3 Obstacles Curtis Axel Has to Overcome to Be Successful
I'm excited for Curtis Axel.
He's a talented guy with a rich family history who has been paired with the best talker in WWE, Paul Heyman.
As excited as I am, nervous isn't far behind.
Despite all he has going for him, he's going to have obstacles to overcome.
Here are the three biggest, in order of least challenging to most, that stand in the way of Curtis Axel.
3. His Look
Curtis Axel doesn't have a bad look. He also doesn't have an outstanding look.
I like Dean Ambrose and he doesn't have an over-the-top look. But Axel isn't being compared to Ambrose; he's being compared to Brock Lesnar and CM Punk because they are the two previous clients of Paul Heyman.
Brock Lesnar had a look. His imposing size made him stand out. CM Punk wasn't anywhere near the size of Lesnar, but he had a unique look with the tattoos, piercings and hair.
Axel has a facial resemblance to Ben Roethlisberger and a generic wrestler look otherwise. He has generic ring gear and a generic build. This means he's going to have to do extra to stand out. He needs to have good facials to sell the story.
Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair weren't the tallest, strongest or most noticeable wrestlers, but they weren't critiqued because their charisma, in-ring talent, promos and stories occupied the audience's attention.
That's what needs to happen for Curtis Axel to overcome the look obstacle.
2. His Age
Age is just a number. You are what you act. You act how you feel.
All of these cliches about age are fine for dating and social standards, but age is reality to the body.
Axel is 33 years old. CM Punk is currently 34 and Lesnar 35. Axel's current age is typically when wrestlers are at the peak of their careers.
We've seen guys like Batista not reach their prime until 35 or later. Everyone is different. However, Axel's age certainly will be an obstacle.
At 33, he can at least say that he's been in the main event of WWE Raw with Triple H. He must keep that momentum, stay healthy and make the most out of every month ahead.
That's how he can overcome the obstacle of age.
1. His Hype
The biggest obstacle for Axel is the hype that currently surrounds him. Whether it's from the fans who have been begging to see him used as a continuation of his father's legacy since he first appeared in NXT, or the fans who only know him as Heyman's new client—it's a lot of hype.
Axel is being compared to Lesnar and Punk because of his association with Heyman.
Nobody really knew Lesnar when he debuted and was dubbed “The Next Big Thing.”
Even as aggressive as the hardcore fans of wrestling can be, on the grand scale, CM Punk wasn't known or held to significant expectation when arriving in WWE.
Axel has the hype to be as significant as those two Heyman clients, and live up to the family name.
Lesnar and Punk also became Heyman's clients in a very organic fashion, without much build.
Axel has the perfect build and stage for success—but it's going to take perfect execution to simultaneously overcome failure with his look, age and the hype that surrounds him.