WWE wrestler Austin Theory has had his ring name changed to just "Theory." The move comes in the wake of a huge WrestleMania 38 match against, Pat McAfee, which Theory lost. The name change was revealed by Theory himself, who announced it on Monday night on Raw.
During the show, Theory stormed to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville, telling them that Vince McMahon —WWE Chairman & CEO — assured him of a match against Finn Balor for the WWE United States Title. The man formerly known as "Austin" then notified them of his name change, explaining that he and McMahon felt "Theory" is a better moniker for him. And, to no one's surprise, he is getting that title match next Monday, April 18, on Raw.
WWE fans have taken to social media to offer their thoughts on the name change, with some takes being a tad more sarcastic than others. "This is so helpful. I confuse Steve Austin and Austin Theory frequently. I hope that Chad Gable gets a name change soon so that I don't confuse him with Gable Steveson," one person joked. "I frequently confuse one person's first name with another person's last name because I am a complete idiot."
"This is one of the only times recently that i can remember that a name change actually makes sense," a supportive fan tweeted. "Vince gets stunned at mania and is so petty that he removes Austin from Theory's name. I love it."
Austin Theory took a stunner from Stone Cold that was so powerful that he got rid of the name Austin because of the trauma.— Fiending For Followers ‼️ (@Fiend4FolIows) April 12, 2022
Incredible storytelling. 😂 pic.twitter.com/LdbB3QbZXA
Some fans have pointed out that the name change likely stems from Stone Cold Steve Austin's explosive WrestleMania appearance, which did not end well for McMahon. "It makes [sense] story line. Austin has given Vince hell. Since day 1," a fan offered. "He ruined the wrestleMania moment this year. So Vince does not wanna see or hear the name Austin." Notably, What Culture reports that the name change is related to the completion, or abandonment, of the Stone Cold-Theory rivalry storyline.
Born Austin White, Theory started his wrestling career in independent promotions, including many that are underneath the World Wrestling Network umbrella. Full Impact Pro (FIP) and Evolve are just two of the promotions he wrestled in. During his time there, Theory earned a number of titles, including the WWN Championship, FIP World Heavyweight Championship, and the Evolve Championship. In 2018, Theory tried out for WWE, and in 2019 he was officially signed to the roster, where he remains today.