Charlie Reneke Reviews the Life & Times of Mr. Perfect – The Matches

For those of you interested in my thoughts of the main feature, check out Scott Keith’s review of this set, as my write up of the feature is what he used.

Match #1
Curt Hennig vs. Eddie Gilbert
11/21/82 WWE from Madison Square Garden

This is Gilbert’s debut in Madison Square Garden.  I believe the plan had been to make him an upper-midcard star, but a serious auto accident and an addiction to painkillers that resulted from it put those plans to a halt.  Circle to start, lockup and a clean break.  Another lockup and Curt fires off a hiplock.  Another hiplock, then another one off a shoot off.  Flying body press by Eddie is rolled through by Curt for two.  Hammerlock by Hennig turned into a drop toehold by Eddie into a cross ankle lock.  A sloppy roll through type sequence leads to Curt making a cover for two.  Waistlock takedown by Curt countered into a snapmare by Eddie, and we’re at a standstill again.  Fans aren’t exactly peppy.  Another lockup and they fight over a top wristlock, with Eddie taking control.  Curt fights out of it with a scoopslam, but Eddie holds the arm and rolls through it.  To their feet where Gilbert fires off an armdrag then holds the armbar.  Curt finally gets a reverse and holds a hammerlock, then tries to work a crossface into it.  Snapmare by Gilbert but Curt rolls through it, then fires off an indian-deathlock style hold, only he’s attacking the arm instead of a leg.  Curt shoots the half nelson and rolls him over for one.  Side-headlock takeover sequence, but Gilbert gets pissed and punches Hennig.  Shoot off leads to Curt getting shoulderblock.  This leads to a push-off, then a shoot off for double dropkick and a double KO spot.  Nice.  Test of strength now.  Eddie grabs a crazy reverse sunset flip type move for two.  Headlock by Hennig, a shoulderblock, then another headlock, into a takeover for two.  Eddie sends him face first into the turnbuckle with a horrific ‘thud.’  Eddie tosses Curt down then hits a head scissors.  Crossbody misses and Gilbert wipes out hard and lands in the corner, tumbling to the outside.  Curt suplexes him back in for two.  Sunset flip for two.  Scoopslam and an elbowdrop for two but the fifteen minute time limit expires.
*** Decent match, but it took them a little to long to get the tempo up.

Match #2
Curt Hennig & Scott Hall vs. Steve Regal & Jimmy Garvin
11/26/85 AWA Championship Wrestling

Steve Regal is not to be confused with William Regal.  Scott Hall looks a lot like Magnum TA, and even funnier, he looks a lot older here then he did in the 90s during his WWE run.  Regal & Garvin are the champs here, but this is non-title.  Long stall to start, with Precious refusing to get out of the ring.  Regal starts with Hennig.  Lockup, and Regal brawls Hennig to the corner only to get reversed and backdropped.  Regal bails on the wrong side of the ring and clips his back on the announce table.  Back in, lockup and a headlock.  Regal brawls out and hits a shoulderblock, only to bounce off the ropes and run into an armdrag into an armbar.  Scott Hall gets the tag and elbows the shit out of Regal’s arm.  Garvin gets the tag only to get his arm mangled too.  Hennig tags in and sledges Jimmy’s arms from the second rope.  Wristlock by Hennig, shoot off by Garvin but leads to Curt getting a sunset flip for two.  Hammerlock reversal sequence leads to Regal getting the tag.  Regal grabs a wristlock, but Hennig reverses it into one of his own.  Regal gets onto the apron, only for Curt to drag him into the ring.  He grounds Regal to his knees with the hammerlock, then chops him when he gets close to making the tag.  Rake of the eyes by Regal gives the heels advanage.  Garvin tags in and slugs away, then hotshots Curt for two.  Slam into the turnbuckle and some knees for two.  Hennig is bleeding a bit.  Front facelock by Garvin while Regal unties the top turnbuckle.  Kitchen sink kneelift by Garvin, tag to Regal who hits an elbow off the ropes.  He stomps away and tags Garvin back for more brawling.  Snapmare into a chinlock.  Garvin slams Hennig into Regal’s knee then tags in Regal who hits a kneedrop for two.  Scoopslam by Regal but an elbowdrop misses.  Hot tag to Hall.  Big punches and a hard whip to the corner as things break down.  Garvin sprays Regal with the hairspray by accident, and Hall finishes the match with a bulldog for the pin.
***1/2 Good tag match.

Also on the first disc, we get Hennig’s Hall of Fame induction, the Rap is Crap music video from WCW, and most of his Mr. Perfect vignettes.

