|Ring Names|| Joe Hennig|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||232 lbs (105 kg)|
|Born||October 1 1979|
|Trained by|| Brad Rheingans|
|Debut||July 13, 2007|
Joseph Curtis "Joe" Hennig (October 1, 1979) is an American professional wrestler. He is signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and working on the Raw brand, where he is a member of The Nexus. He previously wrestled at their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). He was part of the second season of WWE NXT under the ring name Michael McGillicutty. He is the son of WWE Hall of Famer, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig.
Professional wrestling career
World League Wrestling (2007–2008)
Hennig made his professional debut on July 13, 2007 in Waterloo, Iowa for World League Wrestling (WLW), teaming with Ted DiBiase, Jr. to defeat Dinn T. Moore and Branden Tatum by disqualification. Hennig later went on an nine-month winning streak in WLW before suffering his first singles loss to "Wild" Wade Chism.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2008–present)
Florida Championship Wrestling
On March 31, 2007, Hennig along with his mother, siblings, and his grandfather represented his father "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig at the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony by accepting the award on his behalf. On the October 26, 2007 episode of SmackDown, Hennig teamed with Steve Fender in a loss to Jesse and Festus.
Hennig signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment and was assigned to its developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). On September 11, 2008, Hennig and Sebastian Slater defeated Nic Nemeth and Gavin Spears to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. On October 30, Hennig and Slater lost the Tag Team Championship to The New Hart Foundation (DH Smith and TJ Wilson).
On November 20, Hennig challenged Sheamus O'Shaunessy for the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship but it ended in a double disqualification. A rematch was made, but Hennig was again disqualified. Hennig had another chance to win the title on December 11 when he participated in a fatal four-way match for the championship, but Eric Escobar won the match, and the title. Hennig defeated Escobar on February 26 at a TV taping and won the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship. On the April 5, 2009 episode of FCW it was announced that Hennig had suffered a serious injury and therefore he had surrendered the Florida Heavyweight Championship.
After recovering, Hennig made his return to FCW in late June. Soon afterwards, he formed a tag team with Brett DiBiase known as The Fortunate Sons. On January 14, 2010, The Sons won the Florida Tag Team Championship by defeating The Dudebusters.
On June 1, 2010, it was announced that Hennig would take part in the second season of NXT, using the ring name Michael McGillicutty, with Kofi Kingston as his pro. He made his NXT debut on the June 8 episode, but did not compete in a match. He made his in-ring debut on the following edition of NXT, teaming with Kingston in a tag team match, where they defeated Mark Henry and Lucky Cannon. On the June 22 edition of NXT, McGillicutty defeated Titus O'Neil to improve his record to 2-0. In the first poll on June 29, McGillicutty was ranked third, behind Kaval and Percy Watson. On the July 20 episode of NXT, McGillicutty earned immunity from elimination in the next poll by completing an obstacle course in the fastest time. On the following episode of NXT, he moved up to first place in the second poll. After six consecutive victories, McGillicutty suffered his first loss on the August 3 episode of NXT, when he was defeated by pro The Miz. On August 9 the rookies appeared in a six-man tag team match on Raw, in which McGillicutty teamed with Husky Harris and Alex Riley to defeat Lucky Cannon, Kaval and Percy Watson. The following night on NXT, his team lost a rematch when McGillicutty was pinned by Kaval. In the next poll later that night, McGillicutty relinquished the first place ranking back to Kaval, slipping to second place. In the season finale on August 31, McGillicutty ended the competition in second place, being beaten by Kaval. At the end of the show, McGillicutty turned heel by attacking Kaval with the other eliminated rookies.
Raw and The Nexus
In October 2010, at Hell in a Cell, McGillicutty and Husky Harris disguised themselves as fans and interfered during the match between John Cena and Wade Barrett. This allowed Barrett to pin Cena and win the match, forcing Cena to join The Nexus per the pre-match stipulation. McGillicutty's and Harris' identities were revealed on the following day's episode of Raw, though Barrett claimed he had not asked for their help and refused to make them full time members of The Nexus. The following week, McGillicutty and Harris interfered in a match between Cena and The Miz, costing Cena the match and prompting Barrett to give them the opportunity to win membership in The Nexus. On the October 18 episode of Raw, McGillicutty and Harris were unable to earn a place in The Nexus when they lost to Cena and Randy Orton in a tag team match. Despite this, Barrett confirmed both he and Harris were members on the October 25 episode of Raw.
Punk would bring in Mason Ryan to bolster the ranks.
Tag team championship
MM and Otunga reigned as champions for a while, and continued on after Ryan left due to injury and Punk left due to an expired contract after winning the title.
The pair would later lose their titles to the new team Air Boom, and also lost the rematch.
On the May 20, 2013 episode of Raw, Hennig returned under the new gimmick Curtis Axel. He debuted under the management of Paul Heyman, where he was immediately challenged by Triple H. During the weeks after their initial confrontation, Axel embarked on a series of notable matches against Triple H and John Cena, gaining controversial victories over both men. On June 10, during the opening hour of Monday Night Raw Axel faced Triple H in a supposed singles match before Vince McMahon ordered the immediate cancellation of the matches. After a series of back-and-forth power-plays between McMahon and Triple H, Axel was awarded "two" victories according to McMahon's score card. Later that night Heyman, who was making the announcement of behalf of Vickie Guerrero said that Axel was added to the Intercontinental Championship match at WWE Payback 2013 where he will face Wade Barrett and The Miz. At Payback, Axel won the Intercontinental title after pinning a downed Barrett, captalizing on The Miz's finishing moves. Axel was originally scheduled to defend the title on the following night on Raw against Barrett until Vickie Guerrero chose Christian to face Barrett in an impromptu match.
Hennig and his wife welcomed a son, Brock, in June 2009.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Kofi Kingston
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Florida Championship Wrestling
- World Wrestling Entertainment
|Daniel Bryan • Darren Young • David Otunga • Heath Slater • Justin Gabriel • Michael Tarver • Skip Sheffield • Wade Barrett|
|Alex Riley • Eli Cottonwood • Husky Harris • Kaval • Lucky Cannon • Michael McGillicutty • Percy Watson • Titus O'Neil|
|AJ Lee • Aksana • Jamie Keyes • Kaitlyn • Maxine • Naomi Night|
|Brodus Clay • Byron Saxton • Conor O'Brian • Derrick Bateman • Jacob Novak • Johnny Curtis|
|Byron Saxton • Conor O'Brian • Darren Young • Jacob Novak • Lucky Cannon • Titus O'Neil • Derrick Bateman|
|CM Punk • David Otunga • Husky Harris • Mason Ryan • Michael McGillicutty • Skip Sheffield • Daniel Bryan • Darren Young • Heath Slater • John Cena • Justin Gabriel • Michael Tarver • Wade Barrett|