NXT, in case you haven’t been following along, is getting pretty crowded. WWE has been signing up people left and right, and it’s probably butts to nuts every day at the Performance Center. Over the weekend at NXT’s live events, a couple of their biggest international signings (including a guy who’s already been on TV a few times) got some new, WWE-approved ring names. The good news is that, while they may take a bit of time to get used to, both of the names are very much in keeping with what we already know about the performers.
Tommy End’s new NXT name is Aleister Black, which he more or less acknowledged on Twitter is a nod to Aleister Crowley, an occultist so notable that Ozzy Osbourne has a song about him. That’s absolutely perfect for End, whose iconography and gimmick is heavily influenced by the occult, due in part to his upbringing. And the man himself has stated he believes in rituals and “certain forms of magick,” so let’s do it. As much as I was a personal fan of “Tommy End,” my first impression is that this new name is more memorable, more marketable, and significantly more badass. And we can also pretend he’s related to Tyler Black, probably.
The other NXT bruiser who got introduced with a new ring name over the weekend is Damo, who had already been downgraded from “Big” Damo to just Ordinary Damo. From now on (until it changes again), he’s going to be known as Killian Dain.
I’m probably even more into this name change. For starters, that’s a name that’s Irish as all get-out. Secondly, it’s a hoss who has the word “KILL” in his name. And thirdly … I mean, come on. Pretty much anything is a step up from “Damo.” So in my book, two for two with these rebrands.
WWE developmental has certainly come a long way since “Bam Neely.” In fact, if you were to ask me, I’d say they’re actually … getting pretty good at this. We can reevaluate in a year, when they’re both on the main roster as “BLACK” and “DAIN,” but until that time, I’m cautiously optimistic about this brave new world where WWE takes in indie stars and gives them wrestler name upgrades.
Stay tuned for a week from now, when WWE signs Lio Rush and names him “Flip McScoot.”