Larry Hennig Shoot Interview

Larry “The Axe” Hennig is a true legend in the sport of professional wrestling, and the architect of a wrestling dynasty. RF Video had the honor of sitting down for what Larry called, “the best interview he ever did.” As Larry said, “You guys were the first to cover everything from start to finish.” The interview is fascinating whether you are a fan of Larry, his son Curt, or his era of the business.

Larry talks extensively about his relationship with Verne Gagne. Why would Larry have bad feelings towards someone he worked for most of his career? You will find out what led to the falling out between these two. Larry talks quite a bit about the AWA. Larry talks about all of the famous AWA personalities like Nick Bockwinkel, Bobby Heenan, Crusher, Bruiser, Wally Karbo, the Gagnes, Baron Von Rachke, the Vachons, and provides some hilarious anecdotes to go with the names.

Larry goes in depth about his legendary run with Harley Race as tag team champions. Larry tells some great road stories about going on the road with one of wrestling’s most colorful personalities. Larry recounts occasions where both men took each other to the hospital. Larry talks about the night Harley Race was stabbed in a bar. Larry talks about tagging with Harley and what made their team so good. Larry talks a lot about the valued relationship he has to this day with the legend.

The interview also covers a lot about his famous son, Curt Hennig. Larry talks about taking Curt on the road as a kid. Larry talks about why Curt got into the business, and training his son. Larry gives his thoughts on Curt’s tenure at Verne Gagne’s wrestling camp. Larry talks about wrestling with his son and his son’s early days on the territories. Larry gives a great story about a match he and Curt had with the Road Warriors in the Meadowlands. Larry also talks about advising his son throughout his career. What were some of Larry’s proudest moments as the father of Curt? Larry also recounts a contentious meeting with he, his son, and Vince McMahon and a bidding war between WWF and WCW for Curt.

In what was truly a precious moment, Larry talks about the passing of Curt. Larry gets very emotional when recounting of the day he and his family found about Curt. Larry talks about how his death impacts the family to this day. Larry also talks about what it meant to induct Curt at two Hall of Fame ceremonies. It is almost impossible not to shed a tear when listing to Larry talk about losing his on at such an early age.

Whether you were a fan of the AWA, Larry Hennig, Curt, Larry’s era of stars like Lou Thesz and Karl Gotch, Larry has great stories. Larry also has fantastic stories about some of wrestling’s biggest stars like Ric Flair, Superstar Graham, Dusty Rhodes, and others as they were coming up the ranks of the wrestling business. Larry’s memory is impeccable and he is one of the best storytellers ever to sit down with RF Video.

Howd you get started
Why did you drop out of school
Was the training more difficult than you thought
What was the kayfabe like for a young guy back then
Memories of your first match
What are some of the things you remember you did to pay your dues
Who mentored you early on
Who named you Pretty Boy
Memories of Joe Pazandak
What were some of the early territories you worked
How did you wind up in the AWA
Initial memories of Verne Gagne
What was he like as a trainer
Memories of Duke Hoffman
What was the Minnesota territory like travel wise
Memories of Crusher
Memories of Bruiser
Who did you like to travel with throughout your career
Memories of matches with Red Bastien
Memories of Baron Von Rachke
Were you on the plane for that infamous Mad Dog Vachon plane story
Memories of Nick Bockwinkel
Memories of teaming with Ray Stevens
Memories of Billy Robinson
Do you think he was a bit of a bully
Memories of the Amarillo territory
Memories of the Funks
Who’s idea was it to team you with Harley Race
Did you know you guys had something right away
What did you like most about Harley
Memories of teaming with Chris Markoff
Memories of touring Australia
Memories of Jim Barnett
Memories of matches with Mark Lewin and Dom Denucci
Memories of Pat O Connor
Memories of matches with Crusher and Bruiser
Was it frustrating when Verne kept putting the belts on himself
What happened the night you wrestled John Powers and injured your knee
Is it true that Verne asked you to keep working
Is it true that you only got an extra $50
Was Verne cheap
Memories teaming with Lars Anderson
Memories of matches with a young Andre the Giant
How hard was it to come back from your knee injury
Were you a lot more limited with your mobility
How come you didn’t leave with Harley to work somewhere together fulltime
Compare teaming with Lars to teaming with Harley
Memories of working the Florida territory for Eddie Graham
Memories of matches with Ron Fuller
Memories of matches with Rocky Johnson
Memories teaming with Dirty Dusty Rhodes
Memories of matches against Dusty
Did you think Dusty had it to be a successful babyface
Thoughts on Greg Gagne
Memories of matches with the Gagnes
Memories of your babyface turn against Bockwinkel and Stevens
Did you like wrestling as a babyface
Memories of making The Wrestler
Are you surprised its being remade
Memories teaming with Jos LeDuc
When did you realize Curt was going to wrestle
How hard were you on him in training
Are you surprised so many Minnesota kids went into wrestling and became successful
Did you think Curt had it when you were training
Who’s idea was it to send him around the territories for experience
Memories teaming with him
Memories of matches with the Road Warriors
Did they give you a hard time about selling
You beat Roddy Piper in 10 seconds in his debut. Do you remember it
Memories working for Vince SR
Did you like him
Memories of Pedro Morales
Memories of matches with Bruno Sammartino
Who were your favorite and least favorite promoters to work for
Memories of Lou Thesz
Memories of the Valiants
Do you think if Verne went national in the 70s or early 80s he could have done what Vince JR did
Memories of matches with Danny Hodge
Memories of Billy Graham
Memories of Wahoo McDaniel
Memories of Bobby Heenan
Memories of Johnny Valentine
Memories of matches with Bill Watts
Memories of matches with Tim Woods
Memories wrestling Jack Brisco
How important was it to know how to hook when you broke in
Did Verne try and get you involved when he got on ESPN
What did you think when you heard Vince was going national
How important was it to you to see your son win the AWA title
Did you give Curt any advice when he made the jump to Vince
How close did you monitor his career
What did you think of the Mr. Perfect character
How proud of him are you when you hear a lot of wrestlers today cite him as an influence
He and Bret Hart had tremendous matches, thoughts on Stu
Did WWE ever try and get you to come back for any angles with Curt
What made you finally decide to hang it up
Were you surprised when Verne went under
Do you think he lost touch
Is it true that there are still bad feelings between you two
Where were you when you heard about Curt
How difficult was that on you and your wife
What do you think happened
How did it change your life
Why do you think there have been so many deaths the last several years
Do you think that the government should investigate wrestling
Was there any pressure to use steroids when you were in the business
How important was it for you to induct Curt into the Hall of Fame
What makes someone a good heel in your opinion
Is there anyone that made it that surprised you and made it and is there anyone who didn’t make it who you thought would
Do you still watch wrestling
Thoughts on UFC and comparisons to pro wrestling
Do you want to write a book
Is it hard to adjust to life after pro wrestling
What do you do today
Fav and least fav guys to work with
Fav ribs and road stories
Favorite ribs
Thoughts on the lack of kayfabe today
Do you still have a passion for the business
What do you miss most and least about being a full time wrestler