What if Mr.Perfect had won a Royal Rumble?
Curt Hennig should have won the WWE Royal Rumble, and here's a look at what could have been.
When you look back on the career of Mr Perfect, not many people will deny his legacy is cemented as one of, if not, the best mid carder the WWE ever had within its ranks.
Curt Hennig joined the WWE in 1988 as a mid-carder that was despised and envied by so many for his persona to achieve everything, "perfectly". During the next eight years with the company, Perfect would create a legacy that is still fondly remembered by the majority of fans of that period - something that left them longing for more.
There's no denying Hennig had all the ability and potential in the wrestling ring with little or no wrestler capable of overcoming his in-ring ability on a daily basis. Unfortunately, that talent was never truly rewarded and instead of being pushed to main event status - even as a heel - he was kept at nothing more than a mid to upper card drawer.
Should a victory in the Royal Rumble in the early years of his career have occurred for the second-generation star, not only would Hennig have had his reward of being one of the most popular heels in the companies history, but the reward for his incredible talent would have shone through as well.
The former AWA wrestler was snapped up by Vince McMahon in 1988 prior to the inauguration of the company’s new pay-per-view, Summerslam, but his push would, in fact, come shortly after the event, instead of before like previously anticipated.
At the beginning of his time in the company, Perfect was pushed on an undefeated streak along with having numerous promos cut that showed him being 'absolutely perfect'. Hennig would regularly display his athletic physique, the remarkable ability to achieve the impossible and also frequently be seen mock people - adding heat to his growing character.
The WWE spent a lot of money and time on pushing the superstar towards the top of the company. And like previously mentioned, Perfect wasn't someone rammed down the throat of the fans as he was more than likeable (as a villain) and had the in-ring skill set to back it up.
Perfect's push came in 1989 when he went on his undefeated streak. During that time he made his pay-per-view debut at the Survivor Series, before the Royal Rumble in 1990.
It should have been the event the WWE pushed Perfect more than ever. But it's true. In the months leading up to the event, Perfect and Hogan were in an intense rivalry for the WWE title at the time before it was quashed with Perfect never getting the opportunity once again.
Why would they continue to push the almost stale Hogan in the Rumble match in 1990? It doesn't make sense. Perfect came out as the number 30 entrant, and the place erupted - because he was over with the fans. It was almost a case of the event was now into the third instalment, and Hogan was yet to be declared the winner, so he guaranteed the latest up-and-coming guy was squashed so he could remain on top.
What about Wrestlemania VI I hear you ask? As good as the Hogan and Warrior build up was, the match was truly a stinker. The slow pace, bulging egos and even worse skill set make the entire main event incredibly dull and boring. Beyond belief.
Say Perfect had won the event in 1990, the lead up between the January pay-per-view and Wrestlemania could have been absolutely sensational. Two faces of the company facing each other added with the companies most over heel, and talented wrestler competing for the biggest prize of them all.
Still not convinced? Who broke Mr Perfect's winning streak that was lasting close to six months at this stage? It was the Warrior for the Intercontinental title in March 1990. Surely the WWE chiefs could have had Perfect as the Rumble winner, now in the mix of a feud with Hogan AND Warrior, and create what would have been one of the most sought after main events in Wrestlemania history?
One of the biggest problems of the early years of the Royal Rumble the victor of the match wasn't guaranteed a title shot at 'Mania, but that still shouldn't have stopped the company pushing the most hated/adored wrestler of the time.
Perfect didn't have to win the main event at 'Mania, as Warrior deserved his victory in Toronto because of how over he found himself with the fans. Nonetheless, Hennig could have and should have become a main eventer following his previous semi-push in late 1989.
The talented Minnesotan wrestler could have gone on to creating a formidable rivalry with Warrior after Wrestlemania also, but that was ignored by officials.
In eight years within the company, Hennig was arguably the best wrestler in the company, continuously producing matches that were jaw-dropping and mesmerising. He would win the Intercontinental title and deservedly so, but unlike so many other stars, that title victory would never see him pushed onto the top stage like Warrior, Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels.
It truly was one of the failures of the WWE during this period.