GUNTHER has revealed that he had no issue with his name changing from WALTER in the WWE, claiming that he would have done the same if it was his company.
The Austrian was signed to the WWE in 2019, joining up with the NXT UK roster to enable him to stay in Europe.
After an 870 day reign as United Kingdom Champion was ended by Ilja Dragunov, he was brought to the US as the newest member of the NXT roster.
However, with the move came a name change. Previously, he was known as WALTER, a stylised version of his real name. In the US, it was changed to GUNTHER, so WWE would be able to own the name itself.
On the 18 January episode of NXT, he announced the name change to a horrific reception online. Fans complained online, claiming GUNTHER was being “buried” and that he was named after a Nazi.
However, this did not stop GUNTHER, who took the name change in his stride. In 2022, he was called up to the main roster, immediately being pushed as a big star.
He won the WWE Intercontinental Championship in his first year, currently on hist first reign with the belt. This reign is the second longest in history, just behind The Honkey Tonk Man.
GUNTHER Name Change
GUNTHER recently sat down with BT Sport, to talk about his upcoming appearance at WrestleMania 39.
The Austrian Superstar is defending his Intercontinental Championship against both Drew McIntyre and Sheamus at the biggest show of the year, and promoted it to his UK fans on BT Sport.
He also spoke about when his name changed from Walter to Gunther in the WWE, but was remarkably happy with the whole thing.
He revealed that he “wasn’t too worried” about the name change, claiming that he would have done the same if he owned the company.
He also complained about how Walter was an old-person name in Austria, with Gunther being a much more modern name for him to use.
Speaking to BT Sport, GUNTHER said;
“I’m 100% I wasn’t too worried about it because at the end before I was Walter that’s my real name so at some point that they will have an interest to changed it and make it their own.
I understand that I think I would act the same if I would own the company and at the end of the day it’s not that big a difference because Walter is a very old German name.
It’s like, nobody my age is named Walter in Austria anymore. ‘m over here I’m a rarity when it comes to that, so Gunther just is in the same category as that.
I think it would have been the other way around and Gunther would be my real name, and they would change it to Walter, they would have been the exact same reaction.
I think people like to jump on things and they’re like, I don’t know, almost like a collective panic that people join in,and even if other people that are restless make comments or something it’s, I don’t know, I worry about my stuff.
If they feel the need to express worry about me that’s nice of them but I don’t think there’s any need to worry about anything at the end it comes out easy going.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit BT Sport for the interview and give a H/T to Atletifo for the transcription.