WWE found itself at the center of controversy this week when it was reported that the company had filed the trademark for a new wrestler name, "Gunther Stark." That happens to be the name of a famous Nazi U-boat commander from World War II, a name that WWE seemed ready to give to former NXT UK Champion Walter after he announced on this week's NXT that he had changed his name to Gunther. But the company decided on Wednesday to abandon the trademark filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and has changed Walter's name to just Gunther (no last name) on the official WWE.com roster.
The company never released a statement regarding the decision, though plenty of fans voiced their outrage over the situation on social media this week. The Austrian star has already been with WWE since 2019 and holds the record for longest championship reign of the modern era at 870 days with the NXT UK Championship. He stated in numerous interviews that he had no intention of moving to the United States, but he recently departed NXT UK and now only competes on the NXT roster.
Despite working mostly overseas, WWE officials like Triple H have thought incredibly high of "The Ring General" for years. "The Game" even compared him to Brock Lesnar last year.
"It is tough to bet against Walter," he said on The Bump last year. "Anyone who has watched him over the last few years, anyone who has recently watched him against Ilja [Dragunov], one of the most physically imposing, physically dominating performers out there. There's no wasted movement, he's not flashy, he doesn't care about how it looks, he's just effective. That said, you've seen it in the past with other talent like Brock Lesnar.
"Brock has struggled a lot of times with more smaller guys, speed kills," he continued."You would watch Brock Lesnar sometimes step in the ring with Daniel Bryan and have a much more difficult time, Daniel Bryan would get much more in because Brock couldn't strike as hard and as fast, he would have to catch him first and find his way. In that process, he would eat a lot of shots, now it would take a lot of shots from Daniel Bryan's size to knock Brock Lesnar down, but he ate a lot of shots to get one in. Walter just has to sustain that."