The sad news for the wrestling world continues, as PWInsider is reporting that the legendary Larry “The Axe” Hennig has passed away at the age of 82.
For most modern wrestling fans, Larry Hennig is best known as the father of the late “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig — and the grandfather of current WWE Superstar, and member of “The B-Team,” Curtis Axel. However, he had a tremendous run throughout his own career.
Before stepping into the professional wrestling world, Hennig was the Minnesota State High School Heavyweight Champion in amateur wrestling. He also received a scholarship to the University of Minnesota to wrestle and to play football. However, he didn’t finish his academic career — because of family responsibilities.
Those same family responsibilities led him to professional wrestling, as he saw it as a good way to make money to support his family.
Hennig was trained by Verne Gagne when he first got into the professional wrestling game. Gagne was also one of the opponents he feuded with throughout his career, which often put Hennig in the role of one of the top heels in the territory.
The most well-known part of Larry Hennig’s professional wrestling career is his run as AWA Tag Team Champion with Harley Race. Race would go on to be considered one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and one of the definitive NWA World Heavyweight Champions.
The bad week for pro wrestling continues as we bid farewell to one of the nicest guys in the business with the passing of Larry "The Axe" Hennig. pic.twitter.com/uRFNgWpOeZ
— Mike Mooneyham (@ByMikeMooneyham) December 6, 2018
In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel in 2000, Hennig spoke about his time teaming with Harley Race — and how well they worked together.
“We were very different, especially when it came to the styles we used. But we clicked. We had good chemistry, and we got better with every match. At the beginning, some people questioned our teaming up, but it worked very, very well.”
Aside from his tag team work, Hennig was known for his toughness. In a match, Hennig suffered severe tendon and cartilage tears, but he went onto finish the match anyway — and refused to go to the hospital. Instead, he and Race drove hours back to Minnesota before he would even see a doctor.
Hennig’s list of accomplishments is vast. Some of his championships and hall of fame inductions follow.
- AWA World Tag Team Championship — 4 times.
- AWA Midwest Tag Team Championship — 1 time.
- IWA World Tag Team Championship — 1 time.
- NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championship — 1 time.
- Iron Mike Mazurki Award from the Cauliflower Alley Club in 2015.
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
He even challenged Bruno Sammartino for the WWF Championship.
As of this writing, no cause of death has been revealed.