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It's the same reason why Vince Mcmahon kept this man's image alone!
"The Real World Champion" Ric Flair is much better than having him enter as a new name (which majority of fans would ignore anyways).

Although a few years earlier he wouldn't do it when Hogan was in his prime.

Vince need "new blood" that was instantly identifiable in 1990 and 1991 with the dwindling roster.
 

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It's not a brand new thing. They allowed CM Punk to keep his Indy name.

It all depends on trademarks and if they think it's worth it to buy out the trademark or in the cases where the performer already owns the rights to his name they have to negotiate a deal with the superstar for partial rights to the name.

It's just all about if they think it's worth it or not based on how well known the name is.


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Well El Generico isn't a great name, I do feel like it worked for his character in the indies. Also I don't see how Kevin Steen is that bad or worse than Kevin Owens, even though I do prefer Kevin Owens because of the KO acronym.
Kevin Steen is his real name. He probably didn't want to give WWE control of that.


I think that's probably what's taking place in some cases. WWE likely owns AJ Styles brand now. If he was younger and thought he was gonna go somewhere else eventually he might have changed it.


Alternative theory: With all the recent injuries WWE couldn't play hardball because they needed bodies.
 

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AJ Styles is going to turn 39 years old this year, Joe is older as well, as is Aries - I suspect it's more to do with WWE being their last stop, whereas the younger wrestler could presumably leave wwe and wrestle elsewhere and wwe wouldn't want them to use their years of marketing them/in-ring name to help promote a new company.

Also Joe and AJ are known all over the world - it's sorta hard to change their names anymore. Devitt wasn't known in NA, nor Kenta really. Though I suspect Kenta would have kept his ring name if he signed today like Nak is.

Will be interesting to see if the developmentals keep their real names or get new gimmicked ones. Sombre is wrestling under his real name of Manny Adrande, Biff Busick is Chris Girard, Richie Swan is Rich Swan, Kenneth Crawford is Kenneth Crawford etc. There is a lot of wwe developmentals wrestling under their real names - even appearing on television now as well.
 
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