By Austin Ward
Curtis Axel is definitely a bright, young talent. Grandson of Larry "The Axe" Hennig and son of Curt Hennig aka Mr. Perfect, Curtis certainly has wrestling in his blood. He's already got an impressive resume in the short month that he's been in WWE. He holds wins over the likes of John Cena, Chris Jericho, and Triple H three times. Axel also has the honor of saying he's a Paul Heyman guy. Now this Sunday, at WWE Payback, Curtis Axel has a shot of becoming the new Intercontinental Champion.
Being a third generation superstar already gives one some lofty expectations. So far Axel's looked very impressive in the ring and you can tell he's been working really hard to improve in that aspect. One of the things I've noticed is he still needs a little work on the mic, but that can come with time. While it's impressive that he holds wins over the likes of Jericho, Cena, and Triple H, it seems like its been going a little too fast. Curtis Axel wasn't even scheduled to be in the Intercontinental Championship match, but a concussion suffered by Fandango put him in the triple threat match against Miz and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett.
I just always get rubbed the wrong way when it comes to new superstars getting pushed too fast. I'm a fan of a new superstar coming in, dominating a few low card superstars, building up to Intercontinental or United States Champion, and then finally when it appears they've reached their max potential, put them in the WWE or World Heavyweight title picture. I'm not saying that Curtis Axel would've been in the title picture, but the fact that he beat the current WWE Champion, count out or not, says something. Curtis has so much to learn and a lot of time to work on his technical skills and get better as a wrestler. Don't blow it by pushing him too fast, the last time WWE tried that with a new superstar was Tensai and looked how that turned out. He's now a dancer with Brodus Clay.
If the WWE is smart, Curtis Axel will walk out of Chicago Sunday with the Intercontinental Championship. Wade Barrett has proved his in ring skill, is very close to his max potential, and should soon move up to the World Heavyweight title picture. I don't see the Miz going any higher than mid card status but he doesn't need the Intercontinental Championship to have a good feud with a mid card superstar. Curtis Axel would be perfect and I hope WWE sees it that way. This would be a perfect time for Curtis to work on his craft, be viewed as a champion, and develop nice feuds with credible superstars. Also Sunday is Father's Day, and I think it would be fitting for Curtis Axel to win his first ever WWE single's championship with the great Mr. Perfect looking down on him.