Gunther Tormented By "WALTER!" Chants On WWE NXT 2.0
As if there was any doubt that WWE turning "WALTER" into "Gunther" was a bad call...
The NXT 2.0 crowd did not give the former WALTER an easy ride in his first match since being rechristened "Gunther" by WWE, relentlessly chanting his former monicker at the burly Austrian during last night's show.
Gunther was teaming with Imperium stablemates Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel to face Diamond Mine's Roderick Strong and the Creed Brothers. They won a bruising, stiff encounter when Brutus Creed was isolated, with Gunther scoring the pin via powerbomb, drawing a "this is awesome!" chant along the way.
But it was the calls of "WALTER!" that defined the atmosphere. Similar to the way Raw fans would taunt Matt Bloom with "ALBERT!" upon his ill-fated rebirth as Lord Tensai in 2012, the tone was mocking and derogatory, with Gunther getting the treatment almost every time he was involved in the match - from his ring entrance onwards.
WWE courted controversy by filing a trademark application for "Gunther Stark" last month. Met with understandable levels of criticism when it was revealed that this was the name of a former Nazi U-boat commander who'd served under Adolf Hitler in World War II, WWE abandoned the application a few days later, opting to rename WALTER "Gunther" without the "Stark".
Gunther, 34, has been in the WWE system since 2019, but only recently moved to the United States to start with NXT 2.0 full-time.