Disc Two

Match #3: AWA Championship
(c) Nick Bockwinkel vs. Curt Hennig
11/15/86 AWA on ESPN

Bockwinkel shakes hands with Hennig, then dropkicks him when he turns his back.  Scoopslam gets a two and Hennig quickly bails.  Hennig comes back in and they lockup into a clean break.  Another lockup leads to another clean break.  Third lockup leads to a waistlock by Nick, reversed into a takedown by Curt.  Annoncers say this ain’t going sixty minutes.  Lockup, clean break.  Lockup and Bockwinkel gets a schoolboy for two.  Lockup and they fight for a hammerlock.  Lockup and Bockwinkel reaches for a hammerlock but they end up in the ropes.  Lockup and Bockwinkel gets a headlock takedown that leads to a couple counts.  Hennig to his feet.  Shoot off but Bockwinkel gets a shoulderblock, which Hennig pinball bumps for, then another headlock takedown.  And instead of just laying on the mat with it, both guys sell the damn move.  Bockwinkel fights to keep it on, Hennig fights to get him off.  That’s wrestling, folks.  To their feet, shoot off by Hennig, into a pair of shoulderblocks into a headlock takeover.  Storyline is flawless, with Bockwinkel as the done-it-all veteran and Hennig as the plucky newcommer trying to beat the champ.  This is like Sting/Flair from Clash of the Champions, only it doesn’t suck.  Hennig to the ropes for a break.  Lockup and and Hennig gets a headlock takeover into a head-scissors.  He grinds it in too, working the match.  This is seriously one of the best feeling-out sequences I’ve ever seen.  Bockwinkel rolls through it, and we have another standstill.  Lockup, headlock takeover by Bockwinkel.  Hennig tries to bend himself into getting a headscissors, but isn’t quite able to get it.  To their feet, Hennig shoots him off and gets shoulderblocked.  Botched spot sees Hennig blow his end of a hiptoss.  He covers it well by turning it into a kneelift, and Bockwinkel goes with it.  He then fires off the hiptoss.  Nice cover.  Wrestling is 95% improvisation, and Curt Hennig and Nick Bockwinkel showed how to do so properly.  People will blow spots, but you can cover them up if you’re good.  Bockwinkel recovers from it and slams Hennig.  Hennig up and he slams Nick.  A pair of armdrags into an armbar and the fans are with Curt.  Ten minutes in and this is already looking better then Michaels/Bret’s Iron Man Match.  Nick to his feet and tries to push off the armbar, but Curt holds on.  He manages a shoot off but Curt fakes him out and armdrags him back to the armbar.  He turns it into a keylock.  Bockwinkel tries to shoot off, but Hennig tumbles with him to hold onto the armbar.  He drops a leg on the arm and hooks it back in.  Working the match, gotta love it.  Droptoehold by Bockwinkel but Curt rolls through that and mounts a hammerlock.  Indian Deathlock on the arm, as seen in the first match on this set, then back to the hammerlock.  He brings the arm and slaps on a half-nelson to roll him over for two.  Nice.  Bockwinkel is up and backs Curt to the corner, a quarter of the way through the match.  He fires off elbows to escape, but misses a charge and Curt wristlocks him down to the canvas.  Love this match.  You can see a star being born here.  To their feet, Bockwinkel shoots Hennig off and gets a kitchensink kneelift.  A pair of bodyslams but Hennig is up and armdrags Nick down and grapevines an armbar.  He grinds the arm down and really cinches in on it.  Bockwinkel flips out of it and rolls up Curt for two, then Hennig flips him back down into the hold.  Another flip through by Bockwinkel for two, then back down by Curt.  Mind you, Nick Bockwinkel is 52 years old here.  Bockwinkel is running out of ideas so he starts to slowly pry Hennig’s legs apart to free his arm. Curt responds by hooking his leg around Nick’s neck.  Nick responds to that by hooking in a standing ankle lock, then turns it into a spinning toehold… the slow, mean version of it.  And he’s using one of his feet to keep Curt’s free foot pinned to the canvas.  Subtle touches make a big difference.  Bockwinkel quickly uses this to slap on a kneebreaker.  This is all fundamental wrestling, folks.  Basic holds, basic moves. It’s not WHAT you do, but how you do it.  Hennig to his feet, and he fires off a couple elbows to the back of Nick’s head.  To the corner where we do NOT get a clean break.  Instead, Nick fires away and hits a snapmare into a front chancery.  Curt turns this into a wristlock takedown into the keylock again.  Bockwinkel looks distraught.  He tries to roll through it but Curt is ready for it this time and rolls with him.  Bockwinkel tries something different and gets a pin for two with a handful of trunks.  Hennig is pissed now so Nick bails to catch a breather 25 minutes in.  Now we have a ram’s duel in the center of the ring, but Nick turns it into a headlock.  Shoot off and a shoulderblock by Hennig, but he bounces off the ropes and into a droptoehold, into a kneebreaker.  Bockwinkel becomes super arrogant and grinds Hennig’s leg in a circular motion while supporting the biggest shit-eating grin.  What an ass… god I love him.  Wrestling needs a new Nick Bockwinkel style heel.  Stuff like that is exactly what Chris Jericho should be doing in the ring.  Hennig gets out and stomps away, but the leg is hurting hm.  Kneedrop to Bockwinkels arm hurts Curt more then Nick.  Bockwinkel takes advanage of this by going for the leg and hooking in a grounded indian deathlock.  Hennig slugs away then manages to grab Bockwinkel around the waist and roll him to the ropes for the break.  Nick fires off some knees and kicks Hennig to the floor.  