WWE will often alter a Superstar’s name when they move to the main roster. Sometimes the change will happen over night even after a Superstar has been around for a while. There is a reason for that and it’s another interesting Vince McMahon story.
The company nixed the first names of Rusev and Cesaro among others. Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that this was a Vince McMahon call. It stemmed from the fact that he hated his own name.
It was said that Vince McMahon hated being called “Junior.” That is why he takes “Jr” off of everyone’s name. Angel Garza was previously Garza Jr, and Rey Mysterio dropped his Jr when coming to Vince McMahon’s company as well. Vince McMahon himself is a Junior and he was called that for decades. He hates the name, so he always kills it when it comes across his desk.
It was also noted that Vince McMahon decided to pull Rusev and Cesaro’s first names. He didn’t want fans to start calling them Alex or Tony.
“[Vince said] ‘if we call him Alexander Rusev, people are gonna start gonna calling him Alex and Alex is not a good name for a heel.’ That’s the real reason so that’s why they dropped the first name. The same thing happened with Cesaro. The reason why they dropped [the name] Antonio Cesaro was because Vince said people are going to start calling him Tony and Tony is not a heel name so we gotta drop the first name.”
WWE will likely continue changing names of Superstars whenever they see fit. Everything happens in WWE for a reason, and most of the time that reason is because Vince McMahon decided that is the way something needs to be done. Changing Superstar names is no different, but that doesn’t mean it makes 100% sense for everyone.
Thanks to Wrestling News for the quote