"It wasn’t going anywhere" - Former WWE stars on being frustrated with character revamp

The stars have been a former champions in WWE.
The stars have been a former champions in WWE [Image via star's IG]

Two former WWE Superstars who departed the Stamford-based company in September 2023 have now shed light on their experience with the brand's transition to NXT 2.0. The stars in question are the Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson).

Speaking to Cultaholic Wrestling, Gibson expressed disappointment in WWE management for changing their gimmicks on NXT 2.0 as tweeners in suits (neither a face nor heel). Later, in July 2022, the duo was again renamed The Dyad (Jagger Reid and Rip Fowler) as a part of the Schism faction.

The 33-year-old star noted that at one point, WWE would fire a team only to introduce a new one. Elaborating on their frustration, Fowler explained how the new direction didn't quite fit their established GYV style, essentially putting their momentum on hold while they waited for a clear path forward.

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"Then you start making those changes because you have to, and when you come in next week, there’s a new team again. When it started to settle, we just found ourselves back in a position where we should have just been GYV, but we weren’t, and now we can’t take a step backwards," he said. (H/T: Cultaholic Wrestling)

The Grizzled Young Veterans built a strong fanbase with their well-defined personas, and it seems the sudden shift left them unsure of how to navigate the new NXT 2.0 landscape.

"It was just very muddy, and it left us just stuck in limbo, basically doing this act that we didn’t think was going anywhere. I think everyone else that was watching could see it wasn’t going anywhere. I know social media isn’t the be-all and end-all, but it is a viable indicator of what people are thinking. Not once did we get messages like, ‘This is the one. This is the thing that these guys should be doing,''' Gibson added. (H/T: Cultaholic Wrestling)

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James Drake and Zack Gibson made an appearance on WWE's rival promotion

Formerly known as Jagger Reid and Rip Fowler of The Dyad, James Drake and Zack Gibson are currently free agents.

The Grizzled Young Veterans made their blockbuster All Elite Wrestling debut on the April 27, 2024, episode of AEW Collision. The two men faced Anthony Bowens and Max Caster of The Acclaimed tag team.

However, Drake and Gibson failed to capture their first-ever win in Tony Khan's promotion. The former WWE UK Tag Team Champions took to Instagram and broke their silence on their impressive AEW debut.

"FROM LIVERPOOL TO *Insert destination* Grit. Your. Teeth!" they wrote.

The wrestling world has to wait and see if the former Schism faction members bag any major gold titles outside of WWE.

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Edited by Yash Mittal
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