Hennig limps back into the ring and gets pushed to the corner, where Bockwinkel shoots him into the opposet corner and then hooks in his big sleeperhold.  Hennig sells this like death, but grabs the rope and manages to pull himself, Bockwinkel, and the referee out of the ring in a sickly cool visual.  Both guys try to catch a breath and there’s no referee to count them out.  Hennig slams Nick into the ring apron and chops away.  Hennig in the ring and he drags Bockwinkel with him.  Shoot off the ropes and a big chop gets two as the ref recovers.  Wristlock by Hennig and he goes to the apron and snaps Bockwinkel’s arm off the ropes.  He rings the arm around the post, then fires off some elbows.  Shoot off by Hennig but he lowers his head and Nick kicks him in the face.  Bockwinkel tries for some grounded move but Hennig fights him off and tosses him away.  Another attempt by Nick, and another toss.  Hennig to his feet but Bockwinkel slugs the gut and covers for two.  Shoot off by Bockwinkel, but Curt ducks the clothesline and hits a crossbody for a very close two.  Armbar but Bockwinkel leverages Curt out of the ring and slams his head on the canvas.  Hennig tries to shake it off but Nick bounces his head off the ring stairs.  Hennig tries to get back in but Bockwinkel stomps his head.  Ring announcer notes that 37 minutes have gone by.  Wow, that’s an odd mark to announce.  Hennig gets pissed and drags Bockwinkel’s leg to the post and then ‘barely’ beats the count back in… at seven.  AWA announcers took hyperbole to new levels.  Hennig goes for the injured leg and hooks in a toehold.  Bockwinkel fights back and slings Hennig off the ropes.  Scoopslam but his leg gives out on him and Hennig lands on top for two.  Shoot off by Bockwinkel and a kitchen sink kneelift leads to a short double KO.  Bockwinkel loads up a piledriver and hits it for two as Hennig gets his foot on the rope.  Grounded toehold by Bockwinkel, and he uses the ropes for leverage.  Hennig uses a headbutt to escape and starts to kick Bockwinkel in the mid-section.  He drops his weight on him and then hooks in a camel clutch.  Bockwinkel grabs the ropes, but the ref kicks him off twice in what I presume is a blown spot by the ref.  A third one breaks the hold.  Legdrop by Hennig, between the legs, then a punch to the face.  Cover for Hennig by two.  Kneelift but Bockwinkel bounces off the ropes and KOs Hennig with a big punch that looks solid.  Hennig grabs a double leg takedown and turns it over into a boston crab.  45 minutes in now.  Bockwinkel rolls it into a two count, countered into a two from Hennig.  Shoulderblocks in the corner by Curt and a series of chops, followed by a small package for two.  Piledriver from Hennig looks vicious but only gets two as Nick gets a foot on the ropes.  Both guys connect on eachother with an uppercut for a double KO.  Side headlock by Hennig, turned into a backdrop suplex for two as all Curt has left is to grab the ropes.  Bockwinkel celebrates a little early and Curt pounces on him, rolling him up for two.  Elbowdrops by Curt get two.  Knees to the back by Curt and a boot to the head.  Hard whip to the corner and some chopping, then his big standing dropkick, at the time considered the best in the business, gets two.  Shots to the gut and one to the throat by Bockwinkel gets two.  Ten minutes remain in the time limit.  Shoot off by Bockwinkel leads to him hooking in an abdominal stretch.  Hennig gets to the ropes.  Shoot off and a kitchen-sink kneelift, then another gets two.  Hennig grabs a spinning toehold, but Bockwinkel kicks him off and to the floor.  Hennig is busted open by falling to the concrete.  Bockwinkel slugs at him as he tries to get back into the ring.  Hennig to the apron, where Bockwinkel punches him off.  Nick slams his head onto the apron again, then punches the wound some more.  Hennig back into the ring, where Hennig is just barely hanging on.  A slam into the turnbuckle with seven mintues to go.  Hennig is bleeding a ton now, and both guys are covered in blood.  Bockwinkel punches him down and covers for two.  Hennig tries to fire off some punches but he’s fading and gets punched down for two.  Hennig is selling this amazing.  Hennig hulks up and shoots off Bockwinkel and nails the Big Axe (elbow smash) twice, but he’s not aware enough to make a cover.  Bockwinkel blades too.  Another axe by Hennig but instead of covering he mounts some punches.  Kicks to the face by Hennig with five minutes to go.  Head of steam and another big axe for… nothing as Hennig can’t see due to the blood in his eyes and doesn’t notice that Bockwinkel fell face down, so his pinfall is for zero.  And it turns out that Bockwinkel had a tooth knocked out by one of those shots.  Yep, this match is bad ass.  Ten slams into the corner with three minutes to go.  Suplex by Hennig but he barely has anything left and takes too long to cover for two.  Hennig boxes the ears and hits a kneelift, with two minutes to go.  Running front kick and an elbowdrop gets two.  Figure-four leglock by Hennig, which was likely a bad idea because Bockwinkel holds on until time runs out.
***** One of the best matches I’ve ever seen.  You’ll notice that there was nothing complicated about this match.  Every move was fundamental, every spot was first-term wrestling school stuff.  These guys took basic ingredients and created something better then the sum of it’s parts.  And they actually wrestled the full sixty minutes, unlike Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart who were content to slap on a hold and lay down for five minutes.   This was seriously awesome in more ways then one could describe, and worth the $20 price of the DVD alone.

