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Steve Austin's change from The Ringmaster is one of the best while Pete Dunne's to Butch is one of the worst

3 best and 3 worst names changes in WWE history

Over the years, WWE has shown they aren't afraid to change a superstar's name every once in a while.

A name change is often a big deal and can have a huge influence on a wrestler's career, whether it's in a positive or negative way.


Whether it's a struggling superstar whose name change helps propel them to bigger and better things, or an already established star given a ridiculous new name that leaves audiences baffled, there have been numerous examples of both great and terrible name changes in the past.

On that note, here are the three best and three worst name changes in WWE history.


#6. Butch was a terrible choice for Pete Dunne's new name

Rechristening Pete Dunne as Butch was a terrible move

After entertaining WWE fans for years in NXT as the vicious bruiserweight, the decision to rename Pete Dunne was a questionable one.

The decision to rename him something as ridiculous as Butch just makes it even worse. The name is laughably bad, and it's been hard for the main roster's audience to take the talented wrestler seriously with a name like that.

Butch feels like a stereotypical name for a villain in the 1950s, and just feels completely out of place on a man who's supposed to be the real deal. It's hard to imagine there's any chance a WWE Superstar with the name Butch will ever reach the main event.


#5. Changing Festus' name to Luke Gallows was smart

Changing Festus' name to Luke Gallows did wonders for his career

Festus was an absolutely terrible name. Sure, it fit the gimmick at the time, a gimmick that had a very short shelf-life, but the future Luke Gallows had absolutely no chance of success with a name like that.

Renaming him Luke Gallows was a great move and proved to be hugely beneficial for the former WWE Tag Team Champion. Festus was a ridiculous name that would never be seen anywhere prominent in the company, so having him rechristened is a prime example of a great renaming.

After the name change, the now 38-year-old went on to work with CM Punk in the Straight Edge Society, left WWE and joined the Bullet Club. He eventually returned as a much bigger star, becoming a tag team champion alongside Karl Anderson.

It's hard to see any of that happening if he was still called Festus.

#4. Shane Thorne being renamed Slapjack doomed him immediately

Shane Thorne's WWE career was doomed when he was renamed Slapjack

Shane Thorne's main roster tenure was doomed from the start. As a member of Retribution, the group didn't stand a chance at succeeding when they were all given ridiculous names.


Thorne's was arguably the worst, though. After entertaining WWE fans in NXT for several years, having the Australian debut on the main roster with the name Slapjack set him up to fail from the get-go.

Slapjack is just a downright terrible name, and not one any WWE Superstar wants. It feels like a joke and it was hard to take Thorne seriously in his dark character, with such an over-the-top name.

It's no surprise the character didn't last long. No one is ever going to main-event WrestleMania with a name like Slapjack.

#3. Roman Reigns wouldn't be the major star he is today if he was still called Leakee

@WWE @WWERomanReigns @HeymanHustle I just need to see the trunks like he had in his “Leakee” days!!!

Roman Reigns was destined for success from the very minute he appeared on the main roster. It was clear for all to see the value that Vince McMahon saw in The Tribal Chief.

He has been pushed as a major star over the last eight years, but it's hard to imagine that would have happened if he hadn't had his name changed from Leakee in NXT.

The charisma was always there, but a name like Leakee would have inevitably held Reigns back. It would have stood out like a sore thumb in The Shield, and fans wouldn't have been able to take him seriously. The name change to Roman Reigns helped create the megastar the company now has on its hands.

#2. Changing Chavo Guerrero's name to Kerwin White was immediately bad

Chavo Guerrero's name change to Kerwin White was a terrible decision

Kerwin White is a bad name for just about anyone in WWE, but when the wrestler given it is a member of a legendary family like the Guerreros, it seems even worse.

Chavo Guerrero had been wrestling in WCW and WWE for nine years and fans recognized his place among the legendary Guerrero family.

Alongside his uncle Eddie Guerrero, Chavo was a two-time tag team champion and the pair had been representing the Guerrero name proudly, so the decision to take it away from the now 51-year-old was baffling.

The decision to rename him something as ridiculous as Kerwin White was even more inconceivable, as the gimmick had Chavo portraying a stereotypical, middle-class white conservative American, despite his Mexican roots.

However, the gimmick was quickly scrapped due to Eddie's devastating passing. Chavo returned to his original name and the character was rightfully never touched upon again.

#1. The Ringmaster becoming Stone Cold Steve Austin changed WWE forever

25 years this week since The Ringmaster (sometimes known as @steveaustinBSR) debuted. It's amazing how different WWE would be if he hadn't dropped the Million Dollar belt or his wife hadn't drank a stone cold cup of tea. To celebrate, there's something new (well, retro) coming...

Considering the global superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin went on to become, it's surprising to look back at his WWE debut and see him saddled with a terrible name like The Ringmaster.


There's no way someone named The Ringmaster would be the biggest wrestler in the entire world, so the decision to scrap it and rename him Stone Cold Steve Austin was a stroke of genius.

Austin changed the wrestling industry forever, and the impact he had on WWE's success during the Monday Night Wars cannot be overstated. There's no telling where the company would be if Vince McMahon didn't see sense and allow him to ditch The Ringmaster name.

Considering the success he went on to have following his name change, it's pretty safe to say that going from The Ringmaster to Stone Cold Steve Austin is one of the best name changes in WWE history.

Edited by
Jacob Terrell
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