Wrestling is like Hollywood in that it’s almost impossible to find anyone who uses their real name. That includes the women as ladies have long been used to changing to different names to come off better. Amy Dumas was Lita, Patricia Anne Stratigeas became Trish Stratus and more have changed as well. Mickie James is an exception and many are still amazed Ronda Rousey is the real name of the UFC turned WWE star. It’s obvious why, as a good name change can do wonders to help a career and boost a woman up in marketing and success in the ring. Thus, you can see plenty of ladies in WWE who were a lot better off not using their real names.
However, there are other women in WWE who might be better off with their actual names. In some cases, their real name is actually better than their adopted ring name. In other cases, it seems a new character can use a new name and their actual one can work out nicely. It’s always fun to find the real names of the stars you see on screen every week and it’s more surprising how some of them can have better names off-camera than they do on them. Here are 9 female stars in WWE who should consider using their real name and 7 who are better off with their ring names to show how far a moniker can go.
16 Better Real Name: Paige
Real Name: Saraya Jade-Bevis
It’s amazing how much this young woman has already been through. After time in Europe with the cool name of Britana Knight, she moved to WWE and became one of the early pioneers of the Women’s Revolution. She was the first-ever NXT Women’s champion and did a great job holding the belt. Her entry on the main roster was great, debuting by winning the Divas title and looking great leading the way for women to be taken more seriously in wrestling. Sadly, she hit rough patches of injuries, suspensions and leaving amid her infamous relationship with Alberto Del Rio. Paige made her surprise return in late 2017, leading Absolution and the promise of a new run at the top. Sadly, a neck injury ruined that and has forced her to retire from wrestling at only 25.
But WWE has given her a new push by making her the GM for SmackDown. That’s led to some good stuff but maybe a name change can help.
Saraya-Jade Bevis might be a mouthful but even just Jade can help herself out majorly.
It’s harder to take seriously a boss named just Paige so a more authoritative name can aid her in her new role. It’s not really fair Paige had to cut her wrestling career short yet taking a new name can help her out in her new role.
15 Better Ring Name: Ember Moon
Real Name: Adrienne Reese
Like many of the current WWE ladies, Adrienne Reese had to enjoy a learning curve to get where she was. She started out in the indies as Athena, a good name and some nice work mixing her in-ring skills with an otherworldly persona to take off. She actually started off in NXT under her real name to learn more of the craft before getting her big push. She soon latched onto the name of Ember Moon, perfect to capture the attention of fans. Adding to it with her unique hairstyle and contact lenses, she had her great “Eclipse” finisher to capture attention. Soon, her feuds with Asuka were a highlight of the brand although Moon kept coming up short. But with Asuka leaving after her injury, Moon finally won the title at Takeover War Games and held it for several months before a loss to Shayna Baszler.
Now on the main roster, it looks like Moon is getting a good push going for her. She still has a great persona that comes alive in promos and a fantastic finisher and it looks like WWE wants her in the mix more for the title and MITB. Thus, changing her name was a key reason why Moon is shining so well in WWE today.
14 Better Real Name: Dakota Kai
Real Name: Cheree Crowley
With a mix of Samoan and Irish descent, Dakota Kai is starting to get some attention in NXT. She had a good run on the indies as Evie, showing off in SHIMMER, Shine and other places. That’s gotten her a good push in NXT and the name of Dakota Kai is good. It reminds fans of Leilani Kai, the former Women’s champion on the 1980s and sounds cool to say. Kai is getting a push winning a recent tournament and while she came up short against champion Shayna Baszler, she still showed her stuff. With many other ladies of NXT departing for the main roster, Kai might be good to take up more of the slack.
However, her real name might lend itself more to pushing her than Kai. Cheree Crowley just sounds pretty unique, showing her unique ethnicity off and can help her stand out from the crowd more. It also helps it has the alliteration that always works out nicely for wrestling fans to back and help remember better. Again, Kai herself is doing well as it is but her real name can give itself better for her to be pushed more in NXT.
13 Better Ring Name: Sonya Deville
Real Name: Daria Berenato
WWE has long been trying to get the MMA bug working for them. It started all the way back in 1997, long before UFC was a serious force as Ken Shamrock had some major pushes. It’s culminated today with signing on Ronda Rousey and pushing her well. Before that, WWE has been trying to push other ladies as a “Rousey type” and that includes Sonya Deville. Daria Berenato had been a contestant on “Tough Enough” and showed promise.