Match #4
Curt Hennig vs. Terry Taylor
7/31/88 Wrestlefest

Commentary by Michael Cole and Mick Foley.  This was a dark match, and the funny thing is, this is the match that the WWE used to decide who would get the Mr. Perfect gimmick.  Which goes against what was said on the DVD feature.  Lockup and Hennig gets a slam while Foley makes fun of Taylor.  Hennig fights it out a bit but Taylor gets a bunch of dropkicks and Hennig bails.  Back in, lockup and they trade a headlock takedown into a headscissors into a stalemate.  Lockup and Taylor gets an armdrag and a headlock takedown.  Hennig shoots off Taylor and hits a backdrop suplex.  Double sledges to the back of Taylor and a hard whip to the corner.  Meanwhile, Mick Foley relays a story he heard about Hennig using fart spray under the ring while he and the nWo waited for the cue to make a surprise attack.  Funny stuff.  Taylor gets a backslide for two, which only pisses Hennig off.  He slugs Taylor around and does a gripslide takedown.  Love that move.  Shoot off into a sleeper, but Taylor escapes.  Fake out by Taylor on the ropes and he gets a crossbody for two.  Punches to the corner and a shoot off but Hennig springs off the ropes and hits a clothesline… for three?  Weird.
* Not a whole lot of meat here.  Weird choice for the DVD.  I have to chalk this one up to having a ‘cool off’ match like the WWE does when they book a hot undercard match.  Seriously though, this is a DVD.  Don’t do that.

Match #5
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
4/24/89 Madison Square Garden (taped for home video)

