Backstage Update On WWE Changing Wrestlers' Names

Austin Theory, Matt Riddle, and Tommaso Ciampa have all been given their full WWE names back.

Austin Theory Finn Balor

Paul 'Triple H' Levesque's run as WWE's creative lead has thus far been characterised by changes large and small, including easing off on Vince McMahon's old name-shortening policy - at least to a degree.

Matt Riddle and Austin Theory are amongst the wrestlers who have been given their forenames back under WWE's new regime. These names predated their runs with the market leaders, through Fightful Select reports that both were fine with competing as just "Riddle" and "Theory" in WWE.

Tommaso Ciampa has also seen his forename return, though the same can't be said for some of his fellow former NXT cohorts. Shotzi, Angel, and Humberto are yet to have their surnames reinstated on company television or internally.


Fightful's report also notes that Pete Dunne is still listed as "Butch", despite recent speculation that he might be returning to his old 'Bruiserweight' gimmick. Seth 'Freakin'' Rollins, meanwhile, is still Seth 'Freakin'' Rollins.

Before Vince departed, WWE had instituted a policy of changing ring names that preceded the wrestler in question signing with the company. Amongst other alterations, this resulted in WALTER becoming Gunther, a monicker the Austrian continues with under the new management team.

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Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy is WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.