There have been many examples over the years of WWE stars having their names shortened, but now we have some insight into why exactly that happens.
Two specific examples are Rusev – who was Alexander Rusev – and Cesaro – who was Antonio Cesaro.
Dave Meltzer explained why those two names were changed on Wrestling Observer Radio, saying:
“[Vince said] ‘if we call him Alexander Rusev, people are gonna start gonna calling him Alex and Alex is not a good name for a heel.’ That’s the real reason so that’s why they dropped the first name. The same thing happened with Cesaro. The reason why they dropped [the name] Antonio Cesaro was because Vince said ‘people are going to start calling him Tony and Tony is not a heel name so we gotta drop the first name.'”
Of course the same rule can’t be applied to every shortened name ever, but those two are perhaps the biggest examples in recent times.
We have a tracker for every WWE name change of 2020 at this link if this is the kind of thing you’re interested in.
Quote via WrestlingNews.co