The longest-reigning NXT UK Champion of all time WALTER has officially been renamed by WWE and will now be known as Gunther.
The first inclination that WWE was looking to change the Austrian star’s name was a trademark filing made by the company for ‘Gunther Stark.’ An online search for that name however very quickly brings up information about a German U-Boat Commander who fought for the Nazis in World War II.
On the 19th of January edition of NXT 2.0, WALTER seemingly wrestled his last bout under that moniker as he took on former NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong. Following his victory, WALTER took to the microphone and declared “the winner of this match is Gunther!” seemingly indicating his new name in WWE.
Now the change has been confirmed by the company as his profile on wwe.com shows The Ring General now listed as Gunther. His bio has been changed to reflect the new name although the other information contained within it remains the same.
WWE has often changed the names of stars coming from outside the company, most notably they acknowledged Finn Balor and Hideo Itami as their previous identities of Prince Devitt and KENTA respectively before giving the stars WWE names.
While Gunther’s name change might be seen as an odder occurrence given his stature on NXT UK and his appearances at NXT TakeOvers and indeed Survivor Series 2019, the company also rechristened Piper Niven as Doudrop when she joined Raw from the NXT UK brand.