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September 2021 Wrestling Discussion


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When Joe Hennig was called up, their was a persistent rumor that Hennig didn't want to use his real name and chose McGillicutty because it was his mother's maiden name.  That story was probably completely fabricated - as far as I can find, his mom's maiden name was Leonard - but it seems like Meltzer backed it up back then.

Honestly, sending Joe out there with the ring name of "Hennig" and advertising him as Mr. Perfect's kid wouldn't have done him any favors.  He exhibited about a quarter of his dad's charisma and promo ability, after all.  But the "you have to earn it" stuff is just silly.  At the end of the day, creative's job is to sell tickets.  More people would have paid attention to "Perfect" Joe Hennig than they did to Michael McGillicutty or Curtis Axel.

I thought "Curtis Axel" was a worse name for him than "Michael McGillicutty",  I don't think it's a big deal though.  He had bigger issues than his gimmick name.  I liked Hennig well enough, but I never thought he had the look or charisma to go far on the main roster.  His widely mocked "beginning... of the genesis... of McGillicutty" hurt his career far more than his gimmick name or father ever did. 

 

Edited by Eoae
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So back in the day, was Kurt not good enough to live up to the legacy of Larry Henning, and that's why he was first name Mister, last name Perfect?

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12 minutes ago, AxB said:

So back in the day, was Kurt not good enough to live up to the legacy of Larry Henning, and that's why he was first name Mister, last name Perfect?

We had a discussion about this not too long ago. He started off as Curt Hennig, then became "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig shortly thereafter. It was always sorta acknowledged he was Curt Hennig to the point where people sometimes referred to him as Curt Hennig on commentary. Kerry Von Erich was the same way when he came in. The two names weren't exactly interchangeable, but their real names were mentioned on TV several times. 

Edit: Obviously, Kerry's real last name isn't Von Erich but you get the point.

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7 minutes ago, LoneWolf&Subs said:

Actually wasn’t it the opposite for Kerry? He was Texas Tornado to start, and then when Vince lost confidence in him, he became Kerry Von Erich “The Texas Tornado”, then eventually just Kerry Von Erich?

I'm pretty sure he was referred to as Kerry Von Erich occasionally before he won the IC title at Summerslam 1990. He was always Texas Tornado even going into his final TV tapings. He was one of those mid card guys they made shill the WBF PPV. He was referred to as either The Texas Tornado or the Texas Tornado KVE. Either way, he still got billed as the Texas Tornado before he got let go.

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3 minutes ago, LoneWolf&Subs said:

He does start dressing more like the old Kerry with the yellow rose on the back, and less headbands.

He looked ROUGH by 1991. So somebody probably had to dress him by that time and point him in the direction of gorilla to head out to the ring.

Don't do drugs, kids.

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49 minutes ago, AxB said:

So back in the day, was Kurt not good enough to live up to the legacy of Larry Henning, and that's why he was first name Mister, last name Perfect?

Did Larry ever work for Vince Sr? I'd be curious to listen to Vince's commentary from Curt's original WWF tenure to hear how much they talked about Larry. 

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1 minute ago, odessasteps said:

Did Larry ever work for Vince Sr? I'd be curious to listen to Vince's commentary from Curt's original WWF tenure to hear how much they talked about Larry. 

During KotR 93, Bret and Perfect have an argument about who has the tougher dad after both advance in the tournament. That's basically the crux of their match because it's a goddamn tournament and you don't have storylines attached to every match. You just come up with them on the fly.

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The thing with McGillicutty was, they did still acknowledge he was Curt Hennig's son, so he did still have the burden of that, without the benefit of not being called Michael McGillicutty. It was like a reverse 'having their cake and eating it.' Throwing up a cake that belonged to someone else?

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6 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

Wasn’t “Curtis Axel” meant to be an amalgamation of his dad’s first name and his grandfather’s nickname?

Yes. He was Curt Axel for the first week, but then they remembered that Kurt Angle existed.

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3 hours ago, Hagan said:

The fact that there's been no update and photo of Hunter since the incident is an worrying sign. Generally celebrities get out the "I'm okay, gang" photos or tweets out pretty quick. 

We should figure out how to send him a fruit basket.

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2 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

I'm pretty sure he was referred to as Kerry Von Erich occasionally before he won the IC title at Summerslam 1990. He was always Texas Tornado even going into his final TV tapings. He was one of those mid card guys they made shill the WBF PPV. He was referred to as either The Texas Tornado or the Texas Tornado KVE. Either way, he still got billed as the Texas Tornado before he got let go.

If I remember right he was rarely called Kerry Von Erich after his first cycle of tv tapings, Gorilla or Heenan might have dropped a Kerry Von Erich once and awhile, most of the time the never really mentioned the Von Erich family, they’d say “he’s from a great wrestling family” or something similar. 

