Hold onto your butts, folks.
Exactly one month after the last class of new WWE signings reported to the Performance Center, we’ve got another batch, and it’s a small one but it packs a big punch.
Cal Bloom, Robert Strauss, and Stokely Hathaway have signed, and we don’t like to bury the lede around here, so we’re gonna start with Mr. Hathaway.
Stokely burst onto the indies in 2014 after receiving his training at the Ring of Honor Dojo and quickly made a name for himself in Ring of Honor as Ramon, managing Moose alongside RD Evans and Veda Scott before eventually revealing that that was not, in fact, his real name after both Evans and Scott left Moose behind.
He’d leave ROH and show up in Evolve in 2016, where he founded the unit he’s best known for and that we’re certainly eager to see if he brings to WWE and NXT with him— the Dream Team. TJ Perkins was his first recruit, and it was under his guidance that TJ not only changed his ringname to TJP (branding, you see!), but would go on to win the Cruiserweight Classic and become the first WWE Cruiserweight Champion under that lineage.
The Dream Team grew to include Timothy Thatcher and the men of Catch Point in Evolve, before steadily shrinking and eventually disbanding after Hathaway lost a loser leaves town match against “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams, as part of a feud where he tried to gouge Williams’ eye out with a screwdriver. The stable lived on elsewhere, however, with the likes of Jonathan Gresham, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, and Thomas “Blaster McMassive” Sharp filling the ranks in Beyond Wrestling.
Stoke is a real pro wrestling renaissance man— not just one of the most excellent hype men and managers of the modern indie age, not just great at Twitter, but he excels in the ring as well, both in more serious matchups and at comedy. Just take a look at this one-two punch of free matches courtesy of Beyond Wrestling for a sample of his excellence, folks.
Not to sell the rest of this class short by any means, of course— Robert Strauss trawled the indies for nearly a decade before making a splash in TNA in 2010 as Robbie E with a Jersey Shore gimmick and managed to stick around until 2017, holding down his spot on the roster through a number of different regimes and forming a memorable tag team in the BroMans with Jessie Godderz.
In the time since parting ways with Impact, he’s been competing on the wider indies, both as Robbie E and under his real name, and while his signing isn’t exactly the most exciting addition to an already jam-packed roster, he’s got years of TV experience that will make him a valuable resource for less experienced trainees at the Performance Center.
Cal Bloom, meanwhile, is the least well-known name of the three but he has a strong pedigree. A second-generation superstar, he’s the 25-year-old son of Wayne “Beau Beverly” Bloom and spent time playing football for the University of Central Florida before deciding to follow in his father’s footsteps, and has trained with his father, as well as Ken “Mr. Kennedy” Anderson and legendary trainer of everyone from Vader to Brock Lesnar to Jerry Lynn, Brad Rheingans
There you have it, folks
Excited for our new additions to the Performance Center, Cagesiders?