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Last Name Basis / Professional Wrestling

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Examples of Last-Name Basis in Professional Wrestling.

  • It's very common for wrestlers to refer to each other by last name, and for commentators to use surnames 90% of the time. This also applies to heel commentators when referring to their broadcast partners (e.g., Jesse "The Body" Ventura referring to Vince McMahon as "McMahon").
  • A lot of examples involve a two-part ring name (may or may not be their real name) which had the first name taken out of official billing but was still referenced on-screen by other performers at times:
    • Dave Batista and Dave "Fit" Finlay, whose respective ring names are their actual last names (Batista's with a minor spelling change from "Bautista"). Batista gets a "Dave" every now and then, however, a bit more frequently than Finlay would even get a "Fit" in WWE in fact.
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    • Then there's Ken Anderson/Kennedy, who insisted on being referred to as "Mr. Kennedy" - and insisted on referring to himself as "Mister Kennedy....Kennedy!" Since his jump to TNA, he's gone by 'Mr. Anderson'.
    • Vince McMahon's name on the official WWE website and on most official WWE products such as WWE magazine is listed as simply "Mr. McMahon."
    • Bill Goldberg dropped his first name during his monster push in WCW.
    • TNA's Kazarian is actually called Frankie Kazarian, but dropped the first name officially while wrestling in TNA. Keeps it everywhere else, though.
    • Inexplicably, during his 2009-10 run with TNA, "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels (aka 'Curry Man') was billed simply as 'Daniels'.
  • Bobby Lashley was often referred to as "Mr. Lashley" or simply "Lashley". Teddy Long always called him "Bobby," though. In TNA, this is particularly because he shares the roster with Bobby Roode, though in the Inoki Genome Federation he was called Bobby and paired up with Bob Sapp.
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  • Before he was JBL, John "Bradshaw" Layfield was known as Justin 'Hawk' Bradshaw. He dropped his first name and his nickname when he was paired up with Faarooq to form 'The Acolytes'.
  • This is almost completely subverted with the WWE Divas. So infrequently does Last Name Basis occur, that many Divas don't even have last names. Sometimes it's a first and last that are rarely separated (Gail Kim, Rosa Mendes) or a last name that is only used extremely rarely (Jillian Hall, Eve Torres) or simply only being known by their first name (Melina, Layla, Maryse). Michelle McCool seems to be the one exception to this, but in her case, it is a 50-50 basis.
  • When a wrestler's last name is that of a major wrestling legacy (or any last name that has multiple well-known bearers), such as McMahon, Hardy, Hart, Guerrero, DiBiase, or Rhodes, they are often referred to by their first name, especially when two people are involved at once.
    • This is especially used in the case of Vickie Guerrero, probably because she is a woman.
  • Nowadays, the only male wrestler (who doesn't fit the "family" example above) better known by his first name than by his last name is Santino Marella.
    • He did have last name basis in the earlier parts of his career, but when his gimmick became a comedy gimmick, this was swapped.
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    • Kofi Kingston may also be an example, but that is nowhere near the extreme of Santino's case.
    • Wrestlers with unique first names like Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, or Cody Rhodes are more likely to be called by just their first name than those with common first names such as Jack Swagger or John Cena.
    • Bray Wyatt is also usually called by his first name partially because "Bray" is a unique first name, but mainly to avoid confusion with the name of the faction he leads. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, however, are nearly always referred to by their last names. Braun Strowman, interestingly enough, is skewing towards the "first name" camp.
  • Parodied with Shawn Michaels, Daniel Bryan, and Christopher Daniels whose actual names are flipped in reverse and slightly changed.
  • Raven's Flock in WCW were all over the map with this one. Billy Kidman and Scotty Riggs were increasingly referred to by their Kayfabe last names after joining the group. Reese (Ron Reis, aka the Yeti of the Dungeon of Doom) used an altered version of his real last name. Horace Boulder, however, was referred to generally as "Horace" until he joined the NWO and started using the name Horace Hogan.note 
  • Allison Danger would refer to MsChif just as "Chif", which makes one wonder just what her first name is.
  • East Asian wrestlers (Tajiri being the most notable) tend to be known by their last names due to Western confusion over Chinese and Japanese name order (i.e., the surname being first).
  • When he was in The Shield, Roman Reigns was almost always called "Reigns" by everyone. After the group broke up, people are starting to gravitate towards "Roman" (possibly as people began to remember of Luther Reigns). The same things happened to his stablemates Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, although to a lesser extent (probably as they were less unique first names than "Roman".
  • Colin Cassady is pretty much always called "Big Cass" (a nickname coming from his last name), and it later became his official name. His partner Enzo Amore (who introduced "Big Cass" nickname), however, is nearly always referred to by his first name, and nowadays his full name is starting to be dropped.
  • Fans tend to jump back and forth between referring to AJ Styles between his first and last names. That being said, he's far more likely to be called by his last name than the other "AJ" in wrestling, AJ Lee.
  • Michael Cole zig zags this. While JBL and Saxton we're both on First-Name Basis with him, Corey Graves and Tazz almost exclusively called him Cole

Alternative Title(s): Pro Wrestling


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