A Hennig is a terrible thing to waste.
WWE has been wasting what they have in Joe “I refuse to call him Michael McGillicutty” Hennig.
He's a third-generation star being the son of Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig and grandson of Larry “The Axe” Hennig.
I would understand if Joe Hennig wasn't being used because WWE figured out that he's a guy trying to make money by going into the business because of his family heritage but that he was no good. However, this isn't the case. He's got it.
He has the talent, the experience in the ring, the timing, the respect for the business and its customs.
He is about to turn 33 years old. He isn't ancient in wrestling, but he isn't a rookie anymore. It's his time. Less-talented men with less experience, less love for the business and less care from the audience have been given more.
The only thing negative I can say is that I never felt he had an outstanding look. He's in great physical shape but is somewhat generic in his general appearance.
While my own take is that he has a generic look, the moment you recognize and advertise him as Mr. Perfect's son―you don't see generic anymore.
Mr. Perfect is considered one of the best performers ever. Terrific in the ring and always entertaining as he displayed his “perfection.” You have a chance to capitalize off of his legacy and nostalgia. So do it.
It would be a great attention-grabber for Joe Hennig. It can capture the attention of the audience. Once the attention is captured, he then can create his own image and legacy.
WWE did mention his family heritage when he was on NXT. That was it. Never spoken of after that.
I've heard some people in the business tell me they think WWE didn't exploit the family name and gave him Michael McGillicutty to avoid putting pressure on him. They didn't want him to have to perform and live up to the Hennig or Mr. Perfect gimmick. Not pressure so much with the audience, but pressure with his peers. Pressure with the legends who are still involved in the business who worked every day with Curt Hennig.
No matter what his name is in the ring, everyone in the business knows who he is. We're better off accepting the family name and letting him perform with it rather than giving him a ridiculous name like McGillicutty.
The only McGillicutty I want to see is Beulah.
WWE likes to own the names and the intellectual property. If Joe Hennig is his legal name, they can't own it. I get the business decision on WWE's part.
What about Joe Perfect?
This incorporates his real first name and his father's gimmick last name. This also can be a takeoff of when people use the hypothetical of “Joe blow” or “average Joe.” Those hypothetical terms are used for your everyday, nothing-special-about-him kinda guy.
Well, he isn't your everyday guy, he is perfect. Joe Perfect.