• By Anthony Cox, Kayfabe Kickout Senior Columnist

Often Imitated, Never Eliminated: Axelmania Runs Wild!

In the world of professional wrestling, you have those wrestlers who only got into it for one reason! It’s because they just want to be like dad. We have seen it plenty of times in wrestling history whether it be The Harts or the Von Erichs, where kids get into wrestling because they want to be just like their famous father. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. For every Rock or Randy Orton, there is David Flair or a Shawn "Don’t Call Me Meat" Stasiak. Sometimes the shoes of the father are simply just too big to fill. Sometimes the son just isn’t as talented in the ring or lacks the charisma, and sometimes there is just that special something missing. When Joe Hennig, son of the legendary Mr. Perfect & grandson of the great Larry "The Axe" Hennig, first started wrestling I thought that he was going to be a shoe-in as one of the successful wrestlers who followed their father’s footsteps. A 3rd generation wrestler, who was named Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year in 2008, Hennig seemed on the verge of breaking out especially with a great run down in WWE’s FCW territory. Then came that crappy NXT show, and he is saddled with a dumb name and added to the New Nexus before finally being repackaged as Curtis Axel and as a Paul Heyman guy. You would think an IC Title run & a seal of approval from Paul Heyman would finally get the guy where he wanted to go, right? WRONG. As soon as he lost the IC Title, he was dropped from Heyman and started teaming with Ryback as Rybaxel where they had that horrible blended theme song. Basically, he flopped and no one cared. Not actually making it into this year’s Royal Rumble match because of the Erik Rowan attack may have been a blessing in disguise for Axel. Axel showing up on Raw and Smackdown each week talking about how he had never been eliminated from the Royal Rumble has been entertaining. I have also enjoyed the "Axelmania" hashtag and t-shirt! We are seeing some great mic work from a guy who was never all that good on the mic before. Here we have a guy who hasn’t really been all that over getting himself over with something entertaining because the whole thing is silly! I have always enjoyed things that are so stupid that it comes off as funny, and this is one of those things. He comes off as serious and it is being done so over the top, that I have a hard time booing the guy! He is peaking at the right time while on the road to Wrestlemania. The end game of this whole thing has to be him winning that Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Now I know that it isn’t winning the Royal Rumble, and I know that it is pretty much a battle royal for midcarders who creative has nothing available for at the moment. Why not have them all battle over some goofy looking trophy? He will eliminate guys like Adam Rose, Heath Slater and the New Day to win the match, but it’s all good. I would look forward to the promos he would have after winning, and he can have his Wrestlemania moment that every always wants to talk about. Every time he comes on my screen from here to Wrestlemania 31, I can tell you that I will be watching just to see what he says. I have also been checking out his Twitter. It is just good stuff all around, and I hope that this is the thing that finally gets him the push that he wants. Curtis Axel isn’t perfect, but he may be on to something here! Hopefully he will be able to carve something out of this. He doesn’t have to be the next Mr. Perfect, just the first Curtis Axel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @whosantcox! Give me your thoughts and feedback, and I promise I will respond back. It’s what I do! Catch ya next time, wrestling fans!

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