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Vince McMahon no longer wants wrestlers using their real names

There is a story behind all of the recent name changes. It’s not uncommon to see wrestlers have their names changed when they move to the main roster but the changes have been happening more frequently than usual.

It was reported on the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that a memo was sent out after Vince McMahon decided that he no longer wants wrestlers using their real name and he doesn’t want them using the name they used on the independent scene.

Walter became Gunther because Walter is his real first name and a name he used on the indie scene. Raquel Gonzalez is now Raquel Rodriguez because of this decree. Austin Theory had to drop his first name but not because of Steve Austin. The Austin part was dropped because it’s his real first name (full real name is Austin White). Raul Mendoza’s name was changed because his real first name is Raul. He is now known as Cruz Del Toro. Another recent name change is example is Pete Dunne becoming Butch because his real first name is Peter.

It was noted that the memo only applies to the newer wrestlers so this obviously doesn’t affect someone like Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, or Ronda Rousey. Cody Rhodes is one of the exceptions to the rule.

This was not said in the Observer, but this could be happening because so many names that have appeared on WWE TV have gone to AEW under the same name or similar names. Adam Cole, Keith Lee, and Samoa Joe are examples of wrestlers who are able to keep their name either because it’s their real name or because they used the name prior to signing with WWE.


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