Only a day after the passing of the Dynamite Kid, the pro wrestling world mourns the loss of another legend. Larry Hennig, “The Axe,” former multiple-time AWA World Tag Team Champion, has reportedly died at the age of 82. Hennig is best known to modern WWE fans as the father of the late Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig, and as the grandfather of current WWE Superstar Curtis Axel.
Hennig entered the sport way back in 1956, training under Verne Gagne, and competed for the AWA and NWA throughout the ’60s, ’70s, and even into the ’80s. He’s also notably on the list of people who unsuccessfully challenged Bruno Sammartino for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship title at Madison Square Garden. Pro wrestling became a way for The Axe — named after his devastating elbow drop — to take care of his family, and became the family business. He teamed with his son Curt to feud with the Road Warriors in the 1980s and won the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championship as a father/son team. In the following decades he’d make infrequent appearances on WCW and WWF television, usually in the crowd for his son’s (and eventually, grandson’s) big matches.
We send our condolences out to the Hennig family and their friends, and would sure like to stop losing wrestling legends this week. Here are a few Axe clips to remember him by.