For a while it seemed like WWE was rolling out a lot of NXT talent using their real names, or the one they used before Triple H & team signed them. Lately, it appears we’re back to the days when everyone got a moniker the company can trademark and control. According to PWInsider, five talents have been re-christened with WWE names and... well, see for yourselves...
- Adrian Jaoude is now Arturo Ruas
Okay, sure. The 37 year old Brazilian has been around for a while and wrestled on the WWE Network under his given name. But the new one sounds fine, which makes you wonder why they’d bother changing it, but oh well.
- Jessie Elaban is now Jessi Kamea
The former volleyball player was in the Mae Young Classic last year and has a handful of appearances on the weekly NXT show under a couple gimmicks. Like Jaoude/Ruas, this is likely strictly to ensure WWE controls the name. It’s fine.
- Luke Menzies is now Ridge Holland
The Brit is a former pro rugby player, so maybe this makes sense to differentiate his old career from his new one? This is the one change on this list I really dig, because I love 70s action moves and “Ridge Holland” is definitely the name of a character Burt Reynolds would have played.
- Trevor Lee is now Cameron Grimes
The former Impact star hasn’t debuted on NXT television yet. My guess is they wanted something which sounded more “southern”, and Cameron is likely a nod to the men who trained him - Matt & Jeff Hardy. We’ll get used to it.
- Eric Bugenhagen is now Rik Bugez
Hahaha... what? I mean, with the “k” and “z” I get that we’re going for an 80s rock vibe, which fits. And I’ll need to hear how they’re pronouncing the last name (Bugs? Boogies? Boug-eze?) before passing final judgement. But this is a guy they’ve pushed a fair amount on the Network and online, and it’s f***ing BUGENHAGEN, dude! How fun is that to say, and fitting for an air-rocking doof? If there ever should have been a candidate for WWE-style one-naming, it’s BUGENHAGEN. And what’s gonna happen if he gets called up? Will he just be Rik?
So there you have it. The latest batch from the WWE Name Generator™, and a few thoughts on each. Give us yours in the comments below.