– WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel recently spoke with The Carroll County Times. Here are some highlights from the interview:
If he had any input on the name “Curtis Axel”:
“When I became Michael McGillicutty, ever since that point, I was throwing hundreds of names at them. And I’m sure Axel Curtis or Curtis Axel was in there somewhere. I was talking with a guy that works for WWE, Joey Styles, he actually brought that name up as one of the possibilities. But they didn’t want to go that route with me at first. They wanted to have me do my own thing and not even pay homage to anything to do with my family. Which, you know, is kind of nice, so I can try to do this on my own, and I tried to do the best I could with Michael McGillicutty without any TV time or whatever. But I’m sure that name was pitched as one of the hundreds I threw at them.”
Working with The Rock and Brock Lesnar to get them ready for their respective WrestleMania matches:
“The WWE office, they know they could trust me taking care of those guys. I was so honored. They flied me out to go train with the Rock and that guy is awesome. Training with him, he pays attention to every little detail and crowd reaction. The way he does his moves and he works, it’s so fluid. It’s amazing the way he thinks and the way he works. And just picking his brain, he actually spent time with me and asked me what I did in the ring and different moves that I did, where I could place them to get more reaction from the people and all this kind of stuff. Just picking that guy’s brain, for me, was just unbelievable. I was so honored to be picked to go up there and train with him. And then Brock Lesnar, my god, that guy is a beast. I actually, I’ve known him for many years because he started with Brad Rheingans also, in Minnesota training with my dad, so him and my dad were close friends and all that stuff, so I kind of knew him anyway, so he could trust me and he knew he could help me because my dad helped him, and he likes to give back. He’s been up and down on this road back in the WWE for a little bit now. He’s been in my head, and he’s a Paul Heyman guy, and it’s cool to spend time and have him critique little things that I’m still doing and give me some advice. So it’s pretty sweet dude.”
How he got paired with Paul Heyman:
“We were talking about it and I brought it up to him, what do you think about this, us being together? Brock’s part-time and CM Punk was hurt at the time and I was like, Paul, WWE needs Paul Heyman on television. So that was my pitch to him. But before that, before I was even with him, he would be at the live events and this Raw and Smackdown TVs and he would come up and give me advice. So I was like, man, if this guy wants to take time out of his busy day and help me out, I would approach him with everything I had and he’d help me out, and then I approached him with this pitch and he liked it. We would talk more about it; I think he might’ve brought it up to the higher-ups in WWE and here we are.”
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