A lot of taking comments out of context in your reply to my original stuff.
I never claimed Perfect was a "cool" heel, or the "first heel to be cheered". I said he was the first, in the WWE, to be the exact same character as a face that he was as a heel. Macho Man...Rocky...Even Paul Orndorff made signicant changes in their personas. Perfect didn't.
I maintain that he was ahead of his time. You haven't proven otherwise. I maintain that he was smaller than most of Hogan's opponents during his run. You haven't proven otherwise. I maintain he's had a large effect on the way people wrestle today. He did more for small-man being taken seriously against big-man than Bret or Shawn Michaels because he did it first. These are my claims.
"Whatever I just posted above is what your mother said in bed last night."
Roberts was different. He did babyface things. Would heel Jake run out and yank Rick Rude's pants down because he was getting snarky with his wife? Jake changed a little, very little, but he certainly changed more than Hennig.
I will admit I forgot about Piper, but Piper was shamelessly kissing babyface ass during virtually all his face incarnations. Did he use dirty moves? Yes. So did Hogan. I'd say he changed very little...But more than Perfect.
Yes, Hennig was smaller than Terry Funk. Terry Funk is very tall. He had a large bar-fighter look to him. Have you seen Funk next to Foley? He's pretty big, man. Hennig was bigger than Piper and Lanny Poffo. Fine. I didn't say he was the smallest. I said he was smaller than Hogan's typical opponent at that time. Not the smallest.
I think Hennig really wrestle more realistically and stiffer than a lot of WWF guys before him. No one was working the Hennig/Hart/Shawn faster, let's say "Japanese" style regularly until Hennig's and Hart's big matches. You can point out the Steamboat/Savage matches, but those matches, while good, didn't usher in a new era. The end of Hennig run was the beginning of a more traditional style, which Bret took and ran with. It was the beginning of a hard-bump style that is usually utilized by smaller guys. Today I think Angle/Benoit/Eddy is a real natural, evolution of that style. I don't remember Savage taking sick bumps. Hennig took great ones, so did Bret. At the time these Hart/Hennig matches went down, people were starting to turn on the over-muscled jocularity of Hogan and Warrior and Slaughter and Sid and the immobile dudes on top.
I don't agree on Backlund. You're talking like Backlund was ever considered an excellent wrestler. I haven't read a single objective list that says Backlund was a great worker or a strong draw. Any old matches with backlund in them look goofy to me. I'm sorry, I don't think he was taken all that seriously. He and Pedro got teamed up, and half the white ppl who were supposed to love Backlund wanted Pedro to go after the title.
The "imaginary line" I'm drawing starts when Vince Jr. took over and when the steroid era really started coming in. The era that disgusted Bruno Sammartino enough to exit the company and have nothing good to say about it since. You could say it started when Hogan pinned Shiek. Piper was actually a big part of it. He's admitted steroid use. He was sort of big in the early Mania era even through to Wrestlemania 3. When he came back around 5 and got back in the ring, he was notably smaller. But there was a time when he was buff.
As for the Warrior taking Hogan's title, let's draw some context around that. Vince had built around a top babyface for 6 years by the time that decision was made. He wasn't about to build around a heel. And no small babyface was in a position to take over. Warrior was the #2 pop every night next to Hogan. He was the best candidate in Vince's mind, and I'm inclined to agree with him because who else, at that time, could you have put in that spot? Dusty Rhodes? Why it didn't draw when they finally did it is a mystery to me. I was 6 when it happened.
I don't think I'm ignoring history. What I'm trying to ignore is your tone. You really have a way of sounding like you don't think your shit stinks. I realize people sort of insulted you, but I think they did that because of how you came off sounding. I, on the other hand, like reading your stuff; but you shouldn't be going out of your way to try and make anyone who disagrees with you look stupid. If my previous post sounded the same way I apologize, but I think this one better explains my contentions. We can do this dance all day, but I don't see the point. I think we understand where we're coming from here...The effect Hennig had is pronounced but I guess; since I can't really give you facts and figures around it, I can't tell you specifically how he changed it. That doesn't mean he had no impact. I still think my arguments are somewhat valid...I'm not saying he deeply changed wrestling. I'm saying he had an effect. More on style than on arena gates...
The only people who really, really changed it are Vince, Hogan, and Austin...I'm not inferring that Hennig's impact was near this level. But to say he meant nothing is, I feel, inaccurate.
There...I'm done. If you feel the need to respond, respond. But I don't think this debate will go anywhere from this point on.
"Whatever I just posted above is what your mother said in bed last night."
I think Hennig had an influence not on changing the business but on the next generation of wrestlers.
I mean, you could see it every time you watched Shawn Michaels work. You could see shades of Curt Hennig in him. In my opinion, it was Flair and Hennig in the late 80's that really popularized that bump machine style.
Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask didn't necessarily change the wrestling business with their 8 minute matches at MSG but their effect is still being felt today and will be felt for generations to come.
There's a difference between influencing the business and the performers within the business. I don't think you can have as many great matches and memorable moments as Curt Hennig did and not have some sort of effect on the next generation of wrestlers.
