The effects of the global pandemic forced WWE to take a series of drastic measures to stay alive. The Stamford-based federation has released a slew of superstars and behind-the-scenes insiders over the past couple of years.
The simultaneous rise of All Elite Wrestling has certainly not helped the Stamford-based federation, which has seen some of its talents stolen. In the war of ratings, AEW has taken over WWE in the 18 to 49-year-old demographic.
As if that weren't enough, Tony Khan's company has managed to sign two authentic legends of the caliber of CM Punk and Bryan Danielson. In the latest edition of his 'Grilling JR' podcast, legendary Jim Ross said he was surprised that Curtis Axel stepped away from wrestling after being released by WWE in 2020.
Curt Hennig worked in the service of Vince McMahon from 2007 to 2020, climbing the ranks with commitment and dedication. During his career, Axel held the Intercontinental Championship once and the tag team title twice.
Jim Ross praises Curtis Axel
"I'm a little surprised that Curtis Axel didn't stay in the wrestling world after his farewell to WWE," confided Jim Ross.
“I've always had a soft spot for that boy, I love him. I met him in person and he made a very good impression on me. From what I have been told, he takes care of his mother and his whole family. It would be a real shame if an athlete like him could no longer find space in this business” - he added.
Ross wanted to defend Triple H from criticism: “I'm not sure why, but someone spread the word that The Game wasn't a hard worker. HHH was a great heel and has grown into a formidable wrestler over the years. My feeling is that many people do not appreciate his work for political reasons."
As the post above shows, he appeared to cryptically reference his WWE SmackDown visit the following day on Twitter. Unlike many released WWE stars, Axel has not spoken much about his exit from the company. The former B-Team member worked for WWE from 2007 to 2020.
Axel’s biggest WWE accomplishment came in 2013 when he won the Intercontinental Championship from Wade Barrett at WWE Payback on Father’s Day. He also became a Tag Team Champion during his time as a member of The New Nexus (w/David Otunga) and The B-Team (w/Bo Dallas).
Former WWE producer Arn Anderson said on his ARN podcast in 2020 that he could not understand why Axel’s lineage was not referenced more often.