Joe Hennig, now Curtis Axel, has a lot to live up to.
The third-generation superstar won tag team gold with Nexus with David Otunga under his former alias, Michael McGillicutty. Since then, he’s dabbled in being irrelevant. However, that was only on the TV screen.
Hennig helped The Rock get back into ring shape for his matches with John Cena and CM Punk. He reportedly earned praise from both Rock and Triple H. Now, being repackaged as Curtis Axel with a certain infamous manager is a reward.
Paul Heyman as Axel’s manager is the missing ingredient Curtis Axel needs.
Heyman solves many of Axel’s problems that might develop over time, including promo skills and drawing heat from the crowd. However, old fans can guess that Axel’s name might stir some bad memories.
Curtis Axel represents the Hennig legacy: Curtis for his father Curt Hennig and Axel for his grandfather Larry “The Axe” Hennig. The similarity in his name draws from “Rocky Maivia,” now known as The Rock. Rock’s first name was drawn from his family as well, with Rocky standing for Rocky Johnson and Maivia for High-Chief Peter Maivia. Let’s not forget how Rock was booed mercilessly in 1997 until he became “The Rock.”
Axel, already a heel, will pass that because of Heyman. The manager can do wonders for almost every one of his “clients.” He’s the mouthpiece for Brock Lesnar. He amplified CM Punk’s status during the latter half of Punk’s WWE title reign.
Another plus for Heyman is acquiring a worker. Lesnar works the powerhouse matches, Punk works any style, and Axel is another worker. Not many have seen him work, but he can.
Axel proved that while under the NXT brand with fantastic matches against Tyson Kidd. He’s shown he can carry a feud as well with nice promo work. That's also evident after working with Triple H and John Cena two Raws in a row.
Heyman gained a valuable asset in Curtis Axel. He can truly utilize him to his fullest potential. It’s only a matter of time before Curtis Axel is a fixture in the WWE, all thanks to Paul Heyman.