: There...I'm done. If you feel the need to respond, respond.
The need to defend real history compels me.
: Roberts was different. He did babyface things. : Would heel Jake run out and yank Rick Rude's : pants down because he was getting snarky with : his wife?
Jake turned face prior to Wrestlemania 3. Jake feuded with Rude more than a year later. He made no changes initially, he just became a face after Honkytonk Man waffled him with a guitar.
: I will admit I forgot about Piper, but Piper was : shamelessly kissing babyface ass during virtually : all his face incarnations.
Any examples of that?
: Yes, Hennig was smaller than Terry Funk. Terry : Funk is very tall. He had a large bar-fighter : look to him.
"Large" like Race and Muraco? No. Terry wasn't more than twenty pounds heavier than Curt Hennig.
: Have you seen Funk next to Foley? He's pretty big, : man. Hennig was bigger than Piper and Lanny Poffo. : Fine. I didn't say he was the smallest. I said he : was smaller than Hogan's typical opponent at that : time. Not the smallest.
Yes, and I pointed out that "typical opponent" was a misnomer, since Hogan faced all sorts of opponents.
: The end of Hennig run was the beginning of a more : traditional style, which Bret took and ran with.
I seem to recall a guy named Flair getting pushed higher than Hennig. You don't suppose he had more influence, do you?
: It was the beginning of a hard-bump style that is : usually utilized by smaller guys. Today I think : Angle/Benoit/Eddy is a real natural, evolution of : that style. I don't remember Savage taking sick : bumps.
Sick bumps like Foley? Not many. Hard bumps? Savage was a bump machine. Check out Savage vs Bret Hart from SNME.
Then check out Adrian Adonis, Sergeant Slaughter, Dynamite Kid, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels... they were all taking hard bumps before Hennig joined the WWF. Remember Dynamite's bump at WM 2?
: Hennig took great ones, so did Bret. At the time : these Hart/Hennig matches went down, people were : starting to turn on the over-muscled jocularity : of Hogan and Warrior and Slaughter...
Slaughter... muscularity? He was a large brawler with a doughy body, even in his prime.
: and Sid and the immobile dudes on top.
Actually, Vince turned on pushing monsters because of the steroid scandals. Business did not improve, in fact it appears that fans were less excited about smaller, faster workers.
: I don't agree on Backlund. You're talking like : Backlund was ever considered an excellent wrestler. : I haven't read a single objective list that says : Backlund was a great worker or a strong draw.
Then you should read better lists. Seriously.
: Any old matches with backlund in them look goofy : to me. I'm sorry, I don't think he was taken all : that seriously.
You think those were comedy pops he got when he beat Patera and Muraco at MSG? Fans of that era took him seriously, but I will add that he had a lot more strength than Hennig, freakish strength.
: He and Pedro got teamed up, and half the white : ppl who were supposed to love Backlund wanted : Pedro to go after the title.
I can't decipher that paragraph.
: The "imaginary line" I'm drawing starts when : Vince Jr. took over and when the steroid era : really started coming in.
Okay, but you do realize that the steroid era only abated because of the scandal, right?
I mean if Curt and others had so much influence, why have we seen a return to roid abuse, even by smaller guys like Benoit, Guerrero, and Angle.
: You could say it started when Hogan pinned Shiek. : Piper was actually a big part of it. He's admitted : steroid use.
I suspect Hennig used them as well at some point.
: I don't think I'm ignoring history.
You talk as if Hennig invented hard bumping in the WWF. Adonis was taking wicked bumps in the early eighties. Race took crazy bumps in the WWF in the mid-eighties. Shawn and Bret took flambouyant bumps in the WWF before Hennig ever signed. Dynamite took a suicidal bump at WM2.
Hennig wasn't the first, the best, or the guy who popularized the concept. He was simple a clone of Flair who was a clone of others before him.
Ray Stevens was known as a flambouyant bumper in the sixties. Hennig did not invent or advance the use of hard bumps. He followed in footsteps.
: What I'm trying to ignore is your tone.
: You really have a way of sounding like you don't : think your shit stinks.
Jumpin' Jim Brunzell, does that make me stand out from anyone else in this thread? Seems like the price of admission.
: I realize people sort of insulted you,
CRZ asked them to stop. Personally it didn't bother me one way or the other. I'm trying to correct inaccurate characterizations of history, not teach good manners. I leave that to people who apparently feel qualified in that regard, "wait for the body to cool", etc.
: I, on the other hand, like reading your stuff; : but you shouldn't be going out of your way to : try and make anyone who disagrees with you look : stupid.
I'd love to respond to "Hennig was the first guy who didn't change as a face" with "Jake Roberts" and not have to explain the obvious.
: We can do this dance all day, but I don't see : the point.
Well, I could have let someone's claim that Flair never said he was "the best" stand, but I don't see how that level of ignorance helps anyone.
: I think we understand where we're coming from : here...The effect Hennig had is pronounced
Where I'm coming from, Curt was Flair lite and didn't have much impact compared to Hart or even Michaels.
: I'm saying he had an effect. More on style : than on arena gates...
