The Grizzled Young Veterans are the latest WWE NXT Superstars to undergo apparent name changes.
WWE is now referring to James Drake and Zack Gibson by only their last names – Drake and Gibson. They are also teasing a NXT 2.0 departure for the former NXT UK Tag Team Champions.
Last night’s NXT 2.0 episode saw Drake and Gibson confront NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly in hopes of securing a title shot. They were quickly interrupted by Legado del Fantasma’s Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde, which led to a brawl while Pretty Deadly looked on. Later in the show, Wilde and Toro defeated Drake and Gibson in tag team action.
It should be noted that WWE is referring to The Grizzled Young Veterans as “James Drake and Zack Gibson” and “Drake and Gibson” in recaps and videos related to last night’s NXT 2.0 episode, but it looks like the first names have been dropped altogether.
As seen in the post-show video below, McKenzie Mitchell spoke with a disappointed GYV after the show ended. She asked about their frustration.
“I think we’re a bit past frustration now,” Gibson said. “Honestly, I’m embarrassed. How long have we been saying ‘soon’ now? We left our family and friends during a pandemic, to move across the world to become champions, and to be the team that we knew we could be. Well, you just watched, it’s not exactly going to plan is it? So, I’m sorry… I’m done, I’m done. I’m going home.”
Gibson then walked off as Mitchell turned to Drake for comments.
“You won’t be seeing Drake and Gibson around here anymore,” Drake said as he walked off, leaving his scarf with Mitchell.
Furthermore, Drake took to Twitter and Instagram and posted a photo of his empty locker. He captioned the photo with, “Thank you @WWE”
Drake and Gibson have not provided any additional comments as of this writing, and it remains to be seen if they are headed back to NXT UK, or if they’re due for some sort of re-packaging in NXT 2.0. They have not changed their names on social media.
Drake began working with WWE in 2017, and Gibson started in 2018. The Grizzled Young Veterans became the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions in 2019, and held the straps for 230 recognized days. They later worked the 2020 NXT Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic but lost in the finals to The BroserWeights. Drake and Gibson have been working the main NXT brand since February 2020.
Stay tuned for more on what WWE has planned for Drake and Gibson. You can see related clips and Drake’s tweet below:
— James Drake (@JamesDrake_GYT) April 20, 2022