WWE Hall of Famer Booker T made it clear that he disagrees with critics who think WALTER recently changing his name to GUNTHER will have a negative effect.
Booker T has been privy to plenty of change during his decades long career in wrestling, and speaking on a recent episode of his Hall Of Fame podcast, the master of the Spinaroonie explained that he has long believed that former NXT UK Champion WALTER should be on the main roster of WWE and not in the lesser known NXT UK division.
“Thing is, he’s not in NXT UK anymore, that’s one thing. I’m not trying to make an excuse or anything like that for why they’ve changed his name. I’ve touted WALTER, I’ve said for a long time this guy needs to be out of NXT UK, needs to be over here, and needs to be on the main roster.
Booker T went on to say that he considers WALTER a diamond, and that while he may not agree with changing the Austrian star’s name to GUNTHER, he believes everyone should let that diamond shine.
“Everybody from that side of the world needs to be supporting him to bring more and more ratings to this show. We’ve got a diamond here, we need to let him shine. That’s what I’ve always said about WALTER. Now WALTER, of course having the name change, that has caused a stir on the internet. A lot of people don’t like it. The thing is, it’s not something I like either. But it’s not my business to think about what his name is.”
The WWE Hall of Famer used NXT Champion Bron Breakker, who does not use the same surname as his father Rick Steiner, as an example of fans being upset with a talent’s name but coming around when they see the performer in action on a consistent basis.
“We were having this same conversation three months ago maybe with Steiner and Breakker. Is anybody thinking about Bron Breakker now? Is anybody thinking about it? Everybody is talking about how freaking awesome Bron Breakker is. That’s the only thing I hear now.”
The five time WCW Champion believes that this name change will be similar, and that people will forget about the name when the former NXT UK Champion goes out to perform in the ring.
“Changing his name, I don’t think that’s something that is going to hinder him or hurt him in any way. When he goes out there to perform in the middle of the thing, I think people will forget it pretty soon.”
WWE recently drew criticism for trademarking the name Gunther Stark when fans learned that the name was shared with a U-Boat commander in the Kriegsmarine, the navy of Nazi Germany. However, when declaring his name change, the last name Stark was not used, and WWE has reportedly abandoned the trademark.
h/t WrestlingInc for the transcriptions used in this article