Back in May, Drake Maverick filed for a trademark on the names “Rockstar Spud” and “Spud.” This furthers the story that Maverick’s release was at one point real and he didn’t intend on having a job with WWE. Maverick was released back in April along with hundreds of other WWE talent and staff.
Soon after the releases, Impact Wrestling aired a promo for their Slammiversary that implied most of the wrestlers would be debuting or returning to Impact for the PPV. Between this and Maverick trademarking Spud, it was apparent that Maverick had other plans before re-signing with WWE.
Maverick continued to compete in the NXT Cruiserweight title tournament despite not having a contract because he was already advertised. It was speculated that WWE might continue to use talent even after their release. The story, according to Triple H, is that they released him while he was involved in the Cruiserweight tournament, but wanted to bring him back because they had already committed. Once the news was out that he was released and still working, they decided to turn it into a storyline.
Maverick made it all the way to the finals, but lost. After the match, Triple H walked out and offered him an NXT contract.