WALTER Given Controversial New Ring Name On WWE NXT
In which WWE trademarks a Nazi U-boat commander's name and gives it to an Austrian man on TV.
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.