The WWE was testing the waters with Bret here.  This would be aborted singles push #2 for him.  The first coming in 1988 following Wrestlemania IV.  Lockup, nothing.  Lockup, nothing.  Bret was clearly on the gas here.  Major league puffiness.  Lockup, headlock-shootoff by Bret, who hits a shoulderblock and a choppy looking hiptoss.  Lockup and a headlock by Bret.  Shoot off and he hits a shoulderblock, then sidesteps some kind of takedown by Perfect.  Lockup and a headlock by Bret.  Shoot off and Bret gets a crossbody for nothing as he slips off to the apron.  Sunset flip for two, then a headlock takedown.  Perfect to his feet and he gets Bret to the ropes.  Shoot off but Bret grabs a crucifix for two.  Headlock takeover again.  Perfect up and to the ropes, where he shoots off Bret.  Bret catches a kick, takes Perfect down and stomps him in the gut.  Shoot off by Curt to the corner and a slam, but Perfect slams him.  Bret up and he slams Perfect, then slams him face first, then dumps him to the floor with a clothesline.  Bret is still really sloppy here.  Hennig stalls on the outside.  After forever, with Hart doing the “I’m bored” pose in the corner, Hennig gets back in.  They tease a lockup but don’t.  They finally do and Hennig stomps away and hits a super-duper stiff kneelift to take Bret down.  Damn, that looked sick.  More kicking and stuff by Perfect, all stiff as hell, and I wonder if he’s a bit pissed at Bret.  To the outside, where Bret gets thrown back-first into the apron.  Hennig in the ring and Bret gets to the apron, only to get caught and slugged around a bit.  Hennig slings him off the ropes and into the guardrail.  Hennig kicks away at Bret, drags him in the ring, then tosses him out again.  Hennig wants to chase him but the ref stops him.  Bret in the ring, and he slugs it out, but Perfect reverses the whip and Bret eats the turnbuckle face first for two.  Standing dropkick followed by a baseball slide to knock Bret out of the ring again.  Perfect appears to not take Bret very seriously.  Hennig places Bret’s head between his legs and does a neckbreaker style twist from there.  Hennig axes Bret and scoopslams him for two, then hooks in a spinning toehold.  Bret kicks off of it and sends Perfect shoulder-first into the ringpost.  Hennig sells this like death, and the fans go nuts.  Bret goes after the injured shoulder, sending him back to the corner shoulder first.  Bret slugs away at it, then firing off a hammerlock slam.  Legdrop to the injured arm and a keylock by Bret.  He slugs away at the arm and rings him down for some elbows.  Shoot off and Bret goes for another crucifix but Hennig turns it into a samoan drop.  Perfect tries to shake some life back into his arm, then drops some knees in Bret’s back.  His arm is disabled so he chops with the good one.  Shoot off, and both guys fight over an abdominal stretch.  Bret appears to win out, but Perfect hiptosses him.  Shoot off and Perfect rolls him up for two, but Bret’s kickout sends him flying out of the ring.  Plancha by Bret catches Perfect.  In the ring, FIVE MOVES OF DOOM~! time.  Atomic drop and a suplex get two.  Backbreaker and an elbow off the second rope gets… nothing as the bell rings and the time limit is up, thus we have a draw.  Bret challenges Mr. Perfect to five more minutes, but Hennig declines… or not.  He dives back in the ring and when Bret’s back is turned and lays a beating on him.  The match is still over.  Scoopslam by Perfect and he climbs, but Bret catches him and punches him down. Bret kicks at the legs and Perfect is in full pinball mode now.  Hard whip to the corner and then a shoot off the ropes and a backelbow finishes the post-match beating.
***1/4 Pretty good match.  A sign of things to come for sure.  As far as Bret’s aborted pushes go, Bret marks still bitch about them to this day, but the truth is Bret wasn’t very good at this point.  He was rough and uncrisp.  His singles push that worked hit at the right time.  He was ready then.  He wasn’t here.

Match #6: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Mr. Perfect
1/15/90 Madison Square Garden (taped for home video)

The Genius treats us to a poem dedicated to his man love for Mr. Perfect.  There seem to be audio problems through-out here.  Circle and lockup goes nowhere and Perfect bails.  Lockup #2 and Hogan muscles Perfect into the corner, leading to another bail.  Lockup #3 and Hogan hiplocks Perfect then slams him a couple times and Hennig bails again.  Hogan catches him on the outside and gives him a noggin knocker into the Genius.  He slams both of them into then scoopslams the Genius onto the floor.  He tosses both back in, where they double team him.  Hogan fights back, tosses Hennig into the ropes leading to him being hanged.  He atomic drops the Genius and sends him to the floor, then smacks Perfect around some more, then bails to toss the Genius into the ring post.  Hennig is free so Hogan enters to the ring to smack him around, then elbow him in the corner sending Hennig up and over to the floor.  He catches Hennig and again slams him into the Genius.  Back in, Hogan clotheslines Perfect, then slams him into the turnbuckle.  Hennig has his flying shoes on for this one.  Then again, he had his flying shoes on every match.  Hogan lowers his head on  a shoot off and Perfect clotheslines him down and stomps away.  Hennig chokes at Hogan on the ropes and then slings him off the ropes.  Perfect dumps Hogan to the floor, where the Genius takes his time waiting for the right moment to whack Hogan with his mental clipboard.  It never comes, and so Hennig bails, only to get thrown into the ring post a couple times.  Hennig to the apron where he kicks Hogan and throws him into the ring post.  Hennig climbs but gets caught.  Hennig thumbs Hogan in the eye and drops a sledge on him.  It takes over a few seconds to collapse off the sledge.  Ugh.  Now a sleeper from Hennig.  Hogan tries to fight back so Hennig grounds it to the mat.  This goes on for over two minutes.  Hogan fights back but Perfect leverages him into ramming himself into the turnbuckle.  Hennig jaws with the fans and climbs, but Hogan shakes the ropes to crotch him.  Hogan picks him up by the head and crotches him a few more times in a move you don’t see very often.  Hogan rakes his back then picks him up off the ropes and gives him an atomic drops.  Hogan kicks away at the back of Hennig’s legs, with Perfect overselling it with gusto as only he could.  Hogan goes for an elbowdrop but it misses.  Hennig loads up the Perfect Plex and hits it… for two as it’s HULK UP TIME~!  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, shaking, no pointing sadly, punch, punch, punch, big boot that knocks Hennig to the floor where they slug it out.  Perfect gets a chair and swings to kill Hogan against the post.  It misses and Hennig stings himself up.  Hennig back in, then Hogan grabs the chair and gets on the apron, where Hennig punches him with brass knucks to knock him out.  I’m thinking it’s a count-out, but it’s not and Hogan gets to the apron.  Hennig misses with the brass knucks, Hogan gets the knucks, knocks out Perfect, and drops the leg.  BUT WAIT~!!  The referee disqualifies Hogan for using the knucks and awards the match to Mr. Perfect.
***1/2 A little better then your typical Hogan match.  It went against the typical structure and they didn’t just go through the motions.  Perfect bumping like a mad-man for him helped.  FUN FACT: The WWE was considering moving the title to him so he could job to the Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania 6 instead of Hogan so as not to divide the babyfaces’ fan bases.

