WWE apparently changing WALTER’s name

Jan 19, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

WALTER has apparently been given a new ring name of Gunther Stark.

Tonight’s WWE NXT 2.0 main event saw WALTER defeat Roderick Strong in singles action. After the match, WALTER interrupted the ring announcer and declared that the winner of the match was “Gunther,” instead of WALTER. The show went off the air with Imperium (WALTER, NXT Tag Team Champions Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner) brawling with The Diamond Mine (Strong, The Creed Brothers).

WWE filed to trademark a “Gunther Stark” name on January 13. The use description filed with the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office) was for general pro wrestling and sports entertainment use, the same use description they often file with ring name trademarks.

The apparent name change is receiving a lot of criticism on social media as “Günther Stark” was also the name of a U-Boat Commander who served in World War II in the Kriegsmarine, the navy of Nazi Germany. Kapitänleutnant Stark died at the age of 27 on June 8, 1944, while at war in the English Channel.

There had been some speculation on “Gunther Stark” being the name of a new NXT Superstar, possibly linked to the injured Zoey Stark, but now it looks like this could be the new ring name for the leader of Imperium.

As we’ve noted, WALTER is now working the main NXT brand full-time and has moved to the United States. Before tonight’s main event, NXT featured a backstage segment where WALTER congratulated Aichner and Barthel for carrying the Imperium flag while he was away. He declared that Imperium now has a new mission, which involves dominating NXT as they did with NXT UK.

It should be noted that WWE has not changed WALTER’s name on the official website as of this roster. He is also still listed as WALTER on all social media pages, at least as of this writing.

Stay tuned for more. You can see related shots from NXT below:

6 Responses

  1. Chatty One says:

    I mean is that by purpose or by accident? Ringkampf/Imperium always kinda had nazi undertones but the gimmick was more about their view of wrestling be what they were being prejudice about for seeing themselves as superior.

    Personally the name change isn’t that important. But if this means were getting a serious storyline of Imperium taking over NXT and trying to instill their view of wrestling on the brand as a whole, that sounds pretty damn good.

    But given WWE in general seeming to shy away from “controversial” storylines as of late kind makes me worried this naming flub could screw up something bigger. We’ve had quite enough of Barthel and Aichner be stripped down to just guys in tights with accents. So i’d definitely be sad to see something big for Imperium go down the drain because their generic germanic sounding name was the name shared by an actual nazi.

  2. art123guy says:

    If they’re trademarking ‘Gunther Stark’, my guess is Zoey Stark just lost her last name. Can’t have 2 people with the same name, first or last, unless they’re ‘related’. However, since Imperium and Diamond Mine are gonna fued, adding Zoey would give Ivy Nile someone to match up with. Only thing is, I don’t see Zoey as a heel yet.

  3. MRK says:

    I don’t understand the reason behind the name change. WALTER appeared on NXT multiple times before this & it’s a well known name. If want him to have a last name just make it Walter Starks.

  4. CM Chippunk says:

    God, this company sucks. 😂

  5. Pisto75666 says:


    Because he’s from NXT. They always want to give the NXT guys the worst names possible when they’re moved to the MR.

    I guess it could be worse. I was expecting something worse, like Wally. But this is still awful. God I hate this company sometimes.

  6. Pisto75666 says:

    That’s what I get for not reading the rest of the article.

    I take back my other comment..that name COULDN’T be worse. OMG

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