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“The Name Game”

There have been some recent grumbles in the wrestling community lately, mostly from the fans about the names given to new up and comers who have been signed to WWEs FCW. There have always been corny and silly names in the wrestling world such as Bastion Booger, T.L. Hopper, Salvador Sincere and John Cena, but it seems to me since the start of NXT they’ve really been handing out the winners. The difference with these names is that most of them are made up real names. No one has a name like Undertaker or Sting or even Shock-Master. Perhaps the returning Skip Sheffield will be using the one world name “Ryback” when he makes his return, and I guess “Funkasaurus” was becoming a nickname. To me personally, I just want to be able to take someone seriously, and I also want them to acknowledge if the performer has history in his blood. It drives me absolutely insane that Joe Hennig can’t use his real name. The guy isn’t the greatest in the ring or mic yet, but he does have some pretty good skills. We keep hearing about how there’s no depth to characters and how they lack that certain piece of the puzzle. Wouldn’t it make more sense to call him Joe Hennig, push him as the son of Mr. Perfect and have Joe build his character that route? That would add 10 layers of depth right there…just acknowledging the fact that he has wrestling in his blood. I’m pretty sure more fans would invest more time in him as well if it were known he was a third generation superstar just like how Randy got his push.

The reason I wanted to bring up this subject is because since Chris Hero was hired by FCW, we’ve learnt his name in the WWE machine is “Kassius Ohno”. I’m not against the fact they want to market him under a different name so they own the copyright and can control everything, but why give him a name that would never suit a champion? That’s just my opinion, but Kassius Ohno is really one of the dumbest names I’ve heard. It’s almost like it already has an identity crisis….it’s a completely off the wall name that’s attempting to sound normal. In my opinion if your name is already having an identity crisis, what kind of stress is that going to be putting on the performer? How hard would it be to want to move up the ranks and make it on the main roster but you absolutely hate your name? I know it’s all about building the performer and making them work with whatever is given to them, but in struggling times when you’re lacking great characters and performers people can invest in…why make it even harder? To me that’s all Vince/HHH/creative are doing when they give these guys absolute garbage to work with. They’re simply making it harder for the performer to really connect with the most important thing of all…the WWE universe.

Perhaps it’s just that ideas are running out or they’ve already used up all the good names such as Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and Sgt. Slaughter and they’re just pulling names from a hat. I know this isn’t anything new, believe me, but it just seems it’s getting worse. Even when I first heard Dolph Ziggler I cringed, but in the end he had a personality that suited it perfectly. He was able to develop his playboy character perfectly to go along with the ripped off name from a movie about a porn star. I also admit I was a little upset when they turned The Giant into The Big Show but over time it’s actually growing on me. You could also say the same about Hunter Hearst-Helmsley. At least he was lucky enough to have some smart writers behind him who eventually morphed it into Triple H. I guess my main complaint would be is that if someone has wrestling history in them, and they actually are a decent performer and actually look good in the ring, why not let them use their families name to market them? I guarantee people will be able to connect with them a lot better, and they’ll at least be giving us a small history lesson every time the performer is mentioned. The commentators don’t do a good enough job promoting the past and wrestling history, and I believe if they started doing this instead of fighting back and forth with each other it would be better for business. Not only would more fans be interested in the past, but it would also help keep tradition alive especially with all the upcoming second and third generation performers.

What do you guys think about the names given out? Especially lately? Also, do you think the second and third generation superstars should be allowed to use their family name? Thanks for the read and the comments are appreciated.

James Bones