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WWE reportedly changed Apollo’s name for this depressing reason

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Yesterday, word came out that WWE had removed yet another surname from one of its Superstars. Following in the recent footsteps of Elias, Big E and others, WWE shortened current Raw Superstar Apollo Crews’ name to simply “Apollo.”

No reason was given, and the rumor mill cranked out all sorts of ideas, from a main-event push being imminent to WWE Creative trying to stop the “Crews can’t lose” catchphrase from becoming a big deal. Either way, it seemed like an odd decision for a guy who had begun to be elevated on Raw in the past few weeks, competing for a spot in the Elimination Chamber as well scoring multiple wins over Raw tag team champions the Bar with his Titus Worldwide partner Titus O’Neil.

Sadly, the real reason for Apollo’s name change is a whole heck of a lot more depressing.

According to Sportskeeda, Apollo’s last name was suddenly dropped because of the grisly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last week that took the lives of 17 innocent people — specifically, because the school shooter’s name was Nikolas Cruz. While their last names are spelled differently, they are pronounced the same phonetically, and apparently that was enough for Vince McMahon himself to order the change.

Sportskeeda reports that they received an email from a source inside WWE which indicated that this was “a decision made straight from the top, with Vince McMahon never wanting to hear the surname again following the recent tragedy.”

Considering WWE opened Raw on Monday night with a moment of silence for the victims of the Parkland shooting, and NXT wrestler Donovan Dijak has already started a GoFundMe to raise money for the families of the deceased, WWE has clearly been affected by this tragedy and is doing everything they can to pay their respects — and considering the Titus Worldwide team scored a pinfall victory over the Raw tag champs on Monday night when Apollo rolled up Cesaro, his name change doesn’t seem to be affecting creative’s plans for the character.

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