WALTER announced himself as Gunther after defeating Roderick Strong on last night’s NXT 2.0. The Austrian giant recently left NXT UK to compete full-time in the United States. The new moniker came in his first appearance on the show since making the switch.
There was a lot of criticism being thrown around about WWE’s original choice of name for WALTER. The company filed for a trademark for the name “Gunther Stark.” A news story pointing out that the #1 Google search result for the name was a Nazi military commander quickly went viral. WALTER did not use the controversial last name on the show.
It took the entire morning and part of the afternoon, but WWE has finally made the name change official. The WWE roster officially lists the former WALTER as Gunther. There is no last name listed.
It isn’t uncommon for WWE to remove a wrestler’s last name after being called up to the main roster. Big E Langston became Big E. It wasn’t too big of a problem. Big E went on to become the WWE Champion.
Fans still weren’t happy with WWE for changing WALTER’s ring name. Keith Lee even criticized his former employer for the choice. WALTER was a name known around the world.
Gunther is the new official name for the latest addition to NXT 2.0 whether fans like it or not. The swap will continue to prove controversial within the WWE Universe. Time will tell of fans react negatively during live NXT broadcasts.
What do you think of WWE making WALTER’s name change to Gunther official? Share your thoughts in the comments!