After a week of heavy speculation and wishful thinking, Smackdown Live GM Daniel Bryan announced the new 205 Live/Cruiserweight Division GM tonight on 205 Live and it’s none other than former Impact Wrestling and UK indie star Rockstar Spud – although he’s now going by his “WWE name” of Drake Maverick. His first announcement was the creation of a 16-man tournament to crown the next WWE Cruiserweight Champion, with the finals happening at WrestleMania 33 in New Orleans, with Bryan promising that Maverick would “usher in a new era of 205 Live” and give us “the kind of action that you guys want, the action that I want, the kind of action everybody wants” in regards to (hopefully) unleashing the true potential of such former indie darlings as Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, Jack Gallagher, Gran Metalik and more. In opening round action, which began tonight, Cedric Alexander advanced over Gran Metalik, while former Cruiserweight Classic victor TJP defeated former UK Champion Tyler Bate. But who is Drake Maverick?
— WWE (@WWE) January 31, 2018
Drake Maverick is a 17-year veteran of the pro wrestling industry, training in 2001 with the K-Star Wrestling promotion in his hometown of Birmingham, England. Wrestling as Spud, he got his big break in 2003 with Revolution British Wrestling (RBW) out of Nottingham and Future Championship Wrestling (FCW) in the West Midlands. Within a few years, he was working with many of the UK’s emerging promotions, such as IPW:UK, RevPro, Fight Club: PRO, Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE), X Wrestling Alliance (XWA) and Preston City Wrestling (PCW), where he racked up gold such as the IPW:UK British Cruiserweight Championship, XWA British Heavyweight and British Flyweight Championships, and IPW:UK Tag Team Championship. He also worked for Ring of Honor and PWG during their UK stops throughout the 2000s.
In 2013, he began to work for Impact Wrestling after winning that year’s British Boot Camp, where he became a 2x X-Division Champion and ran the gamut of gimmicks. From the cocky superstar X-Division wrestler, to EC3‘s sidekick, from Dixie Carter‘s Chief of Staff to Aaron Rex (aka Damien Sandow)’s valet, Spud did it all, inside and outside the ring. After four years with the company, Spud left Impact Wrestling in late 2017. Rumours were quick to state that Spud had signed with the WWE by year’s end, but up until there had been no official confirmation from either Spud or the WWE themselves. But tonight, it was very clear that the Rockstar had arrived. And as new 205 Live GM Drake Maverick, hopefully Spud can help revitalize a division and show that has had its share of setbacks over the past few months.
Today is my birthday.
It took me 16 years to get here @WWE
— Drake Maverick (@RockstarSpud) January 31, 2018
— Rusev (@RusevBUL) January 31, 2018