Despite fan outcry over having his name changed from WALTER, NXT star Gunther says the name change doesn’t bother him at all.
WWE sparked controversy earlier this year when the record-setting former NXT UK Champion announced that he would no longer be going by WALTER, the name he made famous around the world, and would instead be calling himself Gunther going forward in NXT 2.0.
Prior to the Austrian’s announcement, it was reported that WWE had filed a trademark for the name Gunther Stark, which drew criticism after people began Googling the name and found that it was the name of a U-boat commander who fought for the Nazis in World War II. However, WWE has reportedly abandoned the trademark and the star has simply been known as Gunther ever since.
While the decision to abandon WALTER’s former identity has not been a popular one with fans and even drew criticism from former NXT Champion Keith Lee, WWE veterans such as Booker T and Shane “Hurricane” Helms believed the outrage is overblown and that the Austrian behemoth will be just fine.
Joining the ranks of those who aren’t bothered by the name change is Gunther himself, and in a recent interview with WrestlingInc, he explained why.
“Not all to be honest. If it would be the other way around, and it would be Gunther before and Walter now, it would have been the same uproar. A lot of people react negatively to change. Change is normal in life, and it’s part of it, and we have to go with it.”
On the most recent episode of NXT 2.0, Gunther took on Bron Breakker in the main event in an attempt to capture the NXT Championship, but the Ring General was unsuccessful. After the bout, it was revealed that Breakker’s father Rick Steiner had been kidnapped and was being held hostage by Joe Gacy and Harland.