When Paul Heyman revealed that he would introduce another “Paul Heyman Guy” on Monday Night RAW, wrestling fans desperately expected that it would be Rob Van Dam. However, based on the chorus of boos and the confused looks from the WWE Universe, Paul Heyman made his mark yet again.
No, it’s not another NCAA champion or another independent wrestling sensation, but instead the new “Paul Heyman Guy” is a repackaged Michael McGillicutty. Now known as Curtis Axel, Paul Heyman claimed that he sees a world of potential from the third generation superstar whose new name is a combination of his father “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, and grandfather Larry “The Axe” Hennig. But with a name like Curtis Axel, we might have expected a little rock star flare.
Curtis Axel is quite plain actually, having not changed a thing about him except for his name and his perfect choice of a manager. Gimmicks aside, Curtis is indeed a great wrestler, whose series of matches with Tyson Kidd on WWE’s developmental program NXT showcased his untapped abilities. Paul Heyman sees that, and he now wants the world to know that as well.
But then there’s Triple H who lost to Paul’s other guy Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. He named himself as Curtis’s first opponent and basically dwarfed him in the night’s main event. If not for Triple H suddenly suffering from wobbly knees resulting in the match being thrown away, Curtis’s debut match would have been a death sentence to his career.
Unlike Brock, Curtis Axel has a long road ahead of him to be taken seriously as a main event superstar. It took CM Punk, one of the longest reigning WWE champions in history, five years to become a main stay in the WWE. And Punker had a cult following on the independent circuit before even coming into the WWE. Imagine how much harder it will be for third-generation superstar?
Paul Heyman said it best on RAW, to have a wrestling lineage is an ‘albatross’ that weighs you down in the WWE. Just look at Natalya Neidhart, daughter of WWE Legend Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart; or David Hart Smith, son of one-half of the British Bulldogs Davey Boy Smith; or Jimmy and Jey Uso, sons of Rikishi?
This is a huge undertaking on the part of Paul Heyman, but if anyone can change the perspective of wrestling fans, it’s Paul Heyman. Not only is he one of the best “mouth-pieces” in the business, he has a keen eye for spotting talent. Afterall, it was Heyman that taught Steve Austin the fundamentals of cutting a promo. Let’s hope the same wisdom gets bestowed on Curtis.
It’s too early to tell how this will all play out, but I have faith in not only Paul Heyman, but in Curtis Axel to take the ball and run with it.
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