It's not unusual for WWE to change the names of NXT wrestlers who get called up to the main roster. Antonio Cesaro, Adrian Neville, and Alexander Rusev, for example, lost their first names. Even guys like Luke Harper and Erick Rowan have gotten similar name changes well into their main roster runs, though as The Bludgeon Brothers, they now simply go by their surnames. This time, however, one of the three fresh call-ups who tore through SmackDown Live's women's roster last week is known by a slightly different name as of this week. How come the NXT wrestler known as Ruby Riot, is now known as Ruby Riott?
Yes, it’s just an extra letter “t” added to the name of the heavily-tattooed leader of the newly-named faction The Riott Squad. As observed by WrestleZone, it appeared as if WWE quietly changed Riott’s name to its current spelling on last night’s episode of SmackDown Live, as the new spelling showed up on her Titantron entrance and nameplate graphics. And the reason for the name change doesn’t appear to be an attempt to make her even edgier, but rather an attempt to avoid copyright issues.
Citing both Pro Wrestling Sheet and independent ring announcer Zane Pasley, WrestleZone wrote that there is a book on Amazon’s online store entitled Cadence: A British Rock Star Romance, which features a fictional rock band called Ruby Riot. At the time of the book’s release in 2015, Ruby Riott was still wrestling in the indie scene as Heidi Lovelace. However, the ring name she chose upon signing with WWE earlier this year doesn’t appear to be related to the aforementioned book.
While this was such a low-key name change that many fans might not have picked up on right away, it shouldn't matter too much at the end of the day. Regardless of how you spell her last name, Ruby Riott didn't take long to stand out on NXT as one of the most promising female prospects in developmental and provided she gets booked properly, she's looking forward to a bright future on SmackDown Live with the rest of her Riott Squad.
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