Saturday, December 20, 2014

Curt Hennig and No Back Injury


I finally got around to watch "The Life and Times of Mr. Perfect" and this is another what if. If Hennig doesn't suffer the back injury, do you think he, over Bret, gets the 1992 push for the World Title? It always irks me that he never got another World Title run. 

​No, because moreso than his back problems he had pretty major drug problems at a time when that was the last thing that the company needed from someone on top.  Plus he wasn't what you'd call particularly dependable.  Would he have been a good champion on top?  Probably.  Just don't see it happening.  ​

62 comments:

  1. horse is out of the barn. No going back. If they went crawling back to the cable companies to put on WM and Rumble, they would get less than 50% as Dish and DirecTv and the rest would demand a higher cut. They know WWE needs them more than they need WWE at that point. Plus you piss off the network subscribers who got the rumble and WM with the 9.99. The network is a thing. Either it makes it or ppvs go bye bye and they start running specials on USA instead.



    As for the break even point, it becomes whatever WWE can make it by cutting costs. Wrestlers are already getting way less with this model, plus lower video game payoffs and other pay cuts. The roster has been cut as has office staff. And with no other game in town, they can keep cutting the pay of wrestlers to make the network "break even."

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  2. IMO he would have been a transitional world champion, if at all.

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  3. Putting WrestleMania on the Network killed it. It raised the break-even point up past a reasonable number.


    I will never understand why they did that. Sure, the PPV numbers were dying for the other shows, but the WM buyrates had been going up! It was pretty clear from this past WrestleMania when 400,000 people bought the show instead of the Network that the Network was DOA. People with access to the Network willingly chose one show over 6 months of PPVs.

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  4. Was there ever hear with Hennig and Vince? He seemed to come and go as he pleased.

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  5. What??? Hennig had drug problems? If you were to beieve that sham of a DVD documentary he was perfect at everything, everybody loved him, and he took drugs one time and overdosed. Oh how sad.

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  6. All jokes aside, if you take away the back issues AND the drugs, he's obviously on the short list with Bret and Shawn to ride with the world title over the next 3 to 4 years.

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  7. On the other hand, the company is getting monthly money from me for the first time in literally years for the network, mostly for the PPVs (not for too much longer if they keep this awesome shit up). The problem is there wasn't enough people like me to make up for the losses.

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  8. No chance. He was mid card as long as hogan was there, and after that it was all Yoko and bret. Maybe a short transitional run but I don't see it.

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  9. He would've been fine as a transitional champ, but I think the nose candy would've gotten in the way, most likely; also, although he was a great worker and bumper, I don't remember his promos being that strong,so that might've been a problem too.

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  10. I think it was a case of Hennig wanting to get out of the business but always ended coming back because he had that itch.

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  11. Yeah, there's no going back. The only scenario where there's even a slight chance is if WWE was desperate & close to bankruptcy and decide to throw a hail mercy pass at saving the company. With that out of the way, should they have put all PPV's on the network? Part of me thinks they had to go all in, but part of me also knows there was never a chance of all these "lapsed fans" that hadn't watched or spent money on wrestling in close to 20 yrs suddenly deciding to spend $10/month on WWE. WWE's math was always beyond best case scenario and they should've based the business model on more realistic projections and planned accordingly. I'd also like to add that as a Canadian that is not a Rogers customer, every nanosecond that I can't get the network makes less interested in getting it when it is available to me.

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  12. Had Hennig not suffered the back injury then the guy would have been more dependable and I could see Vince choosing Perfect over Bret for the 92 world title run just because Perfect was the slightly bigger star at the time.

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  13. I think they mean in Bret's place in 1992.

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  14. I think Scott is under selling just how much Vince liked Hennig at the time. Before Hennig bailed on them in 96 he was going to be the leader of a main event faction with HHH. Austin and Pillman would eventually the join the group too according to the dirtsheets and I'm sure they would have done a Hennig/HBK main event feud in 97 because they were subtly building to it all year.

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  15. To be fair, Yoko and Bret were also midcard with Hogan there. Hogan made everybody look like a midcarder.

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  16. Hennig would probably have gotten Bret's World run in 1992 if his issues aren't there. Most of Bret's challengers (Flair, Razor) made more sense for Perfect. Don't know if he gets another one after he loses to Yoko.

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  17. Is that why kept coming and going so much after his initial return in 92. Ahem..."personal problems"?


