Van Dam. I marked out when Mr. Perfect "Perfect Plexed" Kurt Angle, sadly his return was a short one he was released due to his conduct on a plane trip back form the UK with Brock Lesnar. Curt would join Jeff Jarrett's NWA TNA promotion. But on February 10, 2003 that would all change Curt was working with Jimmy Hart's promotion. In Tampa Florida another wrestler was looking for Curt he went back to the hotel room where Henning was staying, and he found Henning passed out. A couple of minutes pass by and the sad news came Curt officially passed away. The cause of Curt Henning's death was due to "acute" cocaine intoxication. I and the rest of the wrestling world will never know what Curt was thinking in his last days, he was a father and a friend to many that knew him. Why did Curt do this? The world may never know, but I do know that Curt will be missed and that his soul will live on in the wrestling world. As a fan of Curt Henning's I will cherish the memories that I have of a kid watching Mr. Perfect.

Curt you may have not been perfect, but you will forever be perfect in the eyes of this wrestling fan Godsead Curt, Godspead. Rest in Peace Perfect one. Even though he may have never won the Worlds Heavyweight Championship Curt will be forever a legend in this industry. I hope the new wrestlers of the 21st century will learn about Curt and will have the same work ethic as he did. And I hope younger wrestlers learn not to take anything for granted including there lives.

by Jimmy Seals.


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