Curtis Axel Will Win Fans over with Strong Showing vs. CM Punk

Justin LaBarFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2013

Photo courtesy of
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Curtis Axel is going to have his greatest night yet on Sunday because he's going to go over on CM Punk.

Punk has to get his hands on Paul Heyman. That's what needs to be accomplished on Sunday. We need conclusion to that story.

Axel has shifted into neutral the entire time Heyman and Punk have been feuding. The focus has been on them and Brock Lesnar. Axel needs a strong match on pay-per-view and an impressive win.

Punk and Heyman know this. They're all about doing what is best for business. Punk is very much about putting people over. Both Punk's efforts and Axel's talents are going to make this the best match of Axel's career.

There are Axel fans because they followed his career back when he was Michael McGillicutty. Some also are fans simply due to their love for his father.

There are also fans who don't like Axel.  Since being repackaged in June under Heyman's direction, they haven't got to see much of him. Axel has not been present enough in storylines to justify the hype he got when first being revealed as the next "Paul Heyman Guy."

Axel's number of matches on television has decreased as the summer has gone on. He hasn't had any reason to be positioned anywhere or have any feuds.

This will be the night that any doubters of Axel's will be won over. They will see him in a memorable match with Punk. They will see him get a win. They will remember him being part of a memorable night when Punk gets as physical as ever on Heyman and concludes their feud.

If Axel doesn't walk away with a win in the match, I'll be confused. Punk's legacy doesn't need him to win. He just need to scuffle with Heyman.

If Axel doesn't win this match, how else can you ever expect him to get over and earn respect with the crowd? If he can't stake a claim both from a story standpoint and a behind the scenes standpoint with Heyman and Punk, I can't think of any other logical or realistic way for him to progress.

He has a lot of talent. We saw glimpses of it in the consecutive matches he won on Raw when first debuting. He got to work with Triple H. That is affirmation he's got what it takes in the ring.

We know this match won't end the night. In fact, given the emotion it should carry, I wouldn't be shocked if they keep this match towards the front of the pay-per-view so it doesn't take away from the WWE Championship and vice versa. This is the first Night of Champions that won't be ending with a match involving either Punk or John Cena.

It won't be a main event match for Punk but it will be for Axel's career.