Taya Valkyrie tried very hard to keep her name the same after signing with WWE.
After finding success with AAA, Lucha Underground, and IMPACT Wrestling, Taya signed with WWE in February 2021, debuting on NXT in April under the moniker of Franky Monet. Unfortunately, after a mere six months, she was released by the company on November 4.
During a recent appearance on Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Taya detailed her fight to save her name while also wanting to evolve her character beyond what it had already been.
"Immediately, I had creative meeting, Road Dogg and I were hashing out who the character was going to be and they really loved everything I came with. There were tiny differences like, they didn't want me wearing a fur coat because we were in Florida. 'Okay, whatever, I don't have to wear a fur coat [laughs].' Then I discovered this new seamstress in Chicago who made me all my beautiful coats that I wear. I did want to evolve without going so far that people didn't recognize who I was. The hair got longer, the jackets got longer and bigger.
Everyone was calling me Taya at the PC because I know everybody and so many of my friends are there. No one calls me by my first name, ever. Then they were like, 'we're going to go through some names,' they send you these list of names and you go through them and make suggestions. Man, did I try to at least keep Taya. Valkyrie they didn't want me using because there is a Valkyrie that works for NXT UK. Taya, I tried really really hard. I'm sure somewhere in a book, there is this ridiculous name list or an email. It started this week-to-week thing of going back-and-forth with the name. No one ever said (it was about the IP), my theory was that I had been Taya on three different television programs and there is merchandise and things out there of me and they wanted to have something new, which I totally understand and from a business perspective, it actually makes sense. I tried really hard, but ultimately, I did not win this battle," she said.
Elsewhere during the interview, Valkyrie opened up about her WWE release, saying she feels as though she let everyone down. You can read her full comments here.
Valkyrie has since returned to AAA and is scheduled for various independent events.
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