Ex-WWE Star Was Frustrated Due To Wanting To Use Real Name

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A former WWE star admits that he would have liked to use his real name when he worked for the company.

As a third-generation wrestler, former WWE superstar Curtis Axel looks back on his run in the company and admits he wanted to use his family name.

During his WWE career that lasted from 2007 to 2020, he wrestled as Joe Hennig in FCW, then he was Michael McGillicutty and then he became Curtis Axel. While he used those names, the company would also mention he was the son of the late, great WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect, who also wrestled using his real name, Curt Hennig. Axel’s grandfather was also a wrestler named Larry “The Ax” Hennig.

When WWE signs a wrestler, they oftentimes like to give them a unique name that the company can trademark. Some legendary wrestlers got to use their real names like John Cena, Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, Mickie James and others, but many of them are given unique, gimmick names.

In an interview with Busted Open Radio, Axel talked about wanting to use his real name Joe Hennig, and noted that even his on-screen Paul Heyman tried to help him with that.

“I’ve always wanted my name. My last name means the world to me. The name Hennig. I fought it the whole time I was up there. I fought it when I became Curtis Axel. Even Heyman [Paul Heyman] tried helping me get that name, my name back. They just wouldn’t budge.”

“I was fine with Curtis Axel, you take Curt, Curtis, and Axe is Larry ‘The Axe,’ so it was cool and that was fine with me, but I always wanted to be Joe Hennig.”

“When I was in developmental in FCW, I was Joe Hennig. I won the world championship there as Joe Hennig, and once I got brought up, they changed my name, I thought it was some kind of rib. It wasn’t. When I comeback, that’s something I’m going to work out. I’m not doing anything except be Joe Hennig.”

What Titles Did Curtis Axel Win In WWE?

The biggest championship that Axel won in WWE was the Intercontinental Title which he won at WWE Payback 2013 and held for 156 days. Axel also was a two-time Raw Tag Team Champion with his first reign teaming with David Otunga and the second reign was with Bo Dallas when they were allies of The Miz.

Axel hasn’t wrestled since his WWE release in 2020 and it’s unknown if he plans to compete in the ring again.

H/T Fightful