How Managing Curtis Axel Will Be Paul Heyman's True Test at Getting Someone over
Paul Heyman shocked the world on Monday by introducing his newest client, Curtis Axel.
Axel should be familiar to WWE fans as Michael McGillicutty, but his real name is Joe Hennig, and he is the son of the legendary Mr. Perfect.
Curtis Axel is WWE's second attempt to get the third-generation Superstar a spot on the main roster after he was originally a member of the second season of NXT under the McGillicutty name.
There is no doubt that Paul Heyman is one of the greatest heel managers alive today, but just how good will be measured by the success of Curtis Axel.
Axel is a very competent in-ring performer who is more than capable of holding up his end of the bargain when it comes to the wrestling part, but it will be up to Heyman to use his silver tongue to speak for his client.
History as a manager
Paul Heyman cut his teeth as a manager in Florida Championship Wrestling alongside Kevin Sullivan and eventually moving on to Continental Wrestling Association to begin a feud with Jerry Lawler that would carry over to the American Wrestling Association.
When Heyman first began managing wrestlers on national television, it was under the WCW banner as the Paul E. Dangerously character he had developed in FCW.
His group, The Dangerous Alliance, were a major force in WCW throughout 1992. He managed Superstars such as TV Champion Steve Austin, US Champion Rick Rude and Tag Team Champions Larry Zbyszko, Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton.
This is a very overlooked stable in pro wrestling history. It was full of champions, and each member was an incredible in-ring worker.
When Heyman took control of ECW he became more of an authority figure due to his increased backstage duties and less of a manager, although he did manage Sabu to the ECW World title.
Following the purchase of ECW by Vince McMahon in 2001, Heyman served as a commentator, GM, manager and writer for WWE until 2006.
During that time Heyman managed some of the biggest names in WWE, with arguably his biggest success being the grooming of a young Brock Lesnar from a rookie into the youngest WWE champion of all time.
Heyman also managed the likes of Big Show, RVD, The Dudleys and Kurt Angle, but all those guys had already established themselves as major names before being aided by Heyman during this time.
Heyman's only real attempt at getting a new Superstar over during this time was Heidenreich, and we all remember how that turned out.
For the last year since returning, we have only seen Heyman represent Brock Lesnar and CM Punk, two people whose names are certainly enough to bring in fans on their own.
Managing Curtis Axel will be Heyman's first attempt in a long time to get a Superstar over essentially from the ground up.
To many WWE fans, Curtis Axel is someone who is a big question mark at the moment. All they know is that he is the son of Mr. Perfect and he isn't afraid to mix it up with guys like Triple H.
Although it may not be known to many fans, it is actually Axel who has been training with The Rock before his big PPV matches, and he would not have been put in that spot if he didn't have great in-ring skills.
A good manager like Paul Heyman can make a semi-entertaining Superstar into a major player, but it is not always a lock for success,
Vickie Guerrero was someone who WWE thought had enough heat to get over a new name after she parted ways with Edge following their ultra-successful angle as husband and wife.
She was paired with Eric Escobar in the hopes that her ability to attract the loudest boos in the arena would get him over as a heel.
It didn't work at all, and Escobar was soon sent packing. Now, this is not to say that Vickie is anywhere near the level of Paul Heyman, but she works as a good comparison in this situation.
A great manager will not always lead to a Superstar's success, even if that manager is Paul Heyman.
Axel has been toiling away in WWE's developmental system since 2007, so this could be his last chance to really find success in a WWE ring.
While he has a pedigree that will match up with anyone, he is still a wrestler who has to get over on his own merit, and having Paul Heyman as his manager will certainly help things along.
Whether he has any kind of feud with Triple H going forward is yet to be seen, but after what happened on Monday I would not be shocked if we saw The Game vs. Curtis Axel at WWE Payback.
Hopefully for the sake of Curtis Axel, Paul Heyman will be the right guy to lead him to success, because he has the potential to be as good as his Father, possibly better.
What do you think? Is Paul Heyman the right guy to make Curtis Axel into a star, or will he fail to find a place in WWE?
Thanks for reading and follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor
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