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James Michael Curtin (born 30 January 1983) is an English professional wrestler currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the cruiserweight-exclusive 205 Live brand under the ring name Drake Maverick. In WWE, he is the on-screen General Manager of 205 Live and was the manager of the tag team AOP on Monday Night Raw.[2] He is known for his work with Impact Wrestling and various British and American indies under the ring name Rockstar Spud, a gimmick based on obnoxious 1980s rock stars. He has also wrestled matches as Spud, often as the underdog who defeats much larger wrestlers. He has worked for SAS Wrestling, Frontier Wrestling Alliance, and International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom.

Drake Maverick
Rockstar Spud 2014.jpg
Maverick in April 2014
Birth nameJames Michael Curtin
Born (1983-01-30) 30 January 1983 (age 36)
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Spouse(s)
Renee Michelle (m. 2019)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Drake Maverick
Rockstar Spud
Spud
Billed height5 ft 4 in (163 cm)[1]
Billed weight126 lb (57 kg)[1]
Trained byDon Charles
Jack Storm
Debut2001

Contents

Professional wrestling careerEdit

International independent circuit (2001–2014)Edit

James Michael Curtin[3] was born in Birmingham on 30 January 1983.[1] He was originally trained by Jack Storm and Chris Gilbert at the K-Star Wrestling promotion in the Perry Barr area of Birmingham, before eventually coming under the tutelage of "Charming" Don Charles at the SAS Wrestling Academy.[1] Under the ring name Spud, he went on to perform in many independent promotions within the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe.[1] While on the independent circuit, Spud's first major appearances came with the Revolution British Wrestling promotion in 2003.[1] On 30 August 2003, Spud defeated Jack Hazard to become RBW's first British Welterweight Champion, a title he held for several months before losing it to "The Gift" Ross Jordan in an Iron Man match in December 2003.[1]

Spud began working for Frontier Wrestling Alliance in 2004, and was brought up into the main roster to be used as a jobber for a short time, competing against many larger opponents.[1] During the start of 2005, however, FWA began showcasing their flyweight division; later that year, Spud entered into a tournament to crown a Flyweight Champion.[1] He made it to the tournament final, where he was defeated by Ross Jordan, who became the first FWA Flyweight Champion.[1] However, Jordan was only awarded the match after the referee stopped the contest due to a kayfabe injury to Spud's leg.[1] The pair continued to feud for over 14 months, with Jordan repeatedly attacking Spud in attempts to re-injure his leg.[1] The feud ended when Spud defeated Jordan in a Last Man Standing match at FWA Last Fight at the Prom on 30 September 2006.[1]

Following a talent trading agreement with the FWA, Spud made his first US appearance in April 2006, competing for Ring of Honor during their two-night Weekend of Champions shows.[1] Spud appeared during ROH's first tour of shows in the UK in August 2006, Unified and Anarchy in the UK.[1] He competed under the FWA banner during the British Under 23's Championship event, being FWA's entry into the tournament to crown the first champion under 23 years of age.[1] However, Spud lost to the tournament's eventual winner Sam Slam in the first round.[1]

Upon the FWA's relaunch, Spud performed under his Rockstar gimmick with an over-the-top entrance including a female security guard, a band, and a groupie.[1] At the comeback show, New Frontiers, Spud was placed into the FWA Flyweight Championship Tournament and won the qualifