Under Vince McMahon, we saw plenty WWE Superstars get new names, for better or worse. Sometimes, it was to try to avoid them using their real names. Once in a while, someone lost their first or last name out of the blue. A few were given new gimmicks entirely.
I love how Mace and Mansoor are ma.cé and mån.sôör. However, I hate that Victoria Gonzalez became Reina Gonzalez, then Raquel Gonzalez, then Raquel Rodriguez. Why?
With Triple H in charge, we’ve been seeing both a continuation of that and some retroactive fixes. A-Kid stopped having that awful name and is now working under the gimmick Axiom. Matt Riddle, Tommaso Ciampa and Austin Theory have their first names back. So on and so forth.
Oliver Carter is the most recent of these. He’ll be Oro Mensah going forward in NXT.
That got me thinking about other people on the roster who I’d like to see get a new moniker in one way or another, either as something new or a correction to an awful change that’s already happened.
Note: There are plenty names I would love to change, but I feel it wouldn’t be realistic. Katana Chance was completely unnecessary and ridiculous. Alba Fyre? Not after you’ve been Kay Lee Ray forever. I won’t bother mentioning every
Natalya Neidhart. Give her her last name.
Otis Dozovic. Same deal.
Shotzi Blackheart. Same deal.
I’d honestly prefer Gunther to have a surname, but not Stark, for obvious reasons. However, since he made his name as WALTER, I guess Gunther isn’t all that bad. It could be worse.
I’d say Shanky should get the “more than just the Madonna thing”, but I don’t know if he’s worth trademarking something else. He’ll probably be released soon enough. Omos works better as just one name in my mind. It’s a rarity, but it happens. Look at Goldberg.
Happy Corbin = Baron Corbin
For the love of all that is holy, can we nix this Happy Corbin thing already? It was a terrible idea from the start and never should have gone on this long.
He can keep some of the same mannerisms, but he needs to go back to being BARON Corbin. That’s his in-universe name. “Happy” was never going to be anything but a joke.
I don’t expect Christopher Dijak to go back to being Chris Dijak if WWE is being such sticklers about real names, but why can’t he go back to being Dominik Dijakovic?
T-Bar has always been a TERRIBLE name. If you Google it, the definition on Urban Dictionary is slang for a thong.
Retribution hasn’t been a thing for a year. They disbanded October 1, 2021. Everyone hated this name from the start, anyway.
Dijak is too talented to be wasting away as T-Bar on Main Event. Either let the guy go so he can wrestle elsewhere and not lose out on his youth, or give him a chance by letting him be Dijakovic again and put him on Raw or SmackDown proper (or even NXT if that’s the case).
But “T-Bar” isn’t ever going to work. He won’t succeed with that name.
Babatunde went by his own name for a while. Then, Dabba-Kato. When joining Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez was born. I don’t know why they didn’t just keep him Commander Dabba-Kato, but whatever.
Now that he’s no longer with Crews, who dropped the gimmick, too, Commander Azeez shouldn’t be a commander of anything. Either he needs to be just Azeez or should go back to being Dabba-Kato. Or, hell, Dabba-Kato Azeez. Say that’s his full name.
Don’t give the guy another new name. That’s if he even pops up on television again.
The Elias character disappeared for months, only to come back as his twin brother, Ezekiel.
While there were some minor chuckles about the gimmick, I think I’m not going out of bounds here saying it was mostly a failure and that’s why he’s off television again. They’re probably trying to figure out how to repackage him.
I’m down for Elias/Ezekiel being able to wrestle more traditionally without necessarily doing the Drifter Elias musician character, but he still needs some more character beyond “being zeked up”. For that matter, I can’t picture a marquee being just EZEKIEL with it appealing to the casual/mass audience.
Nix the twin brother gimmick. Don’t go down the Faces of Foley route or steer into the skid. Just have him come back as Elias Samson and call it a day.
Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H.
If WWE had gone full-force with this superhero gimmick, maybe something would have been there. But I never liked the Nikki A.S.H. name on multiple grounds. “Almost a Superhero” was dumb in its concept. The acronym also wouldn’t be A.S.H. It would be AAS. It’s awkward to say, weird to type and I don’t think it’s worked face or heel, nor do I think anyone would have gotten Nikki Cross confused with Karrion Kross.
Again, if Nikki kept up the superhero thing and Doudrop was her sidekick, maybe that silly Doudrop name could have worked, too. It would be ridiculous, but Batman has Robin, so whatever.
That hasn’t happened, though. Instead, Nikki is wearing her superhero getup and ignoring it completely, while Doudrop is just Piper Niven with a dumb name.
Revert back to Nikki Cross and Piper Niven. Ditch the dumb names and let them be themselves.
Butch / Pete Dunne
Peter England chose the name Pete Dunne as his moniker early in his career and kept that all throughout 2006 into his NXT UK title reign, followed by his stint in NXT USA. Then, when he came up to SmackDown, he was suddenly Butch, lost his ability to speak for the most part, and became a petulant angry child.
I’m one of those rare people who thinks if he had just came onto SmackDown as Pete Dunne per usual, there’s a chance the audience would have been a little bored with him, so I understand—even if I don’t agree with it—why WWE thought this Butch persona would be better. It is flawed and I think the name “Butch” by itself is dumb as all hell, but I can see the nugget of why they tried it.
Now, its time to tweak it. Keep it so his character is the wildest of The Brawling Brutes and possibly even keep the Butch name, but let him talk and give him a surname.
Butch Dunne isn’t the best, but it’s better than just Butch, if WWE is worried about owning the trademark to “Pete Dunne”. Since I tend to think Bushwhacker Butch or think that “butch” should be more of his nickname revealed in a sense that his name is Pete “Butch” Dunne, I’d rather them go back to Pete Dunne, but I can see an argument for Butch Dunne. For that matter, maybe even some other surname he’d want to use in honor of a family member or whatever. He was trained by Steve “Psycho” Edwards, so maybe Butch Stevens or Butch Edwards or something? Workshop it. Get his opinion and preference. But don’t leave him as just Butch. I hate singular names like that.
Max Dupri / LA Knight
It’s been teased that Max Dupri will go back to being LA Knight. I don’t necessarily think that will be the case. They can take him away from this gimmick, act like it never happened and keep Maxxine Dupri with Mace and Mansoor, reverting him back to LA Knight, but if he’s going to stay with Maximum Male Models, why ditch the Max Dupri name?