The former NXT UK Champion and leader of the stable Imperium WALTER gets a new name that fans hate with a passion.
After defeating the Diamond Mine’s Roderick Strong in a non-title match on the January 18 episode of NXT 2.0, WALTER would take to the microphone and declare himself to be “Gunther.” This follows news that WWE has sought to register a trademark for a “Gunther Stark,” which now appears to be WALTER’s new name. However, the name change isn’t as innocent as the usual name changes that happen so frequently in WWE.
Gunther Stark was an actual person who lived in Nazi Germany and who has served as a Captain Lieutenant as a U-boat Commander in World War 2. It’s unclear if WWE was aware of this before filing for the trademark, but a quick Google search would have informed them of the name’s background. Given Imperium’s militaristic imagery and themes, however, it’s more likely that WWE does know about the background of Gunther Stark. In any case, whether intentional or not, fans have been angry at the name change, calling out WWE on the insensitivity.
When news of the name being trademarked first arose earlier last week, fans have already noted the Nazi reference and decried WWE on social media. Perhaps due to this uproar, WWE has backpedaled on the name change and has decided to use only the first name instead. When WALTER introduced himself as Gunther last night, after all, he only said his first name, not his full name. Hopefully, WWE doesn’t push through renaming WALTER as Gunther Stark.
The sudden name change came as WALTER left NXT UK to become a full-time performer in NXT 2.0, joining his Imperium stablemates Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. The name change has been speculated to be due to WWE’s penchant to trademark names, and WALTER, being an established name outside of the WWE, objected to having WALTER trademarked under the WWE, opting instead to have a new name. This would, in theory, allow the now-Gunther to return to the WALTER name if ever he leaves WWE for a different promotion.
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By: Franz Christian IroritaTitle: WALTER’s new name draws backlash from fansSourced From: clutchpoints.com/walter-new-name-draws-backlash-from-fans/Published Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 15:14:01 +0000