WWE may have landed themselves in hot water after they filed to trademark the name 'Gunther Stark' – which has ties to a Nazi U-boat commander.
Former NXT UK champion Walter held the belt for 870 days – the longest championship reign in WWE history since 1988.
He now performs on the NXT 2.0 brand in the US and eyebrows were raised after he grabbed a microphone after emerging victorious over Roderick Strong.
Before the ring announcer could declare him the winner of the match, the Austrian told the crowd the winner of the match was “Gunther”, not Walter.
Vince McMahon’s mega-corporation filed to trademark the ‘Gunther Stark’ name back on January 13.
The use description was filed with the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office) and is utilised for general pro wrestling and sports entertainment use.
That is the same description they often use to file for trademark ring names.
But fans were left puzzled when it was discovered Gunther Stark served as a Nazi Germany military commander during the Second World War.
One fan penned on twitter: “NOOOO THEY GAVE WALTER THE NAZI NAME NOOO.”
Another wrote: “No way they changed WALTER into Gunther Stark bro dis s**t can’t be real.”
While Ross Twedell of Cultaholic Wrestling wrote: "After years of trying, WWE finally convinced WALTER to move to America and then instantly changed his name to that of a nazi commander."
Other wrestlers also weighed in on the matter as former WWE star Keith Lee added: “Man….if what I’m hearing is real…. Poor Walter.”
Bubba Ray, one half of the legendary tag team the Dudley Boyz, fumed: “Walter RULED!! Gunther SUCKS!!”
The grappler’s Instagram name still reads Walter at the time of writing.
On the other hand, WWE producer & road agent “The Hurricane” Shane Helms thinks the grappler will be able to handle his new moniker.
“In my WWE TV debut, I lost my gimmick, my entrance, my entrance song, my finisher, and my WCW Cruiserweight Championship. ALL IN ONE NIGHT," he tweeted.
“If I survived that, Walter will be just fine.”
Helms, who is famous for his popular character The Hurricane, was referring to WWE TV debut on the July 5, 2001 episode of SmackDown , where he lost the WCW Cruiserweight Championship to Billy Kidman.
His name soon changed to “Hollywood” Gregory Helms and had to adapt to a new entrance song and finishing move.
It is unknown whether Walter will have to adjust to all the same things as Helms, but the name change most certainly left members of the wrestling world perplexed.
Source: Read Full Article