Finn Balor and WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray are among those who have reacted to WWE changing WALTER’s ring name.
As we’ve noted, this week’s WWE NXT saw The Ring General reveal his new ring name after defeating Roderick Strong in the main event. WALTER is now called Gunther. WWE made the change official with a roster update on Wednesday. The name change led to strong criticism from fans on social media, for obvious reasons, and due to how “Gunther Stark” was the name of a U-Boat Commander who served in World War II in the Kriegsmarine, the navy of Nazi Germany.
In an update, Balor responded to a photo Gunther tweeted and reminded everyone of how fans hated his name change at first.
“Everyone hated FINN too!,” Balor wrote.
Bully, who once changed his own name from Bubba Ray Dudley to Bully Ray, was blunt about WWE changing the name of the Imperium leader.
“Walter RULED!! Gunther SUCKS!!,” Bully wrote.
Most of the initial criticism over the “Gunther Stark” name has died down after WWE abandoned their January 13 trademark filing for that name. The filing was abandoned on Wednesday, the same day they confirmed the “Gunther” name roster update. This indicated that they are moving forward with just Gunther as the new name, without the “Stark” last name. It should be noted that while WWE originally filed to trademark the “Gunther Stark” name, the last name never appeared on any WWE website pages, the roster, or any social media postings.
For those who missed it, you can click here for what WWE Producer Shane Helms had to say about the name change, click here for how Kyle O’Reilly referred to WALTER as Gunther in 2019, or click here for what Keith Lee and others had to say about the name change.
This week’s NXT ended with Imperium (Gunther, NXT Tag Team Champions Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner) brawling with The Diamond Mine (Strong, The Creed Brothers), so it looks like that will be one of the top NXT feuds moving forward.
Gunther still has not commented on the name change as of this writing, but he did change his Twitter handle from @WalterAUT to @Gunther_AUT.
Stay tuned for more. Below are the related tweets from Bully and Balor:
Everyone hated FINN too!
— Finn Bálor (@FinnBalor) January 20, 2022
— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) January 19, 2022