In the WWE’s developmental system, Chris Hero was known as Kassius Ohno. He explains how the name came about.

“It was my choice,” he said. “I was able to submit a bunch of names (for consideration), and they run them through to figure out which ones they aren’t allowed to use, or if they have to change anything or whatever. The first list that I submitted, pretty much everything I submitted got rejected. Kassius Ohno wasn’t actually even on the first list.”

Kassius Ohno — note the K.O. armbar!

“So I was doing a second list, and I wanted to have the ‘K.O.’ initials. But a lot of the last names that start with ‘O’ are either Irish, or are just single words like ‘Orion, Obsidian, Omega.’ That just sounded weird, Kassius Omega. So I was looking for celebrity last names, and going down a list of them and Ohno came up — Apolo Ohno, the gold medallist skater. My first thought was, ‘Well, that’s dumb.’ But I was writing everything down, and I had all my K names on one side and O names on the other and started going down the combinations.”

“It was important to have a name that was catchy, and was easy to chant, and chanting “Ohno” could be taken in and (inflected) in so many ways. Then, I looked up Kassius with a K in Google, and the only thing that came up was Megan Fox and Brian Austin-Green’s daughter, who has the same name. So I figured if I pick that name, I might be the first thing that comes up. Also, I thought Kassius was a strong name on its own that even if they dropped the Ohno, it was still a good name. ‘Kassius’ is a name that could headline WrestleMania against somebody.”

“I found out later that ‘Ono’ is the Japanese word for ‘Axe.’ Given what’s happened,” he laughed, “it’s strangely appropriate.”