Getting into the WWE is not an easy task. You have to be one of the best wrestlers in the world or have something about you that sets you apart from anyone else out there.
You can also win competitions like Tough Enough, or you can be the close relative of someone who used to be in the WWE. That's normally a pretty good starting point to get a leg up in the world of Vince McMahon's company.
However, according to Curtis Axel, being the child of a WWE legend and Hall of Famer isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Sports Illustrated's Extra Mustard site recently spoke with Axel to talk about his father, the late "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, for a special Father's Day feature.
As part of the interview, Axel was asked if it was easier getting into the WWE with his surname. Apparently, it's not as straightforward as it seems, with Axel calling into a "cursed blessing".
"It's a cursed blessing. It isn't easy trying to live up to what my father accomplished–for Christ's sake, my dad's name was 'Mr. Perfect.'"
According to Axel, he is always being compared to his father. Just because he isn't, at this moment, the Hall of Famer his father was doesn't mean that he is unhappy with his role.
"We're constantly compared, and I couldn't be prouder to be his son, but I'm not trying to be my father. It's a common misconception, because my father is a Hall of Famer and a major star in this business, that the path was paved for me. But that's the furthest thing from the truth."
"Some generational guys start their training on the WWE payroll, but I didn't."
Starting on his Own
Axel started his wrestling career with World League Wrestling, Harley Race's promotion down in Troy, Missouri. There, he went on a nine-month unbeaten streak after making his debut alongside Ted DiBiase Jr.
Axel would then go onto get his chance in WWE after accepting his father's Hall of Fame award on his behalf. After a meeting there, he signed a developmental deal with WWE and was sent to FCW, the WWE's old developmental promotion.
From there, he took part in the second season of NXT as the terribly named Michael McGillicutty and joined The Nexus.
Axel won his only singles WWE title - the Intercontinental Championship - on Fathers Day in 2013, making him and Mr. Perfect the only Father-Son duo to win the IC Title in WWE history.