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What's in a name?

Hi Scott - 

Quick question - how do wrestlers refer to each other backstage?  Do they call them by their character's name?  Or does everyone call Ryback "Ryan Reeves"? 

I can't see someone like Alex Riley referring to HHH as "Paul", either -

RB

Generally they refer to each other by the gimmick name.  So yes, Ryback would be referred to as Ryback.  And people generally call HHH "Hunter". There's some exceptions where guys have had other names longer than their WWE tenure and people just refer to them by the old name as a habit (people called Mick Foley "Cactus" for years before his real name became the more well-known one, for example) but generally it's just the name you hear on TV.

Comments

  1. You always hear wrestlers refer to Sandman as 'Hak'.

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  2. I could see backstage, but if these guys are out to eat or something on the road, I'm not calling another dude "Undertaker". I'm saying "Mark".

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  3. I wonder what they call Dolph Ziggler. Can't be his kayfabe name, can it? How can anyone say it without cracking up? I'm thinking he goes by Nick. Or Curt Jr.


    How about Daniel Bryan? Daniel or Bryan?!

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  4. Some get offended if you don't. CM Punk reportedly dislikes it when fans call him "Phil."

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  5. Based on Art of Wrestling, most guys simply call D-Bry "Dragon"

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  6. too bad they never got around to called neidhart "who".

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  7. Wrestlers frown on fans calling them by their real names.

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  8. Kevin Nash always refers to HHH as Paul but never calls HBK "Mike." I'm guessing there's some variations in there.

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  9. I think there's a certain aspect to seniority too. Kevin Nash was brought in to play second fiddle to Shawn so of course he defers to him even years later, but Hunter came along after and was on a lower tier than Nash so he calls him by his real name.

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  10. BTW, Colt is on Marc Meron's WTF podcast this week, it's kind of interesting actually getting to hear Colt's story rather than him being the host.

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  11. I've read most of the books from guys of that era and basically *everyone* calls him "Taker". Mick, Rock, Austin, even Bret, they all call him that.

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  12. Someone even called him "Take" which I thought was hysterical during a shoot interview. I think it was either Hall or Nash.

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  13. While on the BoD, I prefer to be referred by my gimmick name, cult, by all my adoring fans.

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  14. What do they call Sean Waltman? He's had so many names. Or papa shango for that matter? And what does stephanie call huntor?

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  15. Wasn't that a nickname prior to him using as his WCW name? I remember hearing that he came up with Hak on the spot before he went out for his first match.

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  16. Shawn is his middle name and the name he's preferred to go by since childhood.

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  17. Shawn's middle name is Shawn, I'm pretty sure he's always gone by that. When he quotes people in his book they refer to him as Shawn.

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  18. You'd probably be buried and fired for such disrespect.

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  19. Colt is on WTF...whoa mind blown from worlds colliding. I cannot see Maron having any respect for pro-wrestling whatsoever though.

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  20. I've always heard people refer to him as "Kid," "The Kid" or "Pac"

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  21. He actually does, it's a pretty good interview. Maron's an old school new York area fan so it's funny listening to Colt talk him from the Sammartino/Territory days to Colt's experience of having no place to go.

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  22. Yeah, I remember everyone calling Foley "Cactus" even when he was in the WWE. And in the one rare case, Paul Bearer for some reason called him "Mommy".


    BTW, we need Paul Bearer back, I forgot how awesome he was when he dropped the ghoul aspect of his personality and just went full on fat Southern jerk.

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  23. I really think it depends on the wrestler and their relationship with other wrestlers

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  24. A somewhat humorous one, Undertaker always refers to Edge as Edgeward.

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  25. I wonder if CP Munk has the same problem...

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  26. Seriously?! I gotta check that out!

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  27. What about Phineas and Henry Godwinn?

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  28. or "douche".

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  29. I've never heard anyone call him "Mike". Even his parents call him Shawn.

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  30. True story, Punk also dislikes when fans call him:
    1. CM
    2. Mr. Punk
    3. CM Punk
    4. "Tattoo Dude, I don't know who you are but you're in my way"
    5. Sir
    6. (Silently stare in his direction)
    7.(Ignore him because you know he gets pissed to be acknowledged)

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  31. Pretty sure everyone just calls him Taker.

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  32. Yeah it probably depend on how long, and how well they've known each other.

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  33. The very best KIND of Southern jerk.

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  34. He could barely walk during his last angle. I'm assuming health concerns will keep him away.

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  35. I hate that I love CM Punk the character so much while knowing that I would despise him if we met in person. I have the same problem with Jack Donaghy/Alec Baldwin.

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  36. That's awesome. I wish my nickname could be Dragon.

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  37. Are there any other groups of athletes/entertainers that get actively annoyed when their fans don't call them by their stagename? Maybe strippers?

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  38. You'll never get pushed.

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  39. I've heard that pretty much all wrestlers get annoyed with fans who do that. It's considered very smarky and rude. It's like walking up to an actor and using their non-stage name. Like calling Marilyn Monroe "Norman Jean" or something.

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  40. I'm sure Hollywood celebrities would, too (a LOT of them use stage names). It implies a sense of familiarity, and is fairly disrespectful (granted, most celebs actually have real-ish stage names, not Undertaker). Though I think Pink or Lady Gaga or whoever would be kind of annoyed by someone using their mundane names, too.

