WALTER will now go by "Gunther" on WWE television.
The Imperium leader confirm this much during last night's episode of NXT, during which he defeated Roderick Strong in a hard-hitting main event. Afterwards, the former United Kingdom Champion grabbed a microphone and declared "Gunther", not "WALTER", the victor, doing so before the ring announcer could finish their call.
NXT then closed on a big pull-apart brawl pitting Gunther's Imperium group against Strong's Diamond Mine, continuing bad blood that started with a short clip uploaded to social media on Sunday.
WALTER's change in ring name comes days after WWE filed a trademark application for "Gunther Stark" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Gunther Stark, by the way, was a Nazi U-boat commander who served as a Captain Lieutenant in Adolf Hitler's Kriegsmarine during World War II.
WALTER - sorry, Gunther - is Austrian. The surname "Stark" was not mentioned on the show.
The horrendous optics of this name change have negative reactions around the internet, including from former NXT Champion Keith Lee:-
Man....if what I'm hearing is real....Advertisement
Poor Walter.— Selective Lee (@RealKeithLee) January 19, 2022
Gunther is now an NXT full-timer in the United States, having finally made the jump from NXT UK, where he had primarily operated since entering WWE employ in 2019.