Real Reason WWE Changed WALTER's Name To GUNTHER

The WALTER/Gunther saga continues! Here's why WWE changed his name...

WALTER Gunther
WWE

Dave Meltzer reports in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE changed WALTER's ring name to Gunther for the usual reason: trademarking.

Gunther's real name is Walter Hahn, which prevents WWE from taking ownership of "WALTER". As the promotion is now going to be booking him on a weekly basis, they want to ensure that they can't use his WWE-specific ring name in another promotion, hence "Gunther."

The name change was made official during this week's episode of NXT 2.0, on which WALTER won a match against Roderick Strong, declaring himself "Gunther" after the bell. WWE had already courted controversy with a trademark application for "Gunther Stark" prior to the episode, and understandably so: Gunther Stark was a Nazi U-boat commander who served in the second world war.

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As reported yesterday, WWE ended up abandoning the "Gunther Stark" trademark on 19 January. There is currently no word on what may have prompted this, though it appears the former WALTER is going solely by "Gunther", without the surname.

Gunther is described as "politically very left leaning" in the Observer, with people close to him stating that had he known, he wouldn't have been okay with sharing a Nazi's name.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter, Presenter and Editor. Formerly Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @andyhmurray.