Of course, “Daria” is hardly a name to strike fear in opponents but rather remind fans of a cartoon teenager. Thus, renaming herself to Sonya Deville was much better and led to some attention in NXT.
Sadly, Deville has hit some snags on the main roster. She and Mandy Rose were teamed with Paige in Absolution and it looked like a real push. However, Paige’s career-ending neck injury has derailed it to the point of Absolution disbanded. And of course, there’s the real Rousey in WWE and manhandling Deville in an encounter and thus not as much need for an MMA wannabe. Still, at least Deville has a much better name to handle herself as few can fear some brawler named Daria.
12 Better Real Name: Naomi
Real Name: Trinity Fatu
The rise of Naomi has been somewhat surprising to fans. She had a good style in NXT back when it was still a reality competition show, some nice presence on the mic and very athletic. That’s no surprise given her past as a cheerleader and she’s used that for her ring work. It built up more on SmackDown with her dancing and then her great neon-covered entrance. Her victory of the title in 2017 was surprising with some grousing that it was mostly for her popularity thanks to “Total Divas.” That includes her relationship to Jonathan Fatu, better known as Jimmy Uso. Thus, while Naomi gets stuff like winning the Women’s WrestleMania battle royal and her dancing good, it seems off she gets pushed over better workers.
So taking on her real name might help remake Naomi into a tougher worker. Trinity is just a great name already and can easily lend itself to marketing and pushing herself nicely. The Fatu name is well-regarded in wrestling and she can use it more for her pushes as a tough gal. Maybe dropping the dancing for more action can win Naomi more respect and a name as cool as Trinity can help her take off more.
11 Better Ring Name: Becky Lynch
Ring Name: Rebecca Quinn
By rights, Rebecca Quinn should have been out of wrestling a while ago. She was rising up as Rebecca Knox in Europe and then early SHIMMER, showing great skills and a fun persona. A terrible neck injury seemed to end her career for good. However, Quinn was persistent, retraining herself and getting back into things. She was signed onto NXT but admits her time as Becky Lynch at first wasn’t good. That’s because she was stuck with every Irish cliché imaginable right down to dancing a “jig” in the ring. Turning heel helped but she still seemed lacking.
Thankfully, dying her hair orange and taking on her steampunk persona helped Lynch win huge respect.
Also aiding was her funny promos and good connection with fans. It led to her success with Charlotte and Sasha on the main roster and then winning the first SmackDown Women’s title. While her pushes have slowed, fans still love Becky and how she connects to them. Her name does help, it just rolls off and fits the steampunk vibe whereas Rebecca Quinn lends itself too much to the overtly Irish stuff she had to overcome. By any name, Becky is great but her current one is fine.
10 Better Real Name: Sarah Logan
Real Name: Sasha Bridges
From the start, Sasha Bridges played a “wild woman” in wrestling. That was shown in her indie work as Crazy Mary Dobson, going about in ICW, SHIMMER and ROH although not getting the shots she wanted. Heading to NXT, she took the name of Sarah Logan and was encouraged (as many NXT ladies are) to use more of her real persona for herself. She thus played up her Kentucky roots as a “Backwoods” gal in woodsy outfits and acting wild a lot. That got her a good push in the Mae Young Classic and then the decision to pair her up with Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan as the Riott Squad. So far, they’re doing well with their contrasting personas to be a success.
However, there are concerns over how they may be the case of a group who fall apart soon and Logan lost in the pack. Maybe taking back her real name can help as it still sounds good and can work for the character as well. She’s done a good job as the nutty gal yet taking on her real name could be a good push for Logan that she can use for the future.
9 Better Ring Name: Sasha Banks
Real Name: Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado
In some ways, she had a good name already. She used it on the indie circuit as Mercedes KV and Miss Mercedes as well. With her great skills, she already had the ingredients to take off when she was one of the first ladies hired for the newly created NXT. It was there that she was encouraged to work more of her real personality into herself. Thus was born Sasha Banks, the arrogant gal with the hip-hop style influenced by cousin Snoop Dogg and coming out in hot outfits. That led to huge success as NXT champion, classic battles with Bayley and Charlotte and then rising to the main roster. She’s had several reigns as Women’s champion although hampered by each being rather short.
