WWE has been making a lot of changes to wrestlers’ ring names lately. The company received an edict from Vince McMahon stating that no real names should be used unless there are special circumstances, like Ronda Rousey. Even some talents who are not featured often have been affected by the wholesale moniker mixup.

Things got started when Walter became Gunther. Tomasso Ciampa is now just Ciampa. Raquel Gonzalez transformed into Raquel Rodriguez. Even the heavily-pushed Austin Theory is now simply “Theory.”

Robert Stone has been paired with Von Wagner in NXT 2.0. Stone previously led the Robert Stone Brand in NXT and had ties to Chelsea Green, Alliyah, and Mercedes Martinez. Since his real first name is Robert, he was subject to the new naming conventions as well, according to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

“Even sillier, Robert Stone, because his real name is Robert Strauss, is now just Mr. Stone.”

Time will tell if Mr. Stone will make it back into a prominent position on WWE television. If he remains tied to Von Wagner, he could start being featured more prominently on the developmental brand. Stone has been versatile as both a wrestler and a manager and might have some value.

WWE’s name changes have rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way. The company is looking to lock down its intellectual property and build talent under new names that they own, which makes sense from a business perspective. It might be excessive in the eyes of fans, but WWE certainly has its reasons.

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Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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