In professional wrestling, it is not uncommon for competitors to perform under mononyms. While sometimes the names are plainly war names like Sting or Edge, there are also guys who have their last name (fictitious or otherwise) like Goldberg or Batista. WWE has attempted to recreate the Goldberg effect on several occasions by taking wrestlers like Alexander Rusev and Antonio Cesaro and removing their first names.
But there are also artists who have lost their last name, which always seems like a much weirder choice for some reason. Let’s take a look at 12 instances where WWE has done this.
Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo
True cousins ââAngel Garza and Humberto Carrillo arrived on the WWE Main List one year apart in 2018 and 2019, and ended up with opposing rosters, meaning they were likely going to fight on the main list forever.
But in 2021, the two formed a squad and were drafted for Smack down, where they established themselves as a heel duo named The Lotharios, probably because they’re both so handsome – so handsome that they didn’t need last names.
Formerly known as the Uhaa Nation in India, Apollo Crews signed to WWE in late 2014, making his main roster debut in 2016. While his name sounded like a combination of fictional boxer Apollo Creed and actor Terry Crews, in February, he suddenly started being billed as just Apollo.
Apparently the change was meant to move the character away from a mass gunman with a vaguely similar last name, but that turned out to be short-lived and he got his last name back around two months later.
These days, Christian Cage, decorated champion and former tag team specialist, is called Christian Cage in All Elite Wrestling and Impact Wrestling. It may sound like a change to her ring name to avoid branding issues with WWE, but it’s actually nothing new.
The nickname dates back to when Christian was wrestling in the independent Canadian scene, where he seemed to use the name from the start. However, when he signed to WWE, the last name was dropped.
Andrade “Cien” Almas
Former masked luchador La Sombra debuted on NXT in 2016 not only without a mask, but with a brand new name: Andrade âCienâ Almas, with a nickname and last name that apparently translates to â100 soulsâ . The meaning of this name is unclear, but on his debut on the main roster, the former NXT champion found himself devoid of both of these, simply becoming Andrade.
Upon leaving WWE, he adopted his other nickname as the name of the ring, becoming the most memorable Andrade El Idolo.
Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight
WWE loves the guys on the tag team losing their last name for whatever reason, so of course when Heavy Machinery hit the main roster, Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight became just Tucker and Otis.
It’s the kind of thing that stops working as soon as guys go solo, so when WWE inevitably broke up the duo, it felt weird that they didn’t have a last name, especially after Otis became Chad Gable’s amateur wrestling protege.
The actual daughter of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Natalya had used her last name since her debut in 2002, wrestling as Nattie Neidhart throughout her time in India and going through her time in the development of the WWE. On her main roster debut in 2007, she was even featured as Natalya Neidhart.
However, when the time came for her to actually wrestle, Natalya suddenly gave up on her last name, as most “WWE Divas” of the time only had first names. She didn’t even get her last name back when she was in the Hart Dynasty, believe it or not.
The wrestler best known as Rikishi has been through so much – Headshrinker Fatu, âMake A Differenceâ Fatu, The Sultan – that it’s easy to forget that he once had a last name like Rikishi.
By early 1998, the Sultan’s gimmick had run its course and it debuted in late 1999 with the name Rikishi Phatu, a game of his real last name Fatu, resembling the Rikishi that fans remember as the Attitude era.
Shotzi Black Heart
It’s oddly rare for independent female talent to come to NXT with their ring names intact, but Shotzi Blackheart was one of the few. After all, a name like this is hard to beat. After making a strong impression in development, the former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion debuted on the main roster in 2021, albeit without her cool last name.
While some might argue that âBlackheartâ wasn’t a good last name for a babyface character, that seemed like a moot point, as WWE immediately turned on its heel.
NXT’s traditional naming conventions mean that everyone has a first and last name no matter how badly they come out of the tongue. As a result, many decently titular main roster stars have last names that fans have probably forgotten altogether, such as WWE resident troubadour Elias.
Back when he debuted his musician gadget, he was known as Elias Samson, a pretty decent nickname when it comes to NXT names, but two months after his debut on the main roster of May 2017 he ditched the “Samson”, a change that makes it a bit worked for a musician character.
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was a WWE icon in the 1980s thanks to his unique looks and high-flying style, so it made sense that Tamina Snuka adopted elements of her father’s presentation, including her signature Superfly finisher. Splash.
After her debut in 2010, Tamina used both her full and fair ring name “Tamina” somewhat interchangeably until 2015, when Jimmy Snuka was charged with murder and the family connection therefore seemed less desirable.
Grand E Langston
A former NXT champion and multiple New Day tag team champion, Big E Langston made his main roster debut in 2013 as executor of Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee. Soon, however, E would go his own way, becoming Intercontinental Champion and eventually ditching Langston in 2014 to become Big E.
Unlike many celebs who lost their last name, at least Big E still sounds like a ring name.
Before becoming The Rock, Dwayne Johnson made his WWE debut as Rocky Maivia, a vanilla babyface with a ring name who shouted out his dad “Soulman” Rocky Johnson and his grandfather, Grand Chief Peter. Maivia.
Eventually, fan rejection would lead to a turnaround for Rocky, and soon he would drop the last name – and part of his first name! – adopt the name of the ring by which it would be known throughout the world.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson went through different phases in his wrestling career. Here’s a look at each version of The Great One, ranked!
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