Fans were quick to notice when WWE declared that Apollo Crews would now be known as simply "Apollo." The reasons for the switch were never detailed, but we now know it has nothing to do with brevity and everything to do with February's Florida school shooting.
On Valentine's Day, Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, FL. In light of the horrific incident, WWE decided it was best for Apollo to drop his surname as confirmed by the Wrestling Observer.
Daniel Wood of Sportskeeda originally broke the news of WWE's intentions but was met with doubt. However, The Observer reported that internal emails within WWE can confirm that Vince McMahon wanted to avoid any allusions to the shooter.
WWE never denied Sportskeeda's report and hoped they would not have to address the change.
As a publicly traded company, WWE is no stranger to managing optics. While some may think this was an unnecessary move, it clearly means something to WWE as they dropped "Crews" just one day after the tragic event.0comments
If not for the macabre circumstances, WWE Apollo's name change would not have drawn any attention. Elias, Big E, Rusev, Cesaro, and Neville all became single name Superstars and no one batted an eye.
However, sometimes history dictates action.