WALTER is no more. NXT 2.0 has now entered the era of Gunther. The Austrian superstar announced his new name after defeating Roderick Strong on last night’s episode of NXT.
There was some controversy surrounding the original name choice. WWE filed a trademark for the name “Gunther Stark” just days before Walter announced the new moniker. A quick Google search revealed that the first result for a search of the name was a WWII Nazi U-Boat captain from Hitler’s military.
After the report broke on Ringside News, several other outlets noted the unfortunate coincidence. Fans took to Twitter to express their displeasure. WWE went ahead and used the name, but it appears there was a slight modification to remove any references to genocidal war criminals. WALTER announced the change after his victory over Strong when he grabbed the microphone.
“Nein! The winner of this match… Is Gunther!”
It should be noted that WALTER did not use the last name. It appears WWE realized their mistake and are backing off, at least for now. WALTER will be Gunther going forward. The name has not been changed on the official WWE website at this time.
Controversy over the changing of an extremely popular and well-established wrestler’s name was bad enough. WWE seems to have heard the backlash and dropped the negative association of the Stark last name. Time will tell if they have any intentions of re-introducing the Stark surname.
What do you think of WALTER’s name change in NXT? Let us know in the comments!