Match #7: Intercontinental Championship
(c) Kerry Von Erich vs. Mr. Perfect
11/24/90 Madison Square Garden (taped for home video)

Roddy Piper is the special referee, with the highly underrated Honky Tonk Man on color commentary, along with Jimmy Hart.  Very weird.  Lockup, with Kerry tossing Perfect into the turnbuckle.  Lockup #2 and Piper forces a clean break in the corner.  Another lockup and Hennig grabs some hair, so Piper prevents him from punching Von Erich, allowing Kerry to get a free punch on Curt.  Perfect jaws with Piper, allowing Kerry to grab a wristlock.  Hennig fights back with some chops in the corner, but Kerry fights back with a discus punch to the gut.  Hennig bails and Piper gives him a quick count.  Hennig keeps breaking the count, so Von Erich bails and gives him another discus punch on the outside.  Back in, Kerry pulls Perfect out of the corner and rings his arm up.  Perfect grabs him by the hair and maneuvers him into the corner. Kerry shoots him into the corner but gets reversed and eats it.  Perfect rips off the top turnbuckle pad, then attempts to whip Kerry into it.  Piper stops him and tries to tie it back on.  Perfect is impatient and whips Kerry at it anyway.  Kerry reverses and Piper moves out of the way so Perfect can eat his comeuppance.  Von Erich fumbles his way into slapping on a Boston crab, but he’s too close to the rope and Hennig gets a break.  Shoot to the corner but Perfect gets his foot up and Kerry eats it.  Chops in the corner and a standing dropkick that sends Kerry to the outside.  Von Erich to the apron where Hennig punches him and tries to slam him into the turnbuckle.  Kerry blocks so Perfect opts to kick him off the apron again.  Back in, Perfect shoots him to the corner and grabs a sleeper.  The arm drops twice but Kerry is still alive.  He muscles his way out of the hold and fires off a discus punch, but Perfect sees it coming and counters with his own punch.  Perfect slugs it out in the corner and knees him in the chest.  Small package by Hennig gets two.  Punches to the gut by Von Erich gets no comeback heat from the crowd.  Weird.  Hennig cuts him off anyway, only for Kerry to whip him into Piper.  Piper bumps down but is made of sterner stuff then the average referee so he gets up in time to count for two.  Horrible looking spot where both guys run into each other to cause a double KO.  That looked like poop.  Discus punch by Kerry and he’s feeling good and calls for the claw.  He locks it into Hennig’s skull, but Perfect gets his foot on the rope to draw the break.  Kicks to the gut by Hennig and some chopping.  He goes for a slam but his back gives out and Kerry hooks in the claw again.  This started hot but the pacing is all over the place now and it’s downright messy.  Chop gets two for Hennig.  Back suplex, sprung off the ropes… gets the pin?  What the filth?  It looks like Perfect scored the pin, but Kerry allegedly lifted his shoulder up and wins the match.  I hate any ‘do the move but don’t get your own shoulder up’ ending.  In theory, according to the ‘rules’ of wrestling, only a person executing an offensive move can get a pinfall attempt.  The ‘double suplex with the idiot doing the move getting pinned’ rule is stupid because many moves involve having your own shoulders on the canvas, including Hennig’s Perfect Plex.  I’ve never seen anyone who enjoys this ending, except bookers who don’t want to be original when they fuck the fans over.
** Started okay, got incredibly sloppy by the end.

