WWE has changed the ring names of several Superstars as of late. Austin Theory is now known as Theory, Walter to Gunther, Raquel Gonzalez to Raquel Rodriquez, NXT’s Raul Mendoza is now known as Cruz Del Toro, Pete Dunne was given the Butch name and Ludwig Kaiser, formerly known as Marcel Barthel.
Dave Meltzer reported in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the reason behind the changes to so many ring names is due to talent getting a memo that Vince McMahon “decreed he doesn’t want anyone new using their real names anymore, nor names they’ve used before on the indie scene.”
Gunther’s real name is Walter and he used it on the independent scene. Raquel had to drop her real last name.
Although many fans thought Theory had to drop the Austin from his name because of Steve Austin, it’s actually due to his real name being Austin White. Raul is the real first name of Raul Mendoza. It was stated the memo only applies to people who are newer and to who they decided it applies.
WWE has started to file trademarks for the new names as this week they locked down the rights to Raquel Rodriquez and Ludwig Kaiser.