Quite evidently, I must have been unknowingly influenced by a substantial amount of insanity to claim that Paul Heyman's newest client Curtis Axel—one who already has victories against John Cena, Triple H and Chris Jericho under his belt in the early stages of his career—has been booked horribly.
This is probably the apex fantasy of young superstars—to burst onto the scene with a victory over WWE's beloved supermen. Defeating Randy Orton has lost its charm, as Wade Barrett does that often (and then loses to anyone who is not Orton) and defeating Barrett himself is now a joke.
So why do I put forward such supposedly preposterous statements?
Maybe because I read, watch and observe, and Axel clearly hasn't managed to impress a lot of people. The annoying part is he should have by now—the guy has clearly grown past his "This moment on starting now genesis of the genesis of McGillicutty from this moment on" days.
He speaks well in short bursts on the mic and has exhibited decent wrestling ability in the ring so far. He has the best manager anyone in WWE could have today, one who puts him over like he's Stone Cold and The Rock gelled into one and spends every second of every promo trying to make him relevant.
But Curtis Axel hasn't made a telling mark on anyone's mind. He hasn't gotten the fans buzzing, unlike Fandango, The Shield or Bray Wyatt's introductions into our wrestling world. He just exists, goes through the motions and people don't care. Much like The Miz.
Which is why I claim WWE Creative's laziness has garnered another budding victim, rather unfortunately. They seem to be more concerned in building up a reputable record for Curtis Axel, which looks like the ultimate genesis for a WWE Superstar on paper, but have done nothing to solidify and back up the actual matches.
A person who starts watching today would be told that Curtis Axel has defeated Triple H (multiple times), John Cena and Chris Jericho and is now the Intercontinental Champion after his first PPV match. In this new fan's eyes, Curtis Axel is a force to be reckoned with, someone who could take on anyone in WWE (even 3MB).
Others watched the actual matches and saw them play out to be dull matches in which he was dominated for almost the entirety of the fight before the bigger superstar either got distracted, ran out to an ambulance because he got bored, started acting concussed or started fighting his lovely Pops.
Maybe this is WWE's way of setting up a solid foundation for Curtis Axel to build on, and I'm all for giving this guy a chance to make me cheer or hate him—anything that gets a reaction out of the fans is good stuff.
But for that he has to actually prove himself capable of defeating some legends cleanly. Even if he has to rely on distractions, at least get some decent offense in the match and don't get thrown around like a rag doll.
The worst thing WWE could do is shove him right down our throats at a moment when he's still growing onto us—like making him win the Intercontinental Title in his first PPV match. This could've been built to a much bigger moment than it turned out to be. The Intercontinental Title and Mr. Perfect and now Curtis Axel have a deep, compelling backstory of their own that could've been juiced for all it's worth.
Instead, we got a last-minute addition to the triple-threat match and a skyward glance after the victory to complete the story. This was one story that could've helped the title, and it fell victim to lazy booking again.
Once again, before you all choke me with an Anaconda Vise, I reiterate that I have no qualms with Curtis Axel—he's decent overall and I want to give him his chance. The problem is, WWE is not allowing me to.
Shalaj Lawania is known for his disappearing acts, because being there all the time is too mainstream. Do show him love, he needs it. For more love, you can follow him on Twitter if you have a good annoying tweets threshold. For the rest, use Wikipedia.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!