It was previously reported that the reason WWE dropped Apollo’s last name is due to a school shooter named Nikolas Cruz. It has been recently confirmed that WWE did dropped “Crews” from Apollo’s name due to the school shooter. Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL on Valentine’s Day last month.
Daniel Wood of Sportskeeda previously reported that WWE wanted to avoid any connection to Cruz, despite the different spelling, and that Vince McMahon made the decision to change Apollo’s name. That report was later questioned but according to a recent edition of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, people who have seen internal company emails confirm that the change was made due to Cruz.
The reason for the name change wasn’t supposed to get out, which is why WWE originally told The Observer that they never released the information to any media source, but they never denied the story.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter