In a world bulging at the seams with fake news, could it be safe to assume that the wrestling world is taking its first step into manipulating headlines and creating a buzz around one of their recently released Cruiserweight talents, Drake Maverick?
Maverick hasn’t exactly been turning many heads since first debuting in WWE, his run as 205 Live General Manager never seemed to present him with anything to build up his character, nor was his managerial career anything to shout about. Ultimately, Drake Maverick was a bit of a failure and there’s no surprise that he found himself amongst the recent staff cuts.
It’s a shame to see this happen to a talent who literally had zero opportunities to show off his versatility. Maverick was very rarely featured in actual competition but has recently carved out a storyline since being released from his contract last month. Having already been confirmed for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament, WWE had no choice but to continue broadcasting material that featured the former 205 GM. Drake used this as a springboard to either generate some momentum before getting stuck back into the indies or playing along with one of the greatest works of our time.
It seemed that out of all of the staff that unfortunately lost their jobs during a time of great panic and uncertainty, Drake’s hit home harder than any other. Maverick took to social media to comment on his release, posting an emotional message to his fans and followers showing just how much passion he has for the industry and for WWE. With that video, Maverick instantly became a hit and possibly the most over he has been since teaming with EC3 in Impact Wrestling.
Even though the majority of comments were from pessimistic NXT fans who were now no longer invested in Drake’s chances in the Cruiserweight tournament, there’s been a buzz surrounding Maverick and his involvement in what is most likely his last few episodes of NXT TV. WWE haven’t been acting coy towards all of this, they themselves have been happy to acknowledge that Drake lost his job and is literally fighting for his career. This has turned into quite the relatable narrative within the NXT Cruiserweight tournament, making for a true underdog for NXT fans to get behind and show appreciation for.
Maverick may well be on his way out of the door but this could be a fantastic opportunity for WWE to bring down the curtain and use the backstage politics as a means of getting a new star over with the right crowd. Fans would love to see Drake stick it to WWE by winning the interim Cruiserweight championship, much like how CM Punk captured the WWE Championship from John Cena when his contract expired in 2011. Not that this is anywhere near that magnitude, however.
Drake Maverick is one of those unlikely heroes that, once fans are invested in him, can become one of the most beloved babyfaces on any roster. Now marketing himself once again as Spud, fans have been reminded of how lovable a character he is and how exciting he can be to watch when involved in an emotionally charged storyline. This is the ideal time for WWE to play on those heart strings. Wrestling fans would love to see him go the distance and fight for not only his first Cruiserweight Championship reign, but also the chance to compete in the big leagues once again.
With many people’s jobs currently up in the air, this is almost the ideal narrative to help bring the world together under the pro wrestling umbrella. Worried people need this sort of success story to help settle some anxieties or give them that bit of hope that you can ever only receive from those unlikely heroes.
Of course the issues here are that Drake has to overcome some pretty harsh odds. With the likes of KUSHIDA, El Hijo Del Fantasma and Akira Tozawa all proving to be strong contenders for Devlin’s championship, it’s almost unbelievable for Drake Maverick to suddenly have the ability to defeat all of those names and more throughout this tournament. Of course, wrestling is all about suspending your beliefs and from time to time that requires you to forget about logical booking, in this case however, that might be a little too tall of a task.
Drake Maverick had very little momentum prior to entering this tournament, in fact he was a pretty shocking inclusion even before the release. The lasting image most WWE fans had of Drake Maverick was him wetting himself in the clutches of the Big Show at Survivor Series a couple years back. Even though I’m sure this was some sick joke that Vince got a good chuckle out of at the time, it’s hard to come back from that, even in the greener pastures of NXT.
Regardless, I’m sure if anyone’s going to be able to make gold out of the rubbish Drake’s been handed so far in WWE, then it’ll be him. I can’t wait to see where this all goes as the tournament unfolds and we step closer to the finals at the upcoming NXT TakeOver: In Your House. Whether he makes it that far or not, let it be known that I’m with Spud.
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