However, Sasha still has a terrific presence and connects with fans, as shown by her feud with Bayley.
Yes, Mercedes is a good name but somehow Banks just works better (from the “Banks Statement” finisher to her various promos) and has given her serious push.
It’s hard to imagine “The Boss” going back to her real name as Sasha just feels so much better with that ring name than her actual one and a key reason she’s loved in WWE.
8 Better Real Name: Dana Brooke
Real Name: Ashley Sebera
Dana Brooke has had all the ingredients to work in WWE but it just never clicked. As a gymnast and weight-lifter, she had a good form and used it well in NXT. She seemed on the rise as Charlotte’s aide but the planned break-up between them never went down as planned. Dana was soon slumping down before being hooked up with Titus as part of his Titus Worldwide act. Her biggest claim to fame in the last year was how the image of her running from the SmackDown roster became a meme. Putting a woman with skills as a “statistician” for a so-so tag team seems a bad move, no matter how good she may look in the suit and glasses.
However, bizarrely, Titus is getting something of a new push following his infamous slip and fall at the Greatest Royal Rumble. This might lead to a shift for the group and taking on a new name can help Dana. Ashley Sebera does sound more like a business lady name and she can play with it in various ways with her outfits and promos. Brooke can use more of a push in the company and thus taking on her real name can hardly hurt.
7 Better Ring Name: Alexa Bliss
Real Name: Alexis Kaufman
Like many current starlets in WWE, Alexa had a rough road at first. After time as a gymnast, she started in NXT with the gimmick of a fairy princess, complete with blowing dust at fans. Thankfully, they realized she was far better suited as an arrogant heel and became the valet for tag champs Blake and Murphy. While they’ve basically fallen behind, Alexa has taken off wonderfully. Her good ring work was offset by her brilliance on the mic combined with the best facial expressions in WWE. She can make fans loathe her but also laugh at her antics and lines and that is true heat.
It’s paid off with double reigns as SmackDown and RAW Women’s champion. Right now, we have the genius act of Alexa acting like she’s the bullied party by Nia Jax while firing of insults. Frankly, it shows how the name fits her better than Alexis Kaufman would. It lends itself to stuff like the “Moment of Bliss” and the dynamic of a woman with a calm name who’s a nasty heel, showing how Alexa’s name adds to her already great heel status.
6 Better Real Name: Asuka
Real Name: Kanako Urai Aka Kana
The signing of Kana was a huge surprise to many. No one can deny the woman’s terrific skills in the ring and her fun persona. However, WWE is notorious for ignoring Japanese stars or booking them badly. Also, there was her lack of English and how she’d gained infamy for a scathing tirade ripping into the Japanese wrestling industry. But as soon as she signed to NXT and took the name of Asuka, she was taking off huge. A great performer already, she added to it with the masks and outfits and soon rising up majorly. She held the title for 510 days and didn’t even lose it in the ring, making her an instant name for fans.
However, her main roster success has been limited. She did win the first female Royal Rumble only to come up short against Charlotte at WrestleMania.
Sadly, she’s seen her stock slip with concerns Vince doesn’t have the trust in her Triple H does.
Perhaps going back to her old name of Kana can help her. It sounds more striking and it being her real name can help too. The woman has risen up brilliantly in NXT yet Kana could get her over at last on the main roster as she deserves.
5 Better Ring Name: Ruby Riott
Real Name: Dori Prange
Her first name in the indies was Heidi Lovelace and while that sounded good, the fact it’s a reminder of an infamous adult film star makes it understandable why WWE insisted on a change. It’s obvious why the change as Dori Prange just doesn’t scream out “tough worker” by any means. She kept up her work, taking on more of her “punk” attitude with tattoos and such and amassing some good credits on the scene, including SHIMMER. Renamed Ruby Riott in NXT, she clicked well with her outgoing style, good promos and tough showcases. The decision to have her join the main roster with some allies was surprising but the Riott Squad doing well so far.
