It was just last week that NXT Superstar and former indie darling Ruby Riot debuted on Smackdown Live, alongside teammates Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. But when she and her faction returned for their in-ring debut on last night’s Smackdown, something about her had changed.
WWE announcers certainly didn’t point it out, and you might not have even noticed, but Ruby Riot has become Ruby Riott, a change reflected on both her entrance graphics and her official WWE Roster page (which hasn’t even caught up with the length of her hair).
The likely reason for the change came in a backstage segment, when Ruby introduced her team to Dash Fuentes as the Riott Squad. It’s not a bad name, and as a longtime Heidi Lovelace fan, I’m excited by how clearly they’re pushing her as the leader, but it’s also not particularly original.
In addition to the existence of literal police riot squads, “the Riot Squad” has been the name of two British rock bands and at least a couple of movies. There’s also a Riot Squad in Marvel Comics, who are enemies of the Incredible Hulk. So if WWE is going to have any hope of branding and copyrighting this team for T-shirts and whatnot, they have to make the name their own. And “Riott Squad” is at least less silly than “Riot Squadd.”
As for Ruby, the extra “T” may look a little odd, but it’s not much of a hindrance, especially as she’s pretty clearly being set up for a match with Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. And given what happened to the Bludgeon Brothers, she’s lucky they’re not just calling her “Riott.”