WWE has confirmed a name change for WALTER.
The leader of Imperium is now billed as Gunther on the official WWE NXT roster page. The change was made just this afternoon.
As noted, WWE filed to trademark the “Gunther Stark” name last week, and WALTER indicated that his new name is “Gunther” after defeating Roderick Strong in last night’s NXT main event. There was immediate backlash over the name change, for obvious reasons, and for the fact that “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.
It should be noted that the “Stark” last name does not appear anywhere on Gunther’s updated roster page or bio.
We noted earlier at this link how there appears to be some sort of backstory to the Gunther name as Kyle O’Reilly once referred to WALTER by that name in a December 2019 tweet while Imperium was feuding with The Undisputed Era in NXT. For those who missed it, you can also click here for what Keith Lee and Lance Storm had to say about the name change.
Last night’s NXT ended with Imperium (Gunther, NXT Tag Team Champions Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner) brawling with The Diamond Mine (Strong, The Creed Brothers), so it looks like that will be one of the top NXT feuds moving forward.
Gunther has not changed his social media handles over from the WALTER name as of this writing, and it will be interesting to see if he does. The Ring General is now working full-time in the United States, on the main NXT brand. Last night’s NXT episode also included a backstage segment where Imperium declared their new mission to take over and dominate NXT as they did in the UK.
Stay tuned for more on Gunther and Imperium.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 19, 2022