The WWE have been hit and miss with second and third generation pro wrestlers over the last several years. One third generation star that has had success is Randy Orton and the Viper has an interesting take on two fellow third generation stars that are starting to make noise.
Curtis Axel and Bray Wyatt are two of the new WWE young lions who come from third generation gene pools of pro wrestlers. Axel is the grandson of Larry “The Axe” Hennig and son of former WWE intercontinental champion “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig while Wyatt is the grandson of WWE Hall of Famer Blackjack Mulligan and son of former WWE tag team champion Mike “Irwin R. Scheister” Rotunda. With those kinds of lineage the pressure on both to succeed is undoubtedly huge.
Orton is out promotion his new WWE movie 12 Rounds and gave a recent interview to IGN.com. The majority of the interview discusses the movie which was actually pretty interesting. However for me, the hook was Orton’s take on Wyatt and Axel. Like both men Orton is also a third-generation wrestling star and sees big things in the futures of both Axel and Wyatt.
“Well, I’m used to calling him “Husky,” but Bray’s vignettes are awesome. And the other two guys down there in FCW, who are part of his team, are talented. That little group there looks great. I have no idea what we’re in for but those vignettes have everyone’s heads turning backstage. And wrestling is in Bray’s blood. He’s the son of Mike Rotunda – I.R.S. But Curtis Axel is third generation too. And so I think there’s been a lot of pressure on Joe [Hennig] just being the son of “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. I mean, how can there not be a lot of pressure? No disrespect to my father, but Mr. Perfect was around a little more and maybe had more of a following. So people might be more aware of who his father was and because of that I think he has a lot more to live up to. And that whole “Michael McGillicutty” thing? That was just career suicide. But he made it through that. And I think anyone who can make it through having a name like “McGillicutty” for however many years he had it is a survivor. The fact that he made it through shows you that the kid’s got some staying power. And now with Paul Heyman in his back pocket? He’s golden. Give him a couple weeks, a couple months, and he’ll make a big impact.”
I think the biggest takeaway here from Orton were his thoughts on Axel’s run as Michael McGillicutty. It is absolutely amazing that anyone and everyone from fans to the WWE locker room saw how ridiculous it was to take someone with the Hennig name and change it to McGillicutty, yet Vince McMahon and his team of writers thought different. I don’t know how anyone on that team could convince themselves that their idea was better than the Hennig name. I understand that the WWE like to own the names but sometimes you just have to compromise, especially when you are talking about someone with such a recognizable family linage.
A program which could have a lot of potential given the backgrounds if creative can stop being cute and take advantage of the name value they have in Wyatt and Axel.
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