How One Ex-WWE Star Really Feels About Their Company Name

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A former WWE superstar who wrestled using several different names has opened up about being frustrated with a name that was given.

At the AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door PPV that took place on June 30th in Long Island, New York, a former WWE star attended the show backstage. That wrestler’s name is Dijak, who officially became a wrestling free agent on June 28th. Dijak thanked AEW’s boss Tony Khan for having him at the show.

Now that he’s no longer part of WWE after seven years with the company, the man who wrestled in as T-Bar, Dijak, and Dominik Dijakovic has opened up about several different things from his career.

In an informative interview with Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp, Dijak opened up about the process of getting a name to use in World Wrestling Entertainment.

“When I first came into WWE in 2017, my last match on the indies was as Donovan Dijak, which by the way was a five star match at PWG with Keith Lee. I came into WWE and for whatever reason, I wasn’t on TV for six months. That was at a time when they were loading on indy talent.”

I came in with Undisputed Era, Lio Rush, a bunch of people who were ahead in line. I kind of get put on the backburner for a little bit. Once I got on TV, they debuted me as Chris Dijak, which is my real name. I was standing in Full Sail and the tron was coming up. It flashed and said ‘Dijak.’ I was like, ‘Oh, just Dijak.’ It slid down and said ‘Chris,’ and I was like, ‘Ugh.’ My real name is Chris, but almost nobody calls me Chris. My wife and mom, that’s the end of the list. Almost everyone calls me Dijak, no one calls me Chris.”

“This was at a time where, for whatever reason in NXT, you have to bide your time and really wait and make a bunch of pitches, and nothing happened quickly for me or for most people who weren’t like a Ring of Honor World Champion.”

“I made a bunch of name pitches over the course of a year, which is a long time in the grand scheme of things when you’re barely on TV and you’re just at the Performance Center training ever day. Days just drag on. I’m 30 at this point, the prime of my career. ‘Let’s get this thing going, please.’ Finally, we settled on Dominik Dijakovic.”

Djak would go on to make it clear that the Dominik Dijakovic name, which is a mouthful, was not a name that he preferred.

“It was not my choice. I’m going to try to keep names out as best I can. We all know who it probably was. The thought process is that I have a Croatian heritage. The root of Dijak is Diak. We were having conversations of ‘how can we make this sound more European?’ The thought process being like a Stipe Miocic thing where you think he’s this European Ivan Drago, but you hear me speak and I have an American accent.”

“I was cool with Dominik. I liked that Dijak was still incorporated. I thought Dijakovic was a mouthful, and seven syllables was way too long for a WWE name, but that’s what was presented to me. ‘Sure. Please, just put me on TV, please.’”

How Did Fans React To Dijak’s Old WWE Name?

According to Dijak himself, a lot of fans seemed to like the Dijakovic name although he believes they liked his real last name Dijak better.

“I took some inspiration from Cro Cop, more aesthetically than anything else because I’m not shoot fighting people or beating anyone up. In terms of the look and aesthetic, I stole some of the Croatian patterns and tried to do more kicks and shit. That was the general idea. I think it grew on people. By the end of the Dijakovic run, most people were calling me Dijakovic as opposed to Dijak. Obviously, with the T-BAR switch, people were like, ‘What the f**k. Just call him Dijak.’ ”

When I switched back to Dijak, there was a three or four month buffer where people were like, ‘I miss Dijakovic. We want Dijakovic back.’ I don’t think you do. I think you’ll like this name better.”

Something that Dijak didn’t like in WWE is the way they let talent know they are being released without actually letting the talent know about it.

H/T Fightful