There have been several instances of WWE Superstars tweaking their in-ring names. More notably, Vince McMahon has been known to drop Superstars' first names on many occasions. Two of the most prominent examples of the same are one-half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Cesaro, and former WWE United States Champion Rusev, now known as Miro in AEW.
During his initial days in WWE, Rusev was known as Alexander Rusev, but later his first name was dropped and he was just referred to as Rusev. Similarly, Cesaro was earlier known as Antonio Cesaro before his first name was dropped as well. On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer revealed the theory behind Vince McMahon about dropping their first names.
“There was a meeting and at the meeting, Vince goes ‘we gotta drop that first name.If we call him Alexander Rusev, people are gonna start gonna calling him Alex and Alex is not a good name for a heel.’ That’s the real reason so that’s why they dropped the first name. The same thing happened with Cesaro. The reason why they dropped [the name] Antonio Cesaro was because Vince said people are going to start calling him Tony and Tony is not a heel name so we gotta drop the first name.”
Vince McMahon has made many Superstars drop their first name
Rusev and Cesaro aren't the only WWE Superstars to have gone through the name cutting process from Vince McMahon. Some other notable mentions include RAW Superstar Murphy, who once used to be Buddy Murphy before WWE and Vince McMahon decided to remove his first name.
Mustafa Ali also lost his first name for some time and was referred to as just Ali, but now he is again back to being called Mustafa Ali. There are also examples of WWE Superstars losing their last name like Big E, who was once Big E Langston and Mr. Money in the Bank Otis, who was once Otis Dozovic.Published 15 Sep 2020, 19:55 IST