Austin Theory, WWE
Austin Theory cuts a promo during the March 20, 2023 episode of WWE Raw. WWE


  • Austin Theory has steadily grown into one of WWE's next-generation stars
  • "[Vince McMahon] felt it had enough power behind it," he says about going by Theory alone
  • Theory is headed for the biggest match of his career against John Cena at WrestleMania 39

Austin Theory has steadily made his rise to the upper echelons of WWE talent with his entertaining matches and character work on the mic, but his initial run on the main roster was not as stellar as it is now.

He lost the first half of his name in a move that many had come to expect from the Vince McMahon-led creatives department after WrestleMania 38m and no one knew why until recently.

Theory, real name Austin White, was the most recent guest of Chris Van Vliet on his "Insight" podcast and explained how it all happened.

"I remember the writer bringing my promo and the promo said, 'Don't call me Austin. It's just Theory.' I was like, 'What? The name is gone?' I was wondering why," Theory recalled.

"I spoke with Mr. McMahon about it and he felt that Theory could be a name that stood alone. He felt it had enough power behind it. Also, I think he just wanted to get away from that comparison of Stone Cold because we just did the WrestleMania stuff. I think maybe out of circumstance, that's maybe why it happened."

The name change to Theory was an awkward pill to swallow for many as the name did not roll off the tongue quite as easily as it did when he still had Austin in the first part.

When McMahon resigned from his post after the fallout of the investigations being done into his alleged sexual misconduct in the workplace and Triple H was entrusted with the head of creatives post, public perception was high on what WWE did next.

Triple H brought back a handful of released superstars which certainly pleased fans, while Theory got his name back ahead of the Clash at the Castle pay-per-view in early September.

Since then, fans had warmed up to him as a whole and began getting more invested in his character, which led to him becoming United States Champion for the second time at the Survivor Series WarGames event on November 26.

But as far as in-ring names go, Theory is a name that has a lot of meaning to the McDonough, Georgia native.

"Theory was just that name I came up with as a kid... A Theory is unproven, but to me when you're unproven, that means... you can always get better. Me [using] Theory always being able to change, to adapt, to evolve, that's what it's all about, and I still feel like to this day, it still works for that," he stated.

His heel character work has brought him to a marquee-worthy match against John Cena in defense of his US title which featured a highly talked about in-ring segment that set it all up.

It is heavily expected that Theory will beat Cena to give him the biggest win of his career thus far, which will likely propel him to even greater heights.

Austin Theory, WWE
Austin Theory lifts Bronson Reed during the Elimination Chamber match for the United States Championship. WWE