New Vince McMahon name rule suggests WWE may strengthen kayfabe roots

Since the internet boom, kayfabe has taken a back seat in the WWE. But a Vince McMahon rule change could bring it back to the forefront of the company.

The term is used when the company presents staged events and relationships to the public under the illusion of reality.

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This worked perfectly during the Attitude Era. The entire promotion worked together to convince the world that The Undertaker and Kane were genuinely brothers. The pair of monstrous men shared a bitter rivalry. Who could forget ‘The Big Red Machine’ launching his brother into a casket?

The origin of the rivalry concerned a storyline in which ‘The Dead Man’ admitted to burning his younger sibling’s home to the ground. However, as social media rose to prominence, fans developed a plethora of tools to dig into the wrestlers’ real lives. They have begun to discover that what they’re being told is no more truthful than a pantomime performance of Jack and the Beanstalk.

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However, a new update from the company chairman could lead to the return of the kayfabe glory days.

Read: Shocking Royal Rumble moments: Kane Chokeslams The Undertaker into a casket.

What is the new rule that Vince McMahon has implemented?

The 76-year-old has decided that he doesn’t want wrestlers to use their real names unless they already have a massive following.

Dave Meltzer explained the situation in the most recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. However, he did clarify that the memo only applies to newer superstars and those that McMahon has decided it applies to.

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He wrote: “The actual story behind this is all the talent got a memo and Vince McMahon decreed he doesn’t want anyone new using their real names anymore, nor names they’ve used before on the indie scene. Walter became Gunther because Walter was both his real name and a name he used on the independent scene. Raquel Gonzalez kept Raquel (not her real name) but had to drop Gonzalez (her real name). Many thought Austin Theory dropped the Austin because of Steve Austin. But it’s actually because his real name is Austin White.

“Raul Mendoza is a WWE name, except Raul really is his first name, so he had to ditch it. As is always the case, the memo only applies to people who are newer and who they decided it applies to. Randy Orton isn’t going to change to Frank Trevino, and Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey don’t have this applied to them. It would be nutty if Riddle has to change his name because Riddle really is his last name. But it looks like this applies mostly to people just coming to the main roster, and this doesn’t apply to Cody Rhodes.

“But from this point forward, they don’t want anyone new using former names from elsewhere or real first or last names. Except if you’re Gable Steveson. And this will change soon enough like it always does.”

Fans of kayfabe will hope that this change will result in a comeback for the technique in the near future.

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