Pro wrestling promotions have gone to great measures while investing in stars with the potential to be great. Sometimes this includes repackaged gimmicks, new theme music, new ring gear or looks and tinkering with stage names.
This past week, WrestlingInc reported WWE had dropped the "Langston" in Big E Langston and "Antonio" in Antonio Cesaro.
Langston is the reigning intercontinental champion, and Cesaro will be included in the Elimination Chamber main event on the heels of a career victory over WWE World Heavyweight champion Randy Orton on SmackDown. Both are being positioned as potential future top stars, and WWE apparently feels that shortening their names will help them get there.
Pro wrestling has had mixed results in shortening the names of wrestlers. Sometimes it's another step in the process of a wrestler's ascension, others it is a fruitless attempt to kick-start a career in neutral.
Good examples feature wrestling stars who were world champions. Bad examples showcase floundering talents with forgettable stints.
Only wrestlers whose titles were shortened by removing a first or last name qualify for this list, therefore nicknames based on full names—such as The Rock and Triple H—do not qualify.