US Champion Austin Theory has explained why Vince McMahon chose to change his name while he was running WWE creative.
After aligning himself with Vince McMahon on WWE TV, Austin Theory eventually lost his first name and started to wrestle as ‘Theory’.
Theory became Austin Theory again in September 2022, shortly after McMahon’s departure and Triple H taking over creative.
Speaking with Chris Van Vliet, Theory indicated that he believes Vince McMahon wanted to avoid comparisons to Steve Austin, especially following their segments at WrestleMania 38.
Sharing his thoughts on the change, Theory said:
“Yeah, so I remember walking into, and this is the time Mr. McMahon was head of creative, I remember the writer bringing my promo and the promo said, ‘Don’t call me Austin. It’s just Theory.’
“I was like, ‘What? The name is gone?’ I was wondering why. I spoke with Mr. McMahon about it, and he felt that, you know, Theory could be a name that stood alone. He felt it had enough power behind it.
“Also, I think he just wanted to get away from that comparison of Stone Cold because we just did the WrestleMania stuff. So I think maybe out of circumstance, that’s maybe why it happened.
“The funny story about Austin Theory coming back is I just got a text one day, or like that just pretty much said, ‘Your Austin Theory.’ Then I showed up to the show and the matches were on the wall and there was my full name again.
“I’m like, I guess I’m Austin Theory again. So I thought it was kind of funny. Like, that’s how I find out, you know what I mean?
“I never felt negative about it because Theory just meant the most to me, because I’ll always have my first name. People are always going to know me as Austin.
“But Theory was just that name I came up with as a kid. Even as a kid I was searching for, you know, besides it being a cool name that I came up with, and nobody had it like how can I give it meaning.
“For the longest, Theory was supposed to mean, you know, a Theory is unproven, but to me when you’re unproven, that means you’re not proven, so you can always get better.
“If you’re somebody that’s proven, that’s it for you. So me being a Theory always being able to change, to adapt, to evolve, that’s what it’s all about, and I still feel like to this day, it still works for that.”
Theory is slated to defend his gold against John Cena at WrestleMania 39.
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