I don't see the effect on style and I see lots of others who had the style earlier, popularized it earlier, and took it to greater heights.
: The only people who really, really changed : it are Vince, Hogan, and Austin...I'm not : inferring that Hennig's impact was near : this level. But to say he meant nothing : is, I feel, inaccurate.
Very little, not among the top twenty of what would have been the peak of his era if not for the real injury and the fraudulent injury.
I have no doubt that he was beloved by his fans and I don't wish to turn them against him. I'm merely trying to reel in their absurd hyperbole.
Boston Idol, can you please just admit that your opinion of the guy is different than someone else's and let it drop.
This is a thread intitled "Hennig Tribute". If all you want to do in it is undermine nice things people say about the guy (and I don't give a carp if any of it is true or not, under the circumstances) then please find another spot, or another thread. The fact that this 'bickering to prove I'm more right than other people' has no sign of dying is getting pretty tasteless in this thread.
You're free to say what you want, of course, but I'm not sure that you realize that at this point, I don't think people reading this thread will ever give you any credit for anything because they're just as determined to prove you wrong as you are them. You've said your piece a few times but it's clear that nobody's going to change their opinion here, so let's just agree to disagree without needing to get the last word in. Okay?
Wrestling exists in the eternal present. What is, has always been, and when it no longer is, it never was. It has no past and no future, and sometimes even today is in question. - Madame Manga
Originally posted by CRZNate, Parts Unknown - let's try to back off the namecalling, please. I'm pretty sure both of you are perfectly able to attack Frank's position without having to resort to attacking Frank.
Well, hell, where's the fun in that? This whole thread'd be a lot more entertaining if we could just open up with "Frank, you ignorant slut." (:
In my defense will say I was really only trying to point out that he was coming across rather... abrasive, which as I said was detracting from what could be an interesting debate. But, point taken nevertheless, I could have and should have put it differently.
And, Frank, I realize I made an error when I said Flair never claimed to be the best. What I should have said was that he never really seemed to think he was the best, what with his reliance on flunkies and outside assistance. It's a matter of the character's self-confidence, the difference between HHH's current incarnation and, say, Heel Rock.
HHH knows he needs backup, no matter how good a game (pun not intended) he might talk. Heel Rock (in his mind) needs no help, he's the Great One, he's the People's Champ whether the people want him or not, and any interference feeds that ego. Heel Rock is delusional, in a fairly fundamental way. HHH isn't.
That was the point I was trying to make. Mr. Perfect, the character, had a rather deluded view of his own ability which was personified (with typical WWF subtlety) by his name. He was overconfident in ways that the typical arrogant heel isn't, generally, which gave him a different feel. It's fairly close to the way they tried to portray Brock Lesnar right out of the gate, except with Brock they tried to mix that up with the "unstoppable monster" bit and wound up with an "unstoppable monster" who bumped all over the place for the Hardy Boyz.
Of course, that's just my interpretation of the characters going by what I saw as I watched them. Your mileage may, and likely does, vary.
Kansas-born and deeply ashamed The last living La Parka Marka: HE raised the briefcase!
I think, somewhere in all of this, is an interesting topic for discussion - just what about Hennig gave him his fairly enduring popularity? Enduring being a relative term, naturally.
It's lousy to think about, but there's probably something to be said for how they decide who they'll commemorate and in which ways. They have to decide who gets a mention, who gets a graphic, who gets a clip and who gets part of a show dedicated to them. I'd have to imagine there's at least partially an element of trying to gauge what the majority of the fans will expect from them. If Hennig was indeed not the best worker of his time or among the most important characters during his prime run, just what was it about him that made them assume that people would expect the tribute package that we got and were calling for last week?
I don't think it's too far out there to assume that - to take two names brought up earlier - there wouldn't be as much expectation for Funk or Vader to get as big a tribute from WWE as the expectation was for Hennig. A lot of that, of course, would come from the reality that their best work wasn't with the WWF, but there's also probably an expectation that buying WCW has given WWE an obligation to use the archives they should now have access to in cases like that. I don't know how realistic that is, but it's out there.
So what about Hennig, about Mr. Perfect, created that kind of expectation with people? I don't have an answer, of course - there is no concrete answer - but I think it says something beyond impact or where a guy was on the roster about how he played a character and made a connection with the fans that should factor in on how he's remembered. If wrestlers are actors, it can be a case where you can have those with better stage training, those with better box office draw or more leading roles and yet still have movie stars or character actors who are remembered more fondly by audiences than either the technically proficient or box-office stars.
With Hennig, there seems to be a particular connection with how he played Mr. Perfect. Most of what we seemed to be looking for was a look back at the vignettes of the time and what he did in them. Am I wrong in thinking that, even though Hennig was well below the Warrior on the pecking order back during their WWF primes, there would be less of an expectation for them to do an extensive piece on the Warrior than we had for Hennig? Mr. Perfect is remembered more fondly than The Ultimate Warrior, while Warrior was a much bigger name at the time. Where does that kind of fan connection factor into a wrestler's place in the history of his business? Does it? I think so, in a case like Hennig.