Two months ago, WWE released a massive wave of employees and independent contractors alike, including the likes of Rusev, Zack Ryder and Sarah Logan among many others. One of the more puzzling releases, however, was Drake Maverick, as he had literally just been announced as a participant in a tournament to crown NXT’s interim cruiserweight champion. Maverick took to social media and shared a powerful video filmed immediately after he got the devastating news, saying he had decided to stay in the tournament despite being released.
From there, speculation grew as to whether or not this was a storyline (which, if so, gross), or if it was real and was being turned into a storyline by WWE (which, if so, still gross). It eventually culminated in Maverick losing in the tournament finals but getting offered an NXT contract anyway. So how much of this was legit?
In a recent media call about NXT (via Wrestling Inc.), Triple H talked about, as he puts it, “The Drake situation,” explaining:
“We already had the tournament mapped out and promoted but then the releases happened which were horrible. No one wants to see anyone lose their job but a lot of companies around the world are having to make tough business decisions to ensure that they are still there as this continues on. Difficult decisions were made.
He was given the option of continuing in the tournament and he wanted to prove that he could still be here. If you’ve met him or know him at all, he is one of the most passionate guys. He loves WWE and just wants to be here. It’s his dream and he couldn’t be a better guy.”
So was the whole thing a work from the start? Haitch says no, elaborating:
“When the release happened, he wasn’t involved in anything but it just happened the way it did. During the process of this tournament, he captured people’s hearts and their imagination and he earned that spot. It was already out there so you either ignore it or you turn it into something. We turned it into something based on him and his performances. I’m personally thrilled for him in that he can continue to do what he loves and dreamed about. He’s a great guy and I’m thrilled that we were able to get where we did.”
So there you have it, folks: In the future, if you’re a WWE Superstar who loses your job as a paper-thin “cost-cutting measure” even though the company who employs you is worth literal billions, just throw some eye drops in and hit ‘record.’ (Or maybe consider working for a different company that doesn’t toy with their employees just to smooth things over with shareholders.)