Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Life and Times of Mr. Perfect

Directors: Kevin Dunn
Distributor: WWE Home Video
Released: 9/08

Featured Talent
Arn Anderson, Eric Bischoff, Nick Bockwinkel, Wade Boggs [friend/baseball legend], Edge, Gerald Brisco, Ric Flair, Greg Gagne, Tony Garea, Bret Hart, Michael Hayes, Bobby Heenan, Larry Hennig, Leonisse Hennig (widow), Joe Hennig (son), Hulk Hogan, Chris Jericho, Jerry Lawler, Brock Lesnar, Steve Lombardi, Shawn Michaels, Gene Okerland, Bruce Pritchard, Harley Race, William Regal, Brad Rheingans, Dusty Rhodes, Kerwin Slifies (WWF Director), Joey Styles, Triple H

The Good
Curt Hennig was one of the most respected pro-wrestlers amongst his peers and for the WWE to release a DVD with a documentary dedicated to him was a bit of a surprise. Like the excellent Brian Pillman DVD, Hennig's life story and his pro-wrestling career have fascinating twists and turns for a story. His legacy as a great athlete and technical workhorse in the ring and a fun-loving ribber outside of the ring is highlighted wonderfully here. It has a light-heartedness to the story that is fitting his personality. The commentary by Greg Gagne, Larry Hennig and Wade Boggs brings this alive and add a dimension to this that makes this similar to the Pillman DVD. The matches on this are also excellent and it is a fair look at a great career that peaked with the unforgettable Mr. Perfect character.

The Bad
As a WWE production, this has the typical WWE slant to it. It makes WWF history look like Mr. Perfect was a given this huge push and was a top guy. He was pushed, he was given a great gimmick and he had some tremendous matches, but other than a house show run with Hulk Hogan, Curt Hennig was always a upper midcarder. The WWF gave the big pushes to the Ultimate Warrior, Sid Justice and other roided up monsters and it was people like Hennig who had to put them over and make them look good. His WCW run mirrored that legacy and then he came back. When Curt Hennig returned in the Royal Rumble, he looked poised to be a top guy. He could have been and probably should have been, but he was not and this fact is not exactly discussed. The drug issues are mentioned briefly, but Hennig was a notorious for his partying. It is not surprising all these factors are omitted. Some of the minor faults are the absence of Bobby Heenan, Lanny Poffo and some of Hennig's AWA peers and the reoccurring presence of Jerry Brisco, Steve Lombardi and even “Mr. Kayfabe” Arn Anderson, which seems to detract more than it adds. If you expect more than a light piece, then look elsewhere because the WWE does not really do heavy material.
The Rating: ****1/2