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Rockstar Spud is New 205 Live GM ‘Drake Maverick,’ Announces Title Tournament

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Former Impact Wrestling star Rockstar Spud had one heck of a birthday present – debuting on WWE 205 Live as new General Manager Drake Maverick.

Spud, born James Michael Curtin on Jan. 30, 1983, was introduced to the WWE Universe by Smackdown Live GM Daniel Bryan as Drake Maverick, much to the chagrin of the live crowd.

During his introduction, Maverick said it has taken him his entire life to stand in front of the WWE Universe. Its been known for awhile that Maverick was going to make his WWE debut. This weekend he posted photos insinuating he was in Philadelphia during Royal Rumble weekend.

https://twitter.com/RockstarSpud/status/958547363282472966

In his first order of business as 205 Live GM, Maverick announced a 16-man tournament for the vacant WWE Cruiserweight Championship with the finals taking place at Wrestlemania 34. The WWE Cruiserweight Championship was vacated by Enzo Amore, who was fired from the company following allegations that he raped a woman in October 2017. The case is still under investigation.

The first two matches of the tournament were held on the Jan. 30 episode of 205 Live. Former Cruiserweight champion and Cruiserweight Classic tournament winner defeated former WWE U.K. Champion Tyler Bate in a first-round match.

Later the evening, former title contender Cedric Alexander defeated Cruiserweight Classic finalist Gran Metalik.

Other confirmed participants in the tournament so far include Hideo Itami and NXT star Roderick Strong, who will face off next week. Former Cruiserweight Champion Kalisto will face Lince Dorado in a tournament match as well.

This was a big night for 205 Live in a few ways.

First, it is the introduction of Maverick as an on-screen authority figure. Fans arent too keen on the name change, though it has been awhile since WWE has changed a wrestlers name. This could be a new beginning for Maverick. Although he has made his name as Rockstar Spud, this is an opportunity for him to do something different.

No matter what name he has, Maverick can play a good heel authority figure – if thats the direction he and WWE are going with this character.

As for the Cruiserweight title tournament, this is an opportunity to hit the reset button with the title. Since WWE brought the Cruiserweight Championship back after the CWC tournament, there hasnt really been a wrestler who has elevated it, other than Neville when he was King of the Cruiserweights.

It is also a good idea for WWE to match established 205 Live competitors like TJP and Gran Metalik with NXT and UK stars like Strong and Bate. There is a sense of surprise and anticipation to see who will compete in the tournament in the coming weeks. It also gives the Cruiserweights an important match at Wrestlemania that is more than just a pre show bout.

This also gives WWE a chance to give NXT and UK talent a taste of the main roster. An appearance for Strong and Bate could lead to a smooth transition to one of the three main roster brands.

It looks like WWE has a plan for the Cruiserweights up until Wrestlemania. Perhaps creative could find something similar for Raw or Smackdown – have tournaments to determine No. 1 contenders for world and tag team titles.

WWE

Bobby Lashley Discusses Turning Heel, Challenging AJ Styles

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WWE superstar Bobby Lashley has been a bit stale in recent weeks, and a heel turn is badly needed to reboot his character.

Lashley is all for a heel turn, and would like to set his sights on Smackdown’s WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles, who he has never stepped in the ring with despite both being under the Impact Wrestling (TNA) banner a few years back.

“He was going out while I was coming in and he was involved with these other things” Lashley said of Styles and TNA, during an appearance on The Big J Show (h/t Wrestling Inc).

Lashley believes he is the perfect heel compliment to Styles’ face character.

“The MMA part was to show people that I can do it, a lot of people look at me as such a nice guy, they don’t understand how dangerous I can actually be” Lashley said of being heel.

“The thing with AJ is a crazed good guy needs a crazed bad guy. When I flip that switch and you see that bad side of me like I had in TNA, I believe I’m a perfect person to AJ’s good.”

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Shawn Michaels Returning to Ring at WWE Crown Jewel

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Fans have been clamoring for it since the moment he retired at WrestleMania 26, and now it appears that Shawn Michaels will be coming out of retirement for a return to the ring at WWE Crown Jewel.

Michaels will be in the corner of Triple H as he takes on the Undertaker, who will have Kane in his corner, at WWE Super Show-Down, and that match will be used to set up what is likely to be a tag team match between the four men at WWE Crown Jewel.

According to our source, WWE is discussing the idea of Michaels’ in-ring return stretching past a one-off appearance, and would like to see him in 1-2 other high profile matches, ending at WrestleMania 35 where he would take on the Undertaker, for what would likely be the Undertaker’s final match.

 

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Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg Rumored for WrestleMania 35

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While the rumored opponent for Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 35 has been Charlotte Flair for months now, it appears that Cris Cyborg is a name that is being mentioned as a potential opponent for Rousey at next year’s mega-show.

Cyborg spoke on the rumors, rather cryptically, during an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, which you can see below:

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