Curt Hennig, known to WWE fans as Mr. Perfect, passed away nine years ago today. It was on Feb. 10, 2003 that Hennig was found dead in a hotel room in Florida. Hennig had passed away from a combination of cocaine, steroids and painkillers in his system.
Hennig would have been 53 years old if he was still alive today. He would also see two of his children follow the Hennig family tradition and be professional wrestlers.
His daughter, Amy, has been training to wrestle and won't get signed by a major promotion just yet.
His son, however, works for WWE.
Joe Hennig, known to the WWE fans as Michael McGillicutty, has used his father's name very scarcely in his tenure with WWE.
(Note: For the purposes of this discussion, Joe Hennig will just be referred to by his ring name, so as to differentiate between discussion of him and his Hall of Fame father.)
Hennig was a beloved superstar over the years. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007, four years after his death.
Had he been alive still, would Mr. Perfect even be in the Hall of Fame?
That might not be entirely clear.
His widow signed a Legends contract on Hennig's behalf following his death. Prior to that, the last thing Hennig ever did with WWE was the infamous "plane ride from hell."
A plane ride in 2002 with WWE cost Hennig his job with the company. After taking drugs with Scott Hall, Hennig got onto the plane and drank, making a very dangerous combination.
The details of the entire plane ride can be recapped here, but it was the last real connection WWE had with Mr. Perfect. Hennig would compete for TNA in late 2002 and into 2003. Hennig's last match with TNA came weeks before his death.
If Hennig is still alive and not in good graces with WWE, chances are that McGillicutty would never have signed with WWE either. Still, there is a chance that things would have been mended and Mr. Perfect would still take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.
As far as McGillicutty's career right now, what would Hennig think of it?
His son impressed in FCW and was the runner-up for the second season of NXT. Who knows what Hennig would have thought of his son's epic failure of a promo following his elimination.
It even seemed like McGillicutty would lead a second coming of the Nexus with some of the other rookies. Instead, McGillicutty joined Nexus.
McGillicutty would end up becoming a WWE Tag Team Champion with David Otunga. As Otunga became a legal consultant and a regular member of Raw broadcasts, McGillicutty is almost never seen on WWE programming, be it on TV or on the Internet.
If Hennig was in good graces with WWE, would that have helped McGillicutty?
Perhaps it would be a similar on-screen relationship from Randy Orton and "Cowboy" Bob Orton.
Then again, the McGillicutty name could have been a way for Hennig to have his son wish to blaze his own trail away from the legacy of perfection.
Speaking of perfection, it was Dolph Ziggler, not McGillicutty, who would use a gimmick that would gain many comparisons to Mr. Perfect.
How would Hennig have reacted to it?
While it never has officially been confirmed, it would be believed that McGillicutty was supposed to join the main roster and proclaim that he was perfection, but was not ready between difficulty developing and injuries down at FCW.
Ziggler's work ethic would have to be respected by Hennig, who was believed to be one of the great workers in WWE history. As Ziggler has looked to separate himself and start his own path, he is no longer the next Curt Hennig, but rather the first Nick Nemeth (that's Ziggler's real name, for those who don't know).
In short, Curt Hennig is still missed from the wrestling world as he has been gone from the world for nine years.
It's hard to predict what Hennig's place with WWE would be if he had never passed away, but the landscape of the country certainly has Curt Hennig's fingerprints all over it.