There must be something in the water over at the NXT creative team department this week, as there have now been a dozen name changes for new and existing talent.
The first was former ROH Television Champion Punishment Martinez, who revealed he would be going by the name of Damian Priest in a vignette at TakeOver XXV.
Next came a raft of five changes:
- Adrian Jaoude became Arturo Ruas
- Cult hero Eric Bugenhagen was rechristened Rick Bugez (pronounced “boogers”), which is presumably a pun name to amuse Vince McMahon
- Jessie Elaban changed the spelling of her forename and received a new surname, becoming Jessi Kamea
- Former Impact star Trevor Lee was repackaged as Cameron Grimes
- British rugby player Luke Menzies, who had been doing a Yorkshireman gimmick in NXT and NXT UK, has had his name changed to Ridge Holland
Following that another three names changed, all former independent stars who have joined the WWE system recently:
- ACH is now known as Jordan Myles, having previously wrestled for NXT as Albert Hardie Jr.
- DJ Z became Joaquin Wilde, named after his wrestling fan uncle Joaquin and with “Wild(e) representing how he wrestles
- Shane Strickland is now known as Isiah Scott
It didn’t stop there. Another three NXT stars have undergone modifications to their gimmick:
- Garza Jr. has dropped the “junior” (Vince hates that, because he himself is Vince McMahon Jr. and he despised it when wrestlers called him “Junior” in his youth) and is now Angel Garza
- Australian Jonah Rock is now Bronson Reed
- Former TNA man Samuel Shaw has been given the name Dexter Lumis. Given that he does a serial killer gimmick we assume the surname is an homage to Scream killers Billy Loomis and his mother Mrs. Loomis.
Is that it? Will there be any more new names given to NXT stars? The brand is taping television tonight and tomorrow so there could still be more to come.