Following ECW going out of business in 2001, Rhino was one of the names who jumped over to WWE. Rhino had found great success in ECW as the last ECW World and Television Champion prior to closure. Despite his potential value as "Rhino" in WWE, the company had other ideas for him before his debut.
Speaking to Chris Jericho on Talk is Jericho, Rhino revealed that WWE wanted to change his name to something a little less intimidating.
"They wanted to change my name to Mary. This was after ECW. They were like, 'We gotta change your name.' And I go, 'Why?' They go, 'We can't patent it.' [Joe Legend[ said, 'Why don't they just change [the I] to a Y?' I think they just wanted to create their own character for me. Edge goes, 'You guys are going to drop the ball. Bring him in as our friend and heater.' They wanted to dye my hair blonde and make me their little brother. Can you imagine having to dye your hair blonde all the time? They were kicking around different ideas. Juggernaut was one. The worst one was Mary. I don't know where it came from," he said.
Fortunately, Edge was the voice of reason.
"Edge was like, 'You're gonna insult the fan's intelligence. They've seen him for the last few years tearing people up in a different promotion.' They go, 'You're starting tonight.' 'Did they figure out a name?' 'Rhyno with a Y.' 'Okay.'"
Rhino aligned himself with Edge & Christian upon his debut. After leaving WWE in 2005 as Rhyno, he would debut for TNA/IMPACT with his old name Rhino.
When asked how he was able to use his ECW name, Rhino stated, "They didn't have me sign RHYNO over to them. When they re-signed me in 2002, they had in there signing over RHYNO and RHINO. I said I'll sign over RHYNO, but I'm not signing over RHINO."
Rhino is currently using that name in IMPACT once again. He is set to take on Moose at IMPACT Hard To Kill on Sunday, Jan. 12. You can view the current lineup for IMPACT Hard To Kill by clicking here.
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