Mr. Stone has been a mainstay in WWE NXT for over four years, helping to elevate various talents as he serves as their ringside manager. At the moment, Stone is paired with Von Wagner, a giant currently grappling with the emotional damage that bullies did to him as a child. As Wagner has relayed in some emotional vignettes with Stone in recent weeks, early in his life, a titanium plate was surgically fitted to his skull to keep it in one piece.
Due to the procedure, his appearance was affected, and his peers taunted him and made him feel like a monster. So, he decided to become one, leading to a poor sense of self-worth. With Stone’s help, he seems to be embracing who he is and is shaking off his past, teasing a potential babyface turn in the near future. The pairing seems to be working, as fans have generally praised the segments, and the future could be bright for them.
In an exclusive Haus of Wrestling interview, I asked Mr. Stone if he had already started fantasizing about life alongside Von Wagner outside the confines of WWE NXT. Both men have been with the company for nearly half a decade, and the idea that they could one day stand across the ring from another legendary wrestling manager and talent duo like Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns has to creep into his mind.
“I think about what’s in front of me,” he said. “Obviously, I know that’s in my head; everyone wants to be in the main event of WrestleMania and do the biggest things. I do; I’m very step-by-step, but, man, now that you say it out loud, that would be wild. Yeah. It would be amazing to be in a ring with guys like that. I mean, to be across from Paul Heyman and learn from him and speak against him, that’s what I want.”
Currently, the deep NXT men’s division is in front of Stone and Wagner, led by NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes. Hayes has won over many fans in his short time with WWE and recently picked up a big win over former WWE United States Champion Baron Corbin. He will look to successfully defend his gold against Ilja Dragunov at WWE Great American Bash on July 30.
“He’s been a great champion,” Stone said of Hayes. “I’ve known Carmelo Hayes for a long time before NXT, and I remember the first time I ever saw him. I don’t know if I said it out loud to anyone, but I did say it in my head, and I’m not just saying this; this is true. I said that dude’s got a little something different about the way he moves in the ring.
“The way he walks and talks, I kind of knew he would be a somebody, and he is, and he’s got the ball, and he’s running with it really well. He’s leading NXT really well right now, and I mean, God, think how cool it would be, Von Wagner versus Carmelo Hayes in a match. The size difference, I feel like that’d be a match people would want to see.”
Mr. Stone can be seen alongside Von Wagner every Tuesday night at 8/7 on USA as part of WWE NXT.
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