The name is good, the kind of alliteration that works in wrestling. It speaks to her wild style in the ring and outgoing nature and makes the name of the Squad work too. Right now, Ruby is still amid the crowd with a move to RAW but might get more of a push soon. If nothing else, her great name combines with her persona to sell Ruby as a truly fun star to watch and how a name change can help you out.
4 Better Real Name: Carmella
Real Name: Leah Van Dale
With her lush blond hair and attitude, Carmella was a good sight in WWE from the start. She began as just the eye candy for Enzo and Cass before going on her own as the Staten Island Princess. She has good promos although complaints from fans on how she’s not the best worker. However, her partnership with James Ellsworth did get her more attention. That included the controversial move to have Ellsworth help Carmella win the first female Money in the Bank match. She held the case for a long time before finally managing to cash it in and beat Charlotte for the belt. So far, Carmella is okay as champion although not quite over yet with many fans.
Maybe a change to her real name might help.
Leah Van Dale is a great name for a heel champion as Carmella can decide that she’s turning “upscale” as a champion.
She’s already dumped her “Jersey” accent so she can act more arrogant as a rich, spoiled lady and boost herself up more. Maybe taking on a new cocky heel style as a rich gal can work out for Carmella and win her more fans. The fact is, her real name sounds just so much better than her ring one that it’s amazing she hasn’t used it.
3 Better Ring Name: Nia Jax
Real Name: Savelina Fanene
Nia Jax is hardly your classic "WWE Diva". It’s actually proven to be an advantage for her in this new era and has led to her success in the company. The woman has to be careful handling her weight and strength with other women. This was proven when she inadvertedly injured Bayley in 2017 and shows the risk of handling a larger worker. Surprisingly, WWE has been pushing her as a face with the unique idea of the giant Nia bullied by the arrogant pint-sized Alexa Bliss. This paid off with their WrestleMania encounter and Nia finally winning the belt. She’s doing well defending it and while odd to see the huge lady made the face of “anti-bullying,” nice to see her get her due.
It’s doubtful that would happen with her real name. Frankly, Savelina Fanene doesn’t just roll off the tongue nearly as well as Nia Jax does. Something about larger workers lends itself to them having simple names that work well and get the point across. The “Jax” name somehow just always equates itself well to bad-asses and Nia can get that across. The woman is beating the odds to be a big success in WWE and her simpler name helps her get over as a monster worker to shine so well in the company.
2 Better Real Name: Bayley
Real Name: Pamela Rose Martinez
A lot has been made of how poorly Bayley’s push on the main roster has been. Triple H has openly acknowledged she wasn’t the classic “WWE hire” but he was impressed by her in-ring skills. She also connected wonderfully with the NXT crowd, fans loving her hugging and cheerful style and it won them over. The payoff was her beating Sasha for the title at Takeover Brooklyn and a long reign as champion. She had a good push at first but then hampered, winning the belt in a poor way and then a rough feud afterward. It seemed WWE didn’t get the same “underdog” aspects and an injury also hurt her drive. There was talk of a heel turn that could spark her up but nothing came of it.
So maybe taking on her real name of Pamela Rose Martinez might help Bayley out. That was the name she used achieving fame on the indie circuit and could connect better to fans.
Pamela Rose is a good name for young female fans to get behind and can still keep up with her “hugging.” Bayley could probably use all the help she can get and shifting to her real name can’t do much more to harm her than WWE already has.
1 Real Name: Gionna Jene Daddio (Liv Morgan)
Liv Morgan got started in WWE at a fairly young age, as she was in her early 20s when WWE signed her onto NXT. When looking at Morgan's real name of Gionna Jene Daddio, it just sounds a lot more interesting than the regular sounding "Liv Morgan". It almost feels like WWE went through a list of first and last names and chose the two randomly. Morgan has mostly been at ringside since her debut to the main roster, cheering on Ruby Riott from ringside as part of The Riot Squad. Whether WWE rushed her to the main roster is one story, but should Liv Morgan ever break from Ruby and Sarah Logan, it might be a good idea for WWE to incorporate her actual name, or at least tweak it a little.
Morgan's not really established on the main roster yet as a standalone star, so changing it in the near future would be ideal.
For now, WWE seems content with Liv Morgan staying the course, but this is something they should look to. Doesn't Gionna Daddio just roll off the tongue a lot better? It's so much more unique and would likely help Morgan take the next step in her career.