The NXT roster is jam-packed full of incredibly diverse characters and superstars! From the tortured artiest Dexter Lumis to the badass Shotzi Black Heart, from Imperium to Karrion Kross, the black and gold brand is stacked! However, a man who has been making his own impact in his own unique way is Robert Stone. The former reality star and IMPACT wrestling star debuted the Robert Stone brand in 2019 alongside first recruit Chelsea Green and while that pairing didn’t last long at all the Robert Stone brand is an angle providing genuine entertainment and non-cringe worthy comedic segments but just how much potential does the idea have? Well, today we are exploring that very question while also looking at what we have seen so far from Stone and his unique offerings to the NXT Universe and roster.
While Robert Stone’s first recruit to his brand did not quite work out and go to plan, since the departure of Chelsea Green, Stone has gone from strength to strength, well, in his own unique way. Falling hard after losing Green from his brand fans have seen Robert look to sign new stars to stand alongside him including former NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley but no one has quite stood by him like Aliyah. The young star had spent weeks trying to get Stone’s attention and convincing him to allow her to join his brand and after enough time of simply being around him Aliyah joined Stone and the two have made for a fitting pairing. There is natural chemistry there that has allowed Aliyah to finally find something that works. This is a woman who has been apart of the NXT roster for quite a while now but has had multiple changes to her character and image while also exploring tag team relationships and singles directions that just have not worked out.
This is the first time something has felt natural and fitting for Aliyah and fans can see that she and Stone bounce off one another perfectly. This the most amount of character the NXT universe has seen from Aliyah and there is finally a degree of interest in her work. While still young, Aliyah was running out of options, but the Robert Stone brand looks to be a huge catalyst for her and will finally set her off on a strong path that could see big moments and matches. Tensions with other signings can open the door for deeper storylines and longer matches for Aliyah moving forward.
Talking of new recruits, in recent weeks we have seen wrestling veteran Mercedes Martinez surprisingly join the Robert Stone brand, a direction for the popular star not many saw coming. The idea of the Robert Stone brand has really focused quite heavily on the comedic side of things especially since Chelsea Green went her separate ways, however, Martinez joining the party is a big deal and a slight change in direction. Stone has been looking for a powerful start to join him as we saw last month where he looked to recruit Rhea Ripley, but Martinez is at a completely different level. A woman who has been in the industry for so long she is sure to change the game on the black and gold brand and her allegiance with Robert Stone speaks volumes. It adds credibility to the Stone brand, breaking away from the comedic setup and creating a seriousness that highlights Stone as someone who while has a genuine comedy based talent also is a man with business skills and someone who can do great things for talent on the roster. Seeing Mercedes have success, big success, while apart of the Robert Stone brand is vital as it will set the tone and could be an opening for other big stars; that could include Rhea Ripley may be regretting her earlier decision to decline Stones services, other future big signings joining his brand and talents on the roster now who want a big change in their luck. Finding the comedic and serious balance well could result in something very special!
Now, when it comes to Robert Stone as a star himself there is a lot to discuss. Incredibly charismatic, a natural comedic talent, and a solid in-ring performer he is a man that is bringing something different from any other star on the black and gold brand. We are yet to see him truly perform in the ring and it may be a while until we see that happen (a Squash match against Karrion Kross is something I can certainly see in his future) but as a character, Stone is making an impact and genuinely keeping the NXT universe entertained. Segments involving Shotzi Blackheart and Rhea Ripley, in particular, have stepped away from the cringe side of WWE comedy we often see and is actually making fans laugh and keeping everyone entertained. He is someone connecting with fans and who whether in a heel or face role is sure to have fans interested. Easy to get behind, he’s a star that in time we could see apart of some very special moments and once we see him find the balance between the Robert Stone brand and Robert Stone he could shine as a true underdog.
The charisma this former IMPACT wrestling star possesses has seen him work well with several talents on the roster and we could see so many other women (and men) work great moments alongside him for the sheer fact talent bounce off him well. Just take Blackheart for example who possesses such a different style to Stone, yet she has worked some of her most memorable WWE moments to date alongside him.
Of course, Shotzi Blackheart is not the only superstar to benefit from working alongside Robert Stone, last month fans saw Stone look to recruit former NXT Women’s champion, Rhea Ripley, however, his plans didn’t go quite the way he wanted and instead found himself in a dumpster and a handicap match alongside Aliyah at Great American Bash. Seeing intergender competition is extremely rare in the WWE today and happens once in a blue moon but the Robert Stone brand is a way to slowly get fans talking about this element of wrestling and there is every chance that this collision will not be his only in-ring action with female talent. Other female powerhouses may come to blows with Stone in the future considering the success of his Great American Bash.
At the moment Robert Stone has focused on the women’s division which is something I personally love! His presence and the idea of the Robert Stone brand brings something completely different to the division, something fresh and exciting that we are not seeing over on RAW or Smackdown. The set up allows space for new angles, storylines and moments we are sure to not see anywhere else and we can already see the effects it’s having. Now, we don’t’ know whether or not recruiting male talent is something we will see Robert do in the future but its something that has potential if done at the right time. For now, focusing on the female talent and the women’s division is evidently the best direction. How well we see the women he works with doing and how much they grow could be telling when it comes to which male stars he goes on to work with in the future not to mention that if he was to have a pairing with a male superstar a tag team set for him could again shake up the Robert Stone brand and give it a new identity and goal, going from a manager of female talent to a tag team or faction down the line.
There are so many creative options for Robert Stone and the Robert Stone brand he alongside Aliyah and Martinez are creating something fresh and exciting for the women’s division and the black and gold brand that’s full of potential and giving us reason to be very excited and invested!