Originally posted by dMp "Leviathan" sounds like a monster who eats people's heads. Batista is the name of a guy who worked on Heat until Flair noticed him. If for instance Flair starts calling him Goliath now, it will stick to him within a week.
"Prototype" is the name of a man that is the ultimate wrestler. John Cena is a guy who was allowed to wrestle Kurt Angle for his debut but doesn't seem to have a finisher yet.
And what's more likely to get over, a monster who eats people's heads, or a guy who worked on Heat until Flair noticed him? The ultimate wrestler, or a guy who was allowed to wrestle Kurt Angle for his debut?
This is exactly why the handles are often better than the real names. You're supposed to be trying to create larger-than-life characters. (The problem was when the characters got more silly than large--Issac Yankem, for example.) In moderation, names like Prototype rock.
I'm thinking that one factor is that there's no longer any meaningful competition, so there's no worry about people taking their name to other shows. I think they went out of their way not to use real names for a while so they had control over the names and gimmicks, and that's less of an issue now. But that doesn't mean the fake names can't get over.
Just an idea that's been kicking around in my head since finishing Freddie Blassie's book. What if Andy Kaufman had lived and been able to continue being involved in wrestling? Would he have been part of the Rock N Wrestling connection?