    Also, most Smark Fans say it to be cute and act all "inside", which pisses off ACTUAL insiders. Lance Storm alludes to this kind of thing in a commentary, where he joked as a teen he was gonna ask The Rockers "which one is getting the salt tonight" or something. He said he's glad he never said it, because that's EXACTLY the kind of smarky comment he hates from fans now that he's an actual wrestler.

    You know exactly the type of fan, too. All "huh huh huh, huh-huh, hey MARK, can you sign my sign? How about you, GLEN JACOBS, woh-ho see what I did there?"

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  41. That's awesome. I think I'll load up that one and Mick Foley's old appearance on Kevin Smith's Smodcast.

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  42. Yeah he "said" in his "book" (quotes because a more ghostwritten tome has never been made) that only his mother calls him "Michael" and that's only when she's mad at him.

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  43. I always wonder about that one. Presumably she'd have always known him as "Hunter" from before they were together but I'd imagine as time went on he'd maybe become "Paul" to her?


    BTW, PapaFatherKama is called "Bear" by all the wrestlers, based on his biker nickname.

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  44. I like Necro Butcher's attitude about the whole thing: rather than all this "live the gimmick" mumbo jumbo, he says he's only Necro Butcher when he's on the clock and otherwise encourages everyone to call him Dylan Summers, even fans. The flipside of that is guys like Punk or Raven that get their pubes in a bind over it. Or Steve Corino, who used to post his AIM screen name on his old website but had all these rules about what you were allowed to call him; I believe it was either "Mr. Corino" or "Champ" but never "Steve" or even "sir".

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  45. Nice, fyi Mick will be on a Mohr Stories at some point in the next few weeks too, I think Jay pre-taped a bunch of episodes for the holidays so not sure exactly when but from Jay's Twitter it appears they've got one ready.

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  46. I have to give Necro props for that (even if I hate his whole style of wrestling), considering he had the honor of having a pretty large role in an Oscar nominated film and everything.

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  47. You know, as fun as it was to watch Punk rip on Nash last year, I really wish they had brought in X-Pac as well, just so we could have gotten a bunch of "One Night in Chyna" jokes.

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  48. Eh, ultimately you'd never know unless you actually meet them. I think he's a love him or hate him type of guy though.

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  49. I am completely, 100% with you on this. There are some guys, like Shawn Michaels, who really DOES go by his wrestling name and not his real name (as I understand it), but other than that I find the whole "don't call me by my real name" thing weird. Wrestlers love to use the whole "we're performers" argument and like comparing themselves to actors when it's convenient, but who would ever see Hugh Laurie in public and refer to him as "House"?


    A lot of the guys who insist that they be called by their wrestling name are the same guys who will laugh off or yell at fans who yell at them (the person) for what they (the character) did on TV.

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  50. Wrestlers are an interesting bunch. As much as we make remarks about how WWE (the company) seems to resent and be embarrassed by their audience, the wrestlers themselves really aren't any better. Yes, there are fans out there who can be disrespectful and intrusive, but can you imagine any other group of athletes or entertainers that would get annoyed by a comment like "which one is getting salted tonight?" That's like Matthew Fox and Terry O'Quinn getting upset with a Lost viewer for asking, "Who's getting the flashback episode tonight?"


    And the wrestling name/stage name thing is a fine line. The big difference is that the Undertaker IS the character. We're not watching the Undertaker play Bob McGirk. Again, if I see Undertaker walking down the street, I'm supposed to call him the Undertaker, but I'm an idiot if I think he's an actual walking zombie?

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  51. Your latter paragraph does a much better job of making the poitn I was going for. Calling someone by their assumed alias that they use to promote themselves is one thing, but calling them by a name they played in a movie is something else.

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  52. Plus, he actually seems like a good guy to know, just from most accounts not to meet in passing.

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  53. That times a million.

    Everybody that's met him (except for Kofi Kingston) has an "Asshole Punk Introduction" story. He might just suck at meeting people.

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  54. While I agree with a lot of what you say, there is a matter of scale.


    Wrestlers perform in front of a live audience multiple times a week for decades on end, they build up the character themselves, and create large aspects of it. It's not a movie role, it's part of their life, so I do understand being uncomfortable with being called by their "real name" when it's a name that they use less than their "fake name".

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  55. They just don't bother with his first name: NoTalent.

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  56. then i shall call you "douche" :)

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  57. You could always call him Kane the Undertaker.

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  58. I agree with what you're saying. Listen, if I saw CM Punk walking down the street, I'd call him "CM Punk" or some variation of that name. It doesn't really have anything to do with respect, it's just that that's the way I know him. And if he's known in many of his legitimate social circles as Punk or some variation of that, it DOES go beyond a character name. My issue is more with the contempt and hostility many of these people have towards fans that do choose to call them by their real names.


    A good example might be William Shatner. His "official" and known name is William, but it seems that he's almost universally known by friends and colleagues as "Bill." I doubt he'd have a hissy fit if some person on the street called him Bill.

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  59. I remember catching a bit of a shoot interview with them talking about the BSK, but Phineas was referred to several times as Tex during the interview.

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