    Watching these early RAWs on the Network, he left a couple of good programs right in the middle of them suddenly

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  18. You're probably right that Perfect wouldn't have gotten another shot at it. I don't think Vince envisioned Bret becoming champion again after WM9, but Bret forced Vince's hand by being the most over guy in the company and having the best match of the night.

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  19. I thought it had to do with his Lloyd's deal mostly. Anytime Hennig got too involved on the wrestling side and Hennig was in danger of losing the insurance deal, he quickly bailed on them.

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  20. http://www.cagesideseats.com/2014/12/20/7428559/wwe-survivor-series-draws-103000-buys-on-pay-per-view



    How did this happen? They drew 103K traditional buys for the Survivor Series PPV.

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  21. The word before WrestleMania was the streams would be unreliable. That proved not to be the case.


    I'm not entirely sure you can determine a brand new streaming service "DOA" based on what happened two months into the service's creation.

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  22. Well, some people don't have broadband. Plus, there are people in countries where the Network hasn't come to yet. Others just don't want to do the technology.

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  23. Perfect's promos weren't any better than Bret's... but he had a ton of charisma.

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  24. It's hard to talk about "if" Perfect hadn't gotten hurt, because his style practically guaranteed that he would.

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  25. I think Vince and Hennig always got on fine. Remember, Hennig seemed poised for a big top-level run after the 2002(?) Rumble, where he put on a serious performance and eliminated guys that mattered, but the Plane Ride From Hell disrupted that. Had that never happened, I think we're looking at a WWE that had Mr. Perfect as a serious contender for the rest of the year.

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  26. Really anytime in 96, if Curt walks into Vince's office and says he's ready to work a problem, he probably becomes the guy feuding with Michaels.


    And it would have been glorious.

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  27. Perfect had some great promos. Like the one before his match with the Boss Man at WrestleMania VII I remeber being pretty intense.


    Or the one on SNME where they destoryed the belt.

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  28. I didn't thie Lloyds deal was a thing until 1993. That's why he didn't wrestle for that whole stretch until 1997.

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  29. I just rewatched Flair/Perfect in the Loser Leaves Town match from one of the first Raws and it was fantastic.

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  30. A lot of wrestlers wrestle a high risk style and managed stay injury free for years. Of course some wrestlers just get seriously injured once a year like clockwork. It mostly depends on the worker staying injury free rather than the style they wrestle.

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  31. I just wish that match happened at WM IX. Putting it on a RAW in that smaller Manhattan Center just made it come off as a little too second rate for me.

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  32. I really wish that had happened. One of those great "what if's" of history. Going to WCW did little for Curt except for his pocketbook.

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  33. Hennig was pretty much getting jobbed out before the plane ride from hell and I doubt WWE had any plans for him. I think it was the Observer or some other dirtsheet that theorized that the reason WWE hired Hennig back was so they could destroy their credibility because Hulk Hogan was making waves about starting his own start up wrestling company at the time.

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  34. The crazy thing is I never picked up that Curt even had a coke habit until his death. Never saw any rumors of it or anything, so his death just came out of left field. It's really sad too because think of what a nice addition he'd be to commentary today.

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  35. Yeah I never got why WWF didn't at least try to keep Flair around until WM. Just seemed they were leaving money on the table there.

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  36. that can be said for pretty much anyone who jumped during that time period, tbh

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  37. Hennig: Never as good as Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels.

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  38. Well, the difference being that Hennig left right in the middle of an angle that would soon heat up and probably give Curt the biggest push he ever received in the company. When other wrestlers jumped ship, it was mostly because they were on job duty.

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  39. The Perfect-HBK SummerSlam '93 match is one of the most disappointing in history.

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  40. As a worker Hennig falls short, but I do think Hennig could've drew slightly more money than Bret and Shawn.

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  41. This is basically spot on.


    Cuts will be made until the company is profitable.

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  42. both Hebners and a young randy Orton had tears in their eyes

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  43. A Hennig/Flair title feud would have been pretty cool. I think that Bret would still have found his way into the mix though. He had the history with Hennig.

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  44. It's an interesting point, if Bret never won the title in 92, what would become of Bret's career then as the only realistic scenario I can see is Bret still being an IC title level guy and would have probably ended up chasing Shawn for the belt for most of 93.

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  45. It's bignasty.

