WALTER to now go by a whole new ringname on WWE NXT

WWE superstar WALTER, who's been a key part of the WWE NXT UK brand, will now be going by the ringname Gunther going forward.

WWE superstar WALTER is now going by a whole new name. (Image: WWE)
By Shayne Dias | Jan 19, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

WWE fans got to see Austrian wrestler WALTER make his first appearance on WWE NXT as a full-time member of the roster on this week’s episode. Sadly, that is about where the good news ended.

The “Ring General” had a predictably good match against Roderick Strong. However, it was what he said after the match that made people sit up and take notice.

After the match, when the ring announcer was declaring him the winner, WALTER grabbed a microphone and said the winner of this match is Gunther. Many in attendance were clearly confused; who exactly is this Gunther supposed to be?

Well, as it turns out, this is Walter’s new ring name. A report in the Wrestling Observer stated that WWE filed a trademark for “Gunther Stark”. This will supposedly be the new moniker given to the former NXT UK champion.

Of course, there is much to be debated over the name change. WWE has been in the habit of rebranding even renowned wrestlers once they sign them. However, this one makes little internal sense.

WALTER was the longest-reigning NXT UK champion. And he was promoted under that name throughout the entirety of that reign. What’s more, that was the name he used in his sporadic NXT appearances in the US too.

But it doesn’t end there. He wrestled on the main roster – Survivor Series 2019, in case you needed a refresher – under that name. Which makes the pivot to a whole new name even weirder.

However, besides the obvious reason of WWE wanting to own the trademark, there is another issue with this name.

The new ringname for WALTER has a problematic past

As of now, the new name given is simply Gunther. However, if the trademark application is to be believed, he will soon go by the name “Gunther Stark”.

Simply put, the problem with that name is that it is a name of a World War II Nazi lieutenant. And it is something anyone can simply Google and figure out.

Of course, that none of the company higher-ups figured this out before applying for the trademark is indeed surprising. And of course, the news has not gone down well with wrestling fans on social media.

But it isn’t just fans who are apprehensive; former WWE wrestler Keith Lee also shared his thoughts on the name change and didn’t sound optimistic.

Lee, it’s worth noting, is no stranger to all of this. He was nicknamed “Bearcat” Keith Lee during the end of his main roster run in WWE.

For WALTER’s sake, he will hope things work out better for him than they did Lee.

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