Curtis Axel, whose real name is Joseph Curtis Hennig, had a pretty decent career in the WWE. However, the son of Mr. Perfect could never use his real name and he recently detailed his battle to use his real name while working in the company.

Axel made his main roster debut alongside The Nexus. He wrestled under the ring name Michael McGillicutty. The company repacked him as Curtis Axel in 2013 as a tribute to his father “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig and grandfather Larry “The Axe” Hennig.

While speaking on Busted Open Radio, Curtis Axel expressed his frustration about not being able to use his real name during his time with the company. He mentioned that the name “Hennig” means a lot to him, and he fought to have his actual name while working for WWE.

Despite Paul Heyman’s efforts to help him reclaim the name, it didn’t materialize. Axel stated that although he was fine with Curtis Axel, he always wanted to be Joe Hennig. Looking forward, he expressed his intention to use his real name when he makes a comeback.


“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.” 

Curtis Axel was also released by WWE back in 2020. We will have to wait and see what the future holds for the former WWE Superstar, as a WWE return may not be in the cards for him.

What do you think of what Curtis Axel had to say? Do you want him to return to WWE? Sound off in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

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