WWE name changes are nothing new. Iconic Superstars including The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Triple H had different names before they became main-eventers in the 1990s.
Would those three men have achieved the same success if they kept the names Rocky Maivia, The Ringmaster, and Hunter Hearst Helmsley? Maybe, maybe not, but their name changes certainly worked out for the best.
In modern-day WWE, there is hardly a month that goes by without someone receiving a new name on RAW or SmackDown. Apollo Crews and Mustafa Ali even had their names shortened to Apollo and Ali, respectively, before they were given their full names again.
The majority of name changes are not that drastic. Otis, for example, is now known by his first name instead of Otis Dozovic. His surname was quickly forgotten and it would seem odd if people suddenly referred to him by his old name again. The same can be said for the likes of (Antonio) Cesaro and Big E (Langston).
Now, while some WWE Superstars have embraced their name changes, others have openly admitted that they disliked the fact that their name was altered.
In this article, let’s take a look at three WWE Superstars who liked their new name, as well as three who did not.
#6 Matt Riddle liked his WWE name change
The latest high-profile WWE name change was confirmed on October 29, 2020. Matt Riddle had always been known by his real name in MMA and pro wrestling, including his time on the independent scene and in NXT.
As is often the case with WWE main-roster call-ups, The Original Bro initially kept the same name when he moved from NXT to SmackDown. However, after four months on Friday nights, his first name was removed from his WWE name following his switch to RAW.
Needless to say, the name change did not go down too well with the WWE Universe. Riddle quickly responded to the online backlash by revealing that he likes the fact that he is now only known by his surname.
It was reported by Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp that Vince McMahon ultimately decided to remove Matt from Riddle’s name. The WWE Chairman reportedly made the decision after watching Riddle’s match against Sheamus on the October 26, 2020 episode of RAW.
According to Sapp, McMahon felt the name change could lead to Riddle being taken more seriously as a WWE character.