Drake Maverick Says Winning the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Will Keep Him in WWE

Drake Maverick will enter tonight's episode of NXT in a "win or go home" situation. The former 205 Live general manager was one of the 30+ active wrestlers to be released by the WWE back on April 15, but just days before that decision he was announced to take part in the round-robin tournament for the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Surprisingly WWE has steered right into that real-life drama by having Maverick continue on with the tournament, and the British star said in a YouTube video on Wednesday afternoon that if he wins the title, it will keep him in the WWE.

Maverick lost his first match to Jake Atlas last week. He'll compete in his second match tonight against former Crusierweight Champion Tony Nese, and if he wins he'll still be in the running to win Group A heading into his final match with Kushida.

"Tony Nese, I know you're coming into this tournament wanting to be a two-time Cruiserweight Champion," Maverick said. "I know that you're 'The Premier Athlete' and I know you got big muscles, and big abs. Well Tony, I'm Drake Maverick. I got a big heart and I got a big dream, and that dream is what's going to keep me here, and I'm going to win the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship."

Other matches announced for this week's episode include Keith Lee vs. Damian Priest for the NXT North American Championship and NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Mia Yim.

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Here's a full list of every wrestler who has been released:

  • Rusev
  • Drake Maverick
  • Karl Anderson
  • Luke Gallows
  • EC3
  • Curt Hawkins
  • Heath Slater
  • Eric Young
  • Lio Rush
  • Aiden English
  • Sarah Logan
  • Erick Rowan
  • Primo
  • Epico
  • Mike Kanellis
  • Maria Kanellis
  • Zack Ryder
  • No Way Jose
  • Deonna Purrazzo
  • Aleksandar Jaksic
  • MJ Jenkins
  • Dan Matha
  • Alyssa Marino
  • Taynara Conti
  • Nick Comoroto
  • Cezar Bononi
  • Tino Sabbatelli
  • Kassius Ohno (Reportedly)
  • Mohamed Fahim
  • Marcos Gomes
  • Faisal Kurdi
  • Hussain Aldagal
  • Yifeng (Rocky)
  • Cain Velasquez

And here's the full list of every backstage producer/referee/writer who have either been released or furloughed:

  • Kurt Angle
  • Shane Helms
  • Lance Storm
  • Billy Kidman
  • Mike Rotunda
  • Dave (Fit) Finlay
  • Pat Buck
  • Sarah Stock
  • Shawn Daivari
  • Scott Armstrong
  • Mike Chioda (Referee)
  • Andrea Listenberger (Writer)
  • Chris Guy (Performance Center Trainer)
  • Serena Deeb (Performance Center Trainer)
  • Kendo Kashin (Performance Center Trainer)
  • Jerry Soto (Spanish Announcer)
  • Josiah Williamson (Interviewer)
  • Jon Quasto (Announcer)
  • Gerald Brisco