What's in a name? In the world of sports entertainment, a lot! You might have noticed earlier today that the phrase #MyWrestlerNameWouldBe was trending on Twitter. Mine, by the way, would likely be "Brando B. Ware" or "Reckless-A-Brandon." The folks at For The Win took the hashtag as a chance to pull together a few origin stories from some of wrestling's biggest names. Some from the WWE are particularly interesting.
One of the most famous names in wrestling could have been Stone Cold Steve Williams, only there was one problem.
The way Austin tells the story is that the name came from Dutch Mantell, who was the booker in Memphis back in the late 1980s for the United States Wrestling Association. "I introduced myself and said, 'My name is Steve Williams,' " Austin said and Mantell replied, "You can't be Steve Williams here … They already got a guy named Steve Williams. They have Dr. Death Steve Williams. There can't be two Steve Williams."
Mantell then gave Austin a few chances to come up with a new name. "This is a life changing decision that's going to affect the rest of my career," Austin said, and he still wasn't able to come up with a name.
Eventually, Mantell dubbed him Steve Austin and sent him to the ring, although Austin says his first response to the name was, "You mean the 6 Million Dollar Man?"
In case that seems confusing, Austin was talking about a TV show called The 6 Million Dollar Man and not a knock off version of wrestler, Ted Dibiase.
Two of the current wrestlers to dish on their names were from the WWE's Women's division. First, everyone's favorite hugger, Bayley:
"I was throwing out names like Bobby or Jordan, something like that because I was like 'I don't want it to be super girly, like I don't want to be Patricia or something.' I don't know if that's girly but I was thinking of it, (like) Jennifer. Bailey was one of them and that was like the last one I wanted. I did not want that name.
"They gave me three choices and I forget what the other one was but one of them was Davia, which is not Davina, and I was like 'are you guys missing the 'n' or…?' They're like, 'No, Davia.' I said, 'That's not even a name.' … I was like, 'Man, I guess I'll just go with Bayley.' … It was with a 'i' and I was like 'OK, I'll choose this … because I was ready to send in another list of names because I was just not happy. I finally said, 'OK, if I choose this one I have to spell it B-A-Y because I'm from the Bay Area' and I thought I was so cool. Yeah, it has to mean something to me. So then I went with that and now I love it."
Good call. The Davia to Belly Suplex just doesn't have the same ring to it. The number one contender to the Smackdown LIVE women's championship came up with her own name:
"It was one of the names that I pitched. At the time, I was playing around with being a Southern Belle-type character in NXT and always say, Bless Your Heart.' For a Southern woman to say that, it was kind of in an insulting tone. It ended up more like, 'Bliss Your Heart.' It became a play on words and not meaning a good thing and there are so many ways to take it, 'Blissed Off' and 'Bliss Slap.' I know if it got approved, it would be so much fun to play with."
Thankfully, Suicide Squad had not hit theatres yet or Alexa's name would have definitely been some generic version of Harley Quinn. Now can we just give her a better finisher than a regular DDT? The Bliss of Death? Something?
Many other famous wrestlers didn't always start off with the name they became famous for. Though most fans now know that the name Triple H stands for Hunter Hearst Helmsley, many don't realize that he used to fight under a different name all together. Ever hear of Terra Ryzing? Didn't think so. That's the name Triple H used to call himself before he became The Game. Nothing tougher than a man named Terra.
The Ultimate Warrior is an iconic wrestling name, but in his earlier days he wasn't so well known. Starting his career as Jim "Justice" Hellwig, it wasn't until he adopted the Warrior name (which he would eventually legally change his own name to) that his career really took off.
What would your wrestling name be?