Old School Hits: 1998 Topps WCW/NWO Autographs
Inspired by this Wax Heaven post, I’ve decided to show off one of my personal favorite cards, a 1998 Topps WCW/NWO Autograph of the late Curt Hennig. Hennig made his professional debut in the (now defunct) AWA in the early 1980’s and rose to stardom under the “Mr. Perfect” moniker in the World Wrestling Federation during the latter part of the decade. Originally, Curt wasn’t even the one intended to have that gimmick, but it’s hard to believe that anyone else could’ve made it work they way he did. Curt’s natural ability and charisma led to some of the greatest matches and vignettes ever.
Hennig worked there from 1988-96 and returned in 2002 for one last hurrah. His performance at the 2002 Royal Rumble earned him a full-time spot on the roster, but after a few months, Curt was fired after supposedly fighting with Brock Lesnar on an infamous plane ride. Yes, that Brock Lesnar.
Less than a year after his release, Hennig was tragically found dead in a hotel in Florida of acute cocaine intoxication. He was just 44 and left behind four children, one of whom (son Joe) currently wrestles in a developmental program for WWE.
This trading card is from a World Championship Wrestling (where Hennig wrestled from 1997-00) set produced in 1998. The autographed cards, a hobby exclusive, were found 1 in every 48 packs, and ranged from Hulk Hogan to well, this. These cards don’t pop up very often so when I saw this on the ‘Bay two years ago, I had to go for it. It cost me around $50 and it was well worth it. With an impressive resume that included the AWA World and Tag Titles, WCW United States and Tag Titles, and the WWE Intercontinental Title, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007. There was one glaring omission from that resume, however, and that was the WWE Championship that he never won. It’s a shame they never decided to put the strap on him. It would’ve been, well…perfect.