Ring name changes in WWE are often met with controversy with fans often not liking the company directive to do so, especially when talent gets called up from NXT 2.0 to the main roster.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it has been revealed that Vince McMahon has instructed he no longer wants wrestlers using their real names in WWE and also doesn't want names that have been used on the independent scene.
This explains why Walter recently became Gunther in NXT 2.0. Gunther had been using Walter for many years on the independent scene and it also happens to be his real first name, and Raquel Gonzalez is now going by Raquel Rodriguez because of similar reasons.
Over on the main roster, Austin Theory is now just Theory because Austin is his real first name and Pete Dunne is now called Butch because his real first name is Peter.
WWE is doing this reaction to a number of talent departing the company who used their real name and appearing in rival promotions such as AEW and IMPACT Wrestling.
This only applies to new talent.
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