The death of Curt Hennig (comrade)

With Curt Hennig I was able to do slick moves that I wouldn’t think of doing with most other guys ... We adjusted to each other’s timing in anepic back and forth battle where we constantly gave back to each other. I had Curt beat after I came off the second rope, spiking his chest with the point of my elbow, hooking his leg for a 1...2... when the bell clanged signaling the end of our twenty minute match. Curt made his escape while I retrieved the house mic and pleaded for five more minutes. Curt turned to leave, signaling me to turn my back on him. In a flash he was back in the ring viciously beating me to the mat. Kneeling over top of me and shaking me by the hair he slapped me across the face until the referee managed to break us apart. Angrily Curt climbed to the top turnbuckle while I popped up to my feet and greeted him with a fist to the gut causing him to lose his balance and crotch himself hard on the corner strut. The crowd was going crazy as I dragged him off by the hair and clobbered him from one corner to the next until he bounced out of the ring and slithered away in full retreat.

The fans thundered their approval. Curt stumbled back towards the dressing room with a ton of heat. And me, I looked out at the fans ... I had finally won them over. ... It had to be one of the best matches I’d had in years.

I always thought I’d see my old friend Curt Hennig again.

Unfortunately that just wasn’t meant to be.

Mr. Perfect, one of the most loved and respected wrestlers of our generation, died on Monday of an apparent heart attack. He was only forty-four.

Curt will always be remembered as a great wrestler but those of us lucky enough to have known him will remember him best for his brilliant sense of humor, his big heart and his never ending devotion to his family.

I looked forward to a day where I’d sit with Curt on my back porch, or his, our canes propped nearby, a tub of long necks soaking in ice, while we laugh and joke about the good times we had. But like so many of our old mates who have gone before, the wrestling world mourns yet another young son.

I was recently asked, if I could come back to wrestle just one more match, one final hurrah, what wrestler would I pick to work with. i said Curt Hennig. He was my all time favorite. He really was. When I think back to our incredible matches they sort of remind me of those spy vs. spy cartoons in Mad Magazine. We were similar in age, size and background and we had a similar look, except that Curt wore a mane of long blonde curly hair. Both of us were second generation wrestlers whose father’s were respected men in a tough business and we shared an understanding of what it was like to have mighty big shoes to fill. Curt was infamous for his practical jokes. He loved chaining the rookies’ ring bags to the benches in the dressing room. I, like so many others, got along with Curt from the instant we met. I remember the buzz of electricity in the dressing room in Madison Square Garden when Curt and I got ready for our first ever match. There is no higher tribute to a wrestler than to look back to the dug out and see our peers watching, arms crossed, waiting for us to show the world how it’s done. That we did!

If there was ever a chemistry between two wrestlers there was none better than the one between me and Curt. He was a one of a kind athlete who had impeccable timing and was an absolute dream to work with in a wrestling ring. The matches we had together - every single darn one - was a classic. We had a trust and respect for one another that I don’t see in the wrestlers today. I can never recall not coming back after a match with Curt when we weren’t both grinning from ear to ear, hugging and shaking hands. So many memories. So many places. So many old friends gone. So many sad endings. Owen. Davey Boy. Pillman. Rude. Surely our heavenly brothers will greet Curt on the other side. I can see Andre the Giant sliding out a chair and calling Curt over for a game of Crazy 8’s. - with Curt smiling as Davey and Owen chain his ring bag to the pearly gates.