Drake Maverick was fired from WWE in April, laid off or furloughed along with dozens of his co-workers. But Drake Maverick never stopped wrestling for WWE, competing in an already-scheduled NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament with his job on the line. He lost in the finals of that tournament but won a new WWE contract. Maverick was the only one of the wrestlers laid off back in April to receive that opportunity.
In an interview with TalkSport, Maverick discussed the blowback he's gotten on social media for participating in the storyline.
"It made me sad some days. I had some bad mental health days because I was…. you look on your Twitter feed – people get this all the time. I get some very untoward things, like that I used some of my friends that I care very deeply about and that I didn't think of them or care about them, Maverick said. "Again – no one else was in the same situation – and every one of those people that I was accused of using were patting me on the back saying 'Go get it, man. You're doing exactly what we would do if we were put in that situation.' These are trying times, man. It sucks. You've got to take care of your family and go balls to the wall with it. It was hard on the brain because I'd never do anything like that, and be so malicious. There are some people out there who would, and that's where it hurt."
There are "some people who would," as Maverick says. Those people are the management and creative staff of WWE who, just as a global pandemic was kicking off and at the same time as WWE was and continues to be on track to earn record profits for the year, put dozens of people out of work and then gave one of those people their job back in exchange for participating in a storyline using those real-life layoffs to create storyline drama.
That Maverick would do what any of his colleagues would have done and taken that opportunity isn't an indictment of Maverick's character. That WWE would ask him to in the first place isn't even an indictment of the company. It's wrestling. This is what wrestling does—but laying off dozens of people during a pandemic when you're on track to make record profits? That's the real problem at the root of all of this.