Ever since WWE made a huge number of cuts on April 15 – a day
that is already being referred to as Black Wednesday amongst wrestling circles –
there have been constant rumblings that there are still more WWE releases yet to be
announced. And now, the company has announced that Curtis Axel has left WWE.
Having trained under the tutelage of Harley Race and Brad
Rheingans, Joe Hennig – the son of the legendary ‘Mr Perfect’ Curt Hennig and the
grandson of the likewise legendary Larry ‘The Axe’ Hennig – joined WWE in 2007
as a 26-year-old work-in-progress.
After spending three years in the Florida Championship
Wrestling developmental system, Hennig got his big break on main WWE television
at the 2010 Hell in a Cell PPV when he and Husky Harris joined The Nexus.
The highlight of this third generation star’s time with WWE
was likely his five-month reign as the Intercontinental Champion in 2013. It
was during this period that Joe Hennig dumped the awful Michael McGillicutty
name, became a Paul Heyman guy, and took on the Curtis Axel moniker as a way to
pay homage to his heritage.
In the years since that IC Title run, audiences have seen AxelMania
running wild, have been treated to the delights of The Social Outcasts, saw The
Miz get his Miztourage, and then saw Axel and Bo Dallas’ B-Team act bring the
Minnesota native a second stint as a WWE Tag Team Champion.
The last time that we saw Curtis Axel on WWE programming was
on the February 28 edition of SmackDown. There, he lost to Daniel Bryan as part
of the burgeoning rivalry-turned-friendship between Bryan and Drew Gulak.
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