The pro wrestling record books were rewritten on Sunday night at WrestleMania 34, as a 10-year-old boy simply named Nicholas became the youngest champion in WWE history, after he was surprisingly announced as Braun Strowman’s tag team partner against erstwhile champions Sheamus and Cesaro. During the match, Nicholas was tagged in only for a few seconds, and did not perform any moves in the ring before tagging back out. But that didn’t matter, as the “Monster Among Men” singlehandedly defeated the defending champs, giving him and Nicholas the Raw Tag Team Championship belts. And while Nicholas was ostensibly picked as a random young fan in the WrestleMania audience, new reports suggest that he might not have been that “random” after all.
Shortly after WrestleMania 34 wrapped up at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Bodyslam cited information relayed to its editor, Brad Shepard, suggesting that Braun Strowman’s partner is, in fact, the son of longtime WWE referee John Cone. This was backed up by a photo Shepard posted on his Twitter account, where Nicholas, Cone, and Strowman posed together with the Raw Tag Team titles.
Around the same time, Pro Wrestling Sheet editor-in-chief Ryan Satin noted that he had received “a few tips” after WrestleMania 34 that also suggested Nicholas is John Cone’s son in real life, and was able to confirm this after some “social media sleuthing.”
— WWE (@WWE) April 9, 2018
The decision to pair Braun Strowman with a non-wrestler partner who’s supposedly related to a WWE official might not have been a coincidence. About a year ago on Monday Night Raw, Cone was the referee who officiated Strowman’s match against Big Show, an encounter that became notorious when Strowman landed a superplex on Show, causing the ring to collapse. As noted by Newsweek, that moment was soon immortalized in the form of an animated GIF, which also shows Cone taking a bit of a bump during the segment.
Prior to Braun Strowman and Nicholas’ Raw Tag Team Championship victory at WrestleMania 34, the youngest person to ever hold any kind of title in the WWE was Rene Dupree, who was 19-years-old when he became a World Tag Team Champion as one-half of La Resistance in 2003. Last year, another 19-year-old, Tyler Bate, became the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Champion, though he was four months older than Dupree at the time he won the title.
As Nicholas is still too young to start training as a professional wrestler, much less compete in the WWE, it’s still unsure how the company will book Braun Strowman going forward as a first-time Raw Tag Team Champion. But that’s one of the big questions that might be answered on tonight’s post-WrestleMania episode of Monday Night Raw, as the company deals with the storyline fallout from its biggest event of the year.