This day in Pro Wrestling history - 10th February: Remembering Mr Perfect and David Von Erich
This edition of This day.. focusses on two other great in-ring technicians who passed away too soon.
WWE constantly reminds the fans about the late great Eddie Guerrero who passed away at a time when he was main eventing SmackDown. It is left to the imagination to think about what Guerrero might have accomplished in the company had he not passed away so young.
This edition of ‘This day..’ focusses on two other great in-ring technicians who passed away too soon. Neither won a World title in the WWE or WCW, but are still in the hearts of wrestling fans.
Here is a tribute to the memory of Curt ‘Mr Perfect’ Hennig and David Von Erich
#1 Mr Perfect passes away – 10 Feb 2003
Mr Perfect will remain – alongside Owen Hart and Razor Ramon – as the greatest WWE Superstar never to have won the WWE Championship belt. But Curt Hennig was much more than championships.
Debuting in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) where his father Larry ‘The Axe’ Hennig became popular, Curt would have a short-lived run with the WWE from 1982, before returning to the AWA in 1984.
He would become a major star there, winning the AWA tag team titles and more importantly, the AWA World Heavyweight Championship from Nick Bockwinkel.
Hennig would return to the WWE in 1988 under the ‘Mr Perfect’ moniker aided by outrageous segments showing him perform unbelievable sporting acts. He would remain unbeaten for a year and win the Intercontinental title in 1990. Considered the prime example of 'Man makes the title', Hennig raised the prestige of the IC title belt.
Injuries would affect his time in the ring, but he famously beat Ric Flair in a 'Loser leaves WWE' match to herald Flair's departure from the company.
Hennig would soon join Flair in WCW, becoming a part of the nWo faction and feuding with the likes of Goldberg and DDP in addition to Flair. Hennig returned to the WWE in 2002 and was initially booked for a one-off appearance at the Royal Rumble. But in a testament to his talent, he would finish in the top three at the Rumble and drew loud cheers.
Impressed, WWE signed him to a permanent deal.
Hennig would leave the WWE the same year after an altercation with Brock Lesnar on the infamous ‘Plane ride from hell’. He would challenge for the TNA World title on multiple occasions as well.
A 44-year-old Mr Perfect would be found dead in his Tampa hotel room in 2003 due to cocaine intoxication as per official records. He would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.