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"Name Yourself Day" - Pro-Wrestlers Who Used Other Pro-Wrestler's Names

posted Apr 11, 2021, 3:13 PM by Wrestling Scout

Dino Bravo - OWW
Unsolved Mysteries: Who Killed WWE Superstar Dino Bravo? | by Michael East  | The Mystery Box | Medium
One of the earliest examples was the teenage Robert Friedrich taking the name "Strangler" Lewis, which may have been a tribute to fellow Wisconsinite Evan "Strangler" Lewis, and using that throughout his career.  Over the years, this became a common trend in pro-wrestling, where an up-and-comer would use a version of an established pro-wrestler's name (often the surname) to help them stand out.

We will not delve into those who used popular monikers like The Destroyer, the Assassin or the Executioner or even regionally popular ones like Mr. Wrestling, the Mighty Yankee or the Medics.  These personas, which were almost always masked characters, were often playing off the notoriety of more famous versions, but it's a little more complex.

Instead, we will look at those individuals whose name used the same name (but not necessarily the same persona) either deliberately or by happenstance.

Awesome Kong (Kharma* / Amazing Kong & half of the Kongs)
Barbarian (John Nord & Tonga John)
Richard Blood (Ricky Steamboat & Tito Santana)
Dino Bravo (Italian Casanova & Canada's Strongest Man)
Paul Diamond (from Toronto & from Croatia)
Terry Garvin (Terry Joyal & Terry Simms)
Doug Gilbert (The Professional & Dangerous Doug)
Dizzy Golden (Ed Leslie & Mike Golden)
Bret Hart(t) (The Hitman & Barry Horowitz) 
Kamala (Jim Harris & Ben Peacock)
Kane (The Big Red Machine & Stevie Ray)
Karl Krauser (Karl GotchBaron Von Heisinger)
Dan Kroffat (Cowboy & Phil Lafon)
Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer & Bobby Bass)
Steve Regal (Mr. Electricity & William Regal)
Tommy Rogers (of The Fantastics & of the Rock-n-Roll RPMs)
Sabu (Homicidal, Suicidal & Genocidal & Cocoa Samoa)
Samu (of the Samoans & Sabu)
Oki Shikina (the Hawaiian* & the Mexican)
Nikolai Volkoff (Nicoli & Bepo Mongol)

ImageIn the UK, borrowing names of notable pro-wrestlers from North America has been a practice for a long time.  Some of these wrestlers, like Steve Regal and Ray Steele, did have good careers.  There is also the curious case of Kendo Nagasaki whose namesake and some aspects of his persona were used by Kazuo Sakurada in the 1980s.

Many of the British wrestlers borrowing names did not have significant careers and mostly seem to leave newer fans asking "Why did Big Daddy's nephew, Steve Crabtree, choose to wrestle as 'Greg Valentine'?"  As the WWF increasingly encroached on the British scene, promoters relied increasingly on "WWF Tribute" acts.  However, this more akin to Jack Pfefer than harmless name-borrowing.  Here are a number of notable pro-wrestlers from North America whose names were used by British wrestlers.