– We noted back in 2011 that Curtis Axel was working with The Rock to prepare for Rock’s Survivor Series match and then the WrestleMania 28 match. WWE’s website has a new interview with Axel talking about working with The Rock during those sessions. Axel commented on how the opportunity came about:
“I think that I gained some trust within the WWE organization, and they picked me because they had faith in me being safe, not injuring him and really making him step up his game to get his wind ready, and his body back in shape for all the strenuous activity he was about to endure at WrestleMania. So I think they just had trust in me, and I think that’s what it boiled down to. Plus, we both come from a pedigree. Me and Rock have always had that bond, just because of the generational thing. So I think that had something to do with it. He trusted me, and WWE trusted me, so that’s how all that came about.”
Axel also commented on The Rock sending him a text message before he debuted as a Paul Heyman Guy:
“Yeah, when I became [a Paul Heyman Guy], he heard it through the pipeline that I was going to re-debut and he sent me an awesome text saying good luck. It was a really motivational text, helped me out and got me focused, because I was a nervous wreck that day. It really helped me out a lot hearing that from him. And from time to time, like, I saw him at WrestleMania 30, we had a good talk, and he’s a motivating guy, and just to hear him say, “Hey, man, you’re doing good,” really means a lot to me.”
Axel also trained with Brock Lesnar for Lesnar’s return in 2012. He talked about that experience:
“Nonstop. I mean, we would wrestle a half-hour without a break, just going back and forth and basically doing a whole match. There was a moment, and he might get mad at me for saying this, but there was a moment where we stopped for a second and he said to me, “I’m going to beat your ass all the way to the corner, and then I’m going to take a step back. And when I come back to you, I want you to beat my ass all the way back to the other corner. And if it’s not up to my standards, if it’s not sufficient enough and I don’t think you’re aggressive, you know what’s going to happen to you.”
And in my head I’m thinking, “What does this mean?!?” so, it happened. I beat his ass all the way to the corner as aggressive as I could, I got up waiting for him to do something and he said, “That’s good.” And we moved on.”
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