Match #8: Intercontinental Championship
(c) Mr. Perfect vs. Bret Hart
8/26/91 Summerslam

Lockup, nothing.  Another, shoulderblock, hiplock and Perfect slides out of the ring.  Lockup, headlock by Bret.  Shoot off the ropes, and Bret gets a crucifix for two.  Headlock, Curt fights out with a handful of hair, so Bret returns the favor and holds on.  Knee to the gut by Curt, clothesline misses and Bret hits crossbody for two.  Sunset flip for two, and Bret grabs the headlock takeover again.  Mr. Perfect is clearly in pain here.  Chop by Perfect, Bret catches a kick and does his stomp to the gut.  Whip to the ropes, reversed, and Perfect hits a slam, but Bret fights off and hits one of his own and dumps Curt with a clothesline.  Curt’s had enough and he heads to the back, so Bret rips apart Kurt’s singlet and throws him back in the ring.  Bret mounts in Curt in the corner for the 10 punches, but Curt begs off and Bret gets pulled off by the ref.  Lockup to the corner, and Bret is forced to clean break, so Curt throws a big punch, then kicks Bret to the outside.  Chop by Curt on the outside. Bret gets up to the ring apron but gets knocked off by Curt.  Again, and this time Curt whips him far off the ring and into a photographer.  Bret slugs off in the ring, rollup gets two, but Bret gets slugged down to the canvas.  Another whip into the corner, and Curt chops away.  Hard whip to the corner for two.   Perfect Neckbreaker and a bridge for two.  Bret goes to backdrop him but gets kicked in the face, and a dropkick sends Bret flying to the outside.  Slugoff again, and Bret tries to get in the ring but Perfect cuts him off.  They fight up to the top turnbuckle and have a slugoff up there, but Bret gets tied into the rope.  Perfect flops off the top rope onto Bret for two.  Into a corner, and Curt bitchslaps Bret a couple time, then hits a nasty looking hair-whip.  Curt snags the biggest sleeper I’ve ever seen in my life, nearly breaking Bret’s neck putting it on.  Christ man, ease up.  Bret goes for another crucifix but Curt turns it into a Samoan Drop for two.  Chops to the corner, and Curt gets a huge whip into the corner, with Bret spraining his neck upon impact, for two.  Perfectplex… gets two.  First time anyone kicked out of it (unless you count Hogan).  Atomic drop, atomic drop, headbutt, hairwhip posts Hennig.  Suplex gets two.  Smallpackage gets two.  Russian Legsweep gets two.  Backbreaker, elbowdrop off the second rope gets two.  Rollup by Perfect gets two.  They fight to the outside, and Bret throws Curt into the post.  Back in the ring, Bret starts kicking the legs.  Sharpshooter attempt, but the Coach distracts Bret.  Perfect sneaks up with a lowblow.  Legdrop, another legdrop, but Bret catches the legdrop for the sharpshooter and the ref rings the bell before the hold is even on, not because the ending was botched but because Curt’s back couldn’t take the move.
**** Great match, lots of drama, good pacing, but the psychology was spotty.

Match #9: Intercontinental Championship
(c) Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect
8/30/93 Summerslam

This was hyped as the greatest IC championship match of all time months before it ever happened.  With as much hype as they gave it, there was no way it could ever live up to expectations.  And hell, given what the ending is, the WWE was really scummy to make people get so worked up here.  Lockup and Shawn takes him down by the arm.  Circle and lockup leads to Hennig taking Shawn down with a hammerlock into a snapmare.  Lockup #3 leads to Shawn getting a headlock.  Shoot off attempt but Michaels holds onto the head.  Shoot off and both guys botch their end of an armdrag, with Shawn landing face first.  Hennig tries to cover by kneeing at Shawn in the back, then holding onto a hammerlock.  They trade it a few times, with Shawn sprining off the ropes then missing an elbow and we have a standstill.  Lockup and Shawn takes Perfect to the corner to slug it out.  Chops by Perfect and then we have another miscommunication that leads to an ackward looking back elbow by Michaels.  Shawn springs off the ropes allowing Hennig to hit a weak looking clothesline, oversold by Shawn for two.  Armbar by Hennig, but Shawn takes him to the corner with some shoulderblocks.  Whip to the corner but Hennig misses a charge.  He climbs but Hennig armdrags him off the top, then fires off another armdrag for two.  Back to the armbar, which goes on too long.  Shoot off ends with Hennig catipulting Shawn over the top and to the floor.  Perfect bails to take it on the outside, but gets distracted by Diesel.  When he turns around, Shawn hits him with the superkick (pre-finisher) and then comes off the apron with a sledge.  Back in, Shawn knees Perfect in the back and drops nearly a dozen elbows.  He struts around the ring, then gives Hennig a hard whip to the corner.  Big clubbing blows to the back, then another hard whip to the corner.  Shawn stands on the injured back of Mr. Perfect, then drops his weight on it.  Backbreaker into a submission, but Hennig fights back.  Shoot off leads to a beautiful dropkick by Hennig, then a backdrop.  Hennig hits a kneelift and an atomic drop for two.  Chopping by Hennig and a shoot off into a clothesline for two.  They fight over a backslide, but instead Hennig hits the Perfect Plex for two as Diesel pulls him out of the ring.  Hennig fights off Diesel, then stops Shawn from dropping a sledge off the ropes.  Diesel recovers and rams Perfect into the ring post, leading to him getting counted out.
* After months of crushing hype, the WWE released the Phantom Menace in wrestling form.  Shawn Michaels has since attributed it matching up two guys who’s best trait was making their opponent look good.  That theory doesn’t sit well with me.  I mean, Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect shouldn’t be able to have a good match with each other, and yet they had many.  The truth is they just had no chemistry together.  Additionally, their timing was horrible and many spots were blown right at the beginning of the match.  No pacing, no flow, no psychology, no selling really… just a huge mess.

Match #10
Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig
3/15/98 WCW Uncensored

We close out Mr. Perfect’s DVD set with an example of what was wrong with Bret Hart’s run in WCW.  After being handed a golden oppertunity to make Bret the most sympathetic babyface on the roster, they waste their time with stuff like this instead of giving Bret a shove at the top guys in the nWo.  In reality, the WCW simply reverted back to what they usually did when WWE guys jumped ship before the nWo angle started: rehash all their old WWE feuds.  In this case, they tried to bring back the magic that Hennig and Hart had.  Except of course, that magic was from the early 90s and now instead of being the arrogant, unbeatable Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig was just a low guy on the nWo totem pole.  Both guys were past their prime here and this feud had been already been played.  Before this, Bret was feuding with Ric Flair.  He never really got to face anyone fresh for the first year in the company.

To the match.  Curt steals a Canadian Flag from a fan at ringside, then does nothing with it.  Well that’s… heelish I guess.  Hennig isn’t even wearing the nWo colors, and neither is his manager, Rick Rude.  Why even bother having him in the faction?  Lockup, nothing.  But Hennig does bitch that Bret’s hair is too greasy.  Lockup and a side-headlock takeover by Bret.  To their feet, Bret gets a shoulderblock and another headlock.  Hennig pulls the hair to escape it.  To the corner where Hennig chops away, only to be tossed in the corner and hit with another headlock takeover.  Hennig again pulls at the hair to escape.  Ugh.  Shoulderblock by Bret and then a throw by Bret, leading to Perfect bailing.  Rude gives Perfect some words of encouragement.  Hennig already looks gassed.  Hennig to the apron, where Bret slams his head into the turnbuckle and goes for a suplex.  Hennig flops out of it, only to get caught in the sharpshooter in the center of the ring.  Rick Rude runs in and punches Bret, and somehow the referee doesn’t see it.  Bret sells the punch like death.  Hennig ties up Bret’s leg and drops his weight on it.  Hennig springs over the ropes and drops his weight on the leg again, then kicks at it in the corner.  Rick Rude gets his shots in while Perfect distracts the ref.  To the post, where Hennig rings Bret’s leg.  More distracting the ref while Rude really torques on Bret’s leg against the post.  Hennig grabs Bret by the hair and slings him to the mat.  He smacks Bret a few more times and slaps on the figure four.  Rude adds leverage, while Bret survives a few near falls.  The ref catches Hennig cheating and makes him break.  He goes back to stomping at the knee, but Bret fights back in the corner.  Hennig with a lowblow, and it’s uncensored so it’s NO DQ… makes you wonder why Rude couldn’t help him then… and more stomping at the knee.  Hennig with a stepover toehold.  Legdrop between the legs by Hennig, then a scoopslam.  He climbs, but Bret pops up and crotches him.  Bret kicks away at the leg, then slings Hennig down by the hair, leading to him getting crotched on the post.  Atomic drop, clothesline, and a small package gets two.  Russian legsweep gets two.  Bulldog gets two.  Backbreaker and the elbowdrop off the second rope gets two.  Fans have been cold through out this whole match.  Hennig reverses a whip and sends Bret into the corner.  Hennig loads up the Perfect Plex but it only gets two.  Fans pop for that.  Rude on the apron so Bret can send Hennig into him and roll him up, but Hennig reverses and grabs the tights… for two.  Sunset flip attempt by Hennig is countered into the sharpshooter and Perfect taps before Rude can save.  After the match, Bret gets beatdown by these members of Hogan’s part of the nWo.  So naturally Bret would join them a few weeks later.
*** Not bad but the crowd was cold and these two could never have hoped to bring back the magic they once had at this stage of their careers.

BOTTOM LINE: In some ways I’m disappointed.  Of the ten matches you only get one that’s five stars (though it’s one of the best matches ever) and one that is four stars.  Everything else ranges from okay to awful.  The documentry is intresting but a little obnoxious on how they spend no time focusing on what Curt Hennig threw away to drugs.  I’m giving it a mild thumbs up but this DVD is far, far removed from perfect.

Tags: , , , , , ,