A top WWE NXT Superstar is set to debut on SmackDown tonight complete with a controversial new ring name!
As first reported by WrestleVotes and further confirmed by Fightful Select, multi-time WWE NXT Tag Team Champion Marcel Barthel is set to debut tonight on SmackDown alongside former NXT UK Champion Gunther.
WrestleVotes would initially report that a NXT Superstar was set to debut tonight [April 8th, 2022] on WWE SmackDown complete with a new and ‘random’ ring name, Fightful Select would confirm shortly after that NXT Superstar Marcel Barthel was set to be rebranded ahead of a call-up before confirming the German Superstar’s new name would be… ‘Ludwig’.
Marcel Barthel [now Ludwig] will be the latest in a string of recent WWE name changes with Elias [Ezekial], Pete Dunne [Butch] and fellow Imperium member WALTER [Gunther] all having their names repackaged over the past few months.
News of Imperium’s pending call-up began circulating earlier this year, with the additional note that Fabian Aichner was not set to be called up alongside the German duo of Lugwig and Gunther.
The new name has been met with a largely negative reaction on social media, with many fans pointing out the clear link to German born classic musician Ludwig van Beethoven who was born just four hours away from Barthel in Bonn, West Germany.