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  46. That's tough to judge. If, and I'm assuming here so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, you feel that way because Hennig was better on the stick: I don't think there's ever been a better wrestler when it came to connecting with the fans based on his ringwork alone than Bret Hart. Curt - to his credit - did a great job turning face in late '92 and his run before injuries and drugs sidetracked him again was great. But he was no fool. When they wrestled at KOTR '93, standing position regardless, Hennig HAD to play the bad guy because cheering against Bret at the time, well... it felt impossible. Bret may have been in the right place at the right time, but holy shit did he ever take that ball and run with it.

    Even when he didn't hold the title - like at the aforementioned KOTR '93 - Bret was still a major draw. That's huge. I think Hennig came close a couple of times (the Flair feud,) but never really pulled that off.

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  47. If Bret doesn't get the belt in the fall of 1992 I argue that he never gets it.

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  48. Bret leaves the WWF and is either WCW or NWA Champion by mid-1993. Without a doubt.

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  49. Well, Bret was a big international draw (which the WWF desperately needed at the time), but he didn't draw much in the U.S.


    That said, I wish I had gotten to see Bret wrestle once in my life live.

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  50. I know, it's tough to judge so I won't try to discredit what you say or anything, but I just feel Hennig would have drew more money just because he carried himself better as a star. I don't think Curt could draw more mony than Bret in Europe, but I think Hennig would have done better than Bret domestically. Curt also understood the business and it wasn't so much that the guy could cut good promos, but the guy could cut promos that could sell tickets. Shawn was a great trash talker and a funny guy, but I don't think he could sell fans to buy tickets to see him wrestle.

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  51. well 20 years? Probably not. Although I do know a few on another board who got it and haven't watch in years. Me personally though? I hadn't watched more than 10 Raws combined in the past 7 years before the Network. Now granted I did buy a shit ton of DVD sets, but I didn't care about the current product.

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  52. About the whole Bret/Curt comparison and how fans sided with Bret, I agree, but I think that's mostly because while Curt played a great face in 93, the guy was a natural heel. His best asset has always been wanting to watch a babyface kick his ass and I do think a Bret/Hennig program could have done pretty good business if they built it as main event feud.

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  53. While we're talking Hennig, man, nobody has a bad word to say about the guy. Any interview from any Austin/Jericho/JR podcast his name comes up and people talk about what an amazing guy he was, especially outside the ring.

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  54. Agreed. Heck, if you're keeping Flair around until WM9, have him face Hogan *then* just to finally make that match happen.

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  55. Man, Bret vs. Vader in 1993 would've been a really intriguing match.

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  56. I think starting with Mania as a hook to subscribe would've been good, but then I would've kept the Big Four (Rumble, Mania, MITB, SS) PPV-exclusive and have the other shows no one cares about (or they don't care about) as smaller, Clash of the Champions/NXT-PPV-style shows, maybe only two hours long. But that's just me.

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  57. Ditto. I'm thrilled with the Network, because between the archive and NXT, I have no need for the crappy current stuff now to get a wrestling fix, but wrestling is a niche sport and a fan like myself is pretty niche within that small population. I imagine most of their audience are like my mark friends, who do watch the weekly product and spring for the big shows but doesn't give a shit about older or original side content to pony up $10 more a month on top of their Netflix, Hulu, et al subscriptions.

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  58. They're gonna find more ways to cut corners. I remember a few years ago, WWE was sporting a profit margin even higher than the Attitude Era, but not because it was drawing less money, it was because they slashed pyro and unique sets, cut fat from the corporate offices, and have a smaller roster, thus they're simply making less money but spending even less than that.

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  59. i still can't believe people spend that much money for a monthly Ppv($59.99 for WM also). I never bought a ppv because as a kid my parents instilled the wisdom that our money wouldn't be wasted on such a purchase. And these days, a month later i get it on blu-Ray for $17.99 anyway. Pro-Network all the way

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  60. you just described corporate America in general. Lower wages and benefits for workers, higher profits. Look at the recovery since 2008. Corporate profits have been record highs for 4 years running now, beating the year before. Wages though? Down since 2008. Median income? down since 2008. The wrestlers are just like the average American worker: tough to find another job, scared of change, more content to grin and bear it than move elsewhere, if they could possibly find an elsewhere that had a better offer.

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  61. Vince likes losing money. See: Invasion, 2001.

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  62. See WWE Studios: http://whatculture.com/wwe/10-wwe-studios-movies-lost-millions.php

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