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I always catch myself thinking about the "Lost Generation" of US pro-wrestlers who existed after the demise of WCW/ECW and before the NXT talent raids. Like, I don't think we realized what was happening during those 18 years of WWE dominance and TNA futility. I don't think we realized it was a period in wrestling history when things were not the way they were supposed to be. Even (especially?) die-hard fans were so pessimistic about the whole thing that we just assumed wrestling wasn't ever going to be cool again, the UFC took all the legitimacy away, Benoit took away all the joy, the demise of WCW took away all the creativity, and somehow our favorite thing deserved to be portrayed to the masses as a largely stupid and childish form of entertainment.

That's why I think it's really important to remember and celebrate the generation of wrestlers who peaked in that era and never got to make the millions of dollars & fans that they would have in any other. Off the top of my head, Homicide, Nigel McGuinness, and Chris Hero are the big-name indy superstars that come to mind but after that first tier comes a bunch of bigger what-ifs. Alex Shelley, Super Dragon, Eddie Edwards, maybe not headcases like Low Ki and Davey Richards. Really entertaining guys who would have gotten over as midcard acts, like a hypothetical 2002 ECW run with the Spanish Announce Team, or 2009 WCW running an odd CHIKARA tag in the first hour of Nitro. Who's to say an edgy rival doesn't counter-program the Cena era and doesn't do a Gage-esque short run with a deathmatch guy?  I think the rawest deals went to the "sports entertainment" type guys who worked a real solid style but weren't flashy enough to win over spotmark indy fans, i.e. BJ Whitmer, Adam Pearce, Xavier, etc. Or European guys like Jody Fleisch who would have, at the very least, been able to garner a decent following with just a little US TV exposure or bigger US indies that could afford to fly them in. Or, here's a shocker, every woman who was in that first wave of SHIMMER talent - it is bullshit that people like Lacey or LuFisto never even had a chance to be famous. A majority of the PWG founders + early regulars had to eventually say "fuck it" and fall back on their day jobs, and I'm pretty certain time has already dimmed the glory of their deeds. Not to mention global talent like the cursed 3rd Generation of the NJPW dojo, the heavyweights that failed to inherent the throne of NOAH, and the dozens of luchadores who would have done a better job with the Sin Cara gimmick than Mistico.

I guess what I'm saying is, this board was built on the discussion of monopoly-era indies and international wrestling so talking about these guys is second nature to a lot of us. But the rest of the wrestling fandom is pretty darn clueless. Don't allow these past decades to become the Dark Ages. Tell the children all your tales of B-Boy, "The Turkish Delight" Murat Bosporus, and Osamu Nishimura, or we will live in a world that will forget them.

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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1 hour ago, odessasteps said:

Did Larry ever work for Vince Sr? I'd be curious to listen to Vince's commentary from Curt's original WWF tenure to hear how much they talked about Larry. 

The Ax had a run against Bruno in the mid-70’s. I don’t think the really mentioned anything about Larry during Curt’s first WWF run, most of the time Curt was mentioned as a protege of Bob Backlund, same goes with Eddie Gilbert. 

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29 minutes ago, Mister TV said:

I don’t think the really mentioned anything about Larry during Curt’s first WWF run, most of the time Curt was mentioned as a protege of Bob Backlund, same goes with Eddie Gilbert. 

During the Hennig/Gilbert MSG match in late 1982, Gorilla does say a generic “both of these youngsters come from wrestling families, and both of their fathers are still active wrestlers”.

Edit: and then Vince name-drops Larry Hennig a few minutes into it as well:

 

Edited by Hamhock
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46 minutes ago, Mister TV said:

The Ax had a run against Bruno in the mid-70’s. I don’t think the really mentioned anything about Larry during Curt’s first WWF run, most of the time Curt was mentioned as a protege of Bob Backlund, same goes with Eddie Gilbert. 

Jesse Ventura would name drop Larry the Axe during commentary every so often....he even does it at WM5 during the Perfect / Blue Blazer match.

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1 hour ago, Mister TV said:

If I remember right he was rarely called Kerry Von Erich after his first cycle of tv tapings, Gorilla or Heenan might have dropped a Kerry Von Erich once and awhile, most of the time the never really mentioned the Von Erich family, they’d say “he’s from a great wrestling family” or something similar. 

I don't recall them mentioning the actual Von Erich family at all.

But yeah you're probably right because a bulk of his run, they always went with just the Texas Tornado and it was probably a slip they didn't catch in editing saying Kerry Von Erich anytime after that.

By the way, it always kills me hearing Jesse call Gorilla "Gino". Was it acknowledged that Monsoon wasn't actually named Gorilla besides that?

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1 hour ago, odessasteps said:

They notoriously mentioned Davids death on WWF tv, usually seen as a way to ingratiate the company to Fritz and to try and get the boys to New York.

With no David, how interested would Vince be in anyone other than Kerry? Kevin was good but he had a reputation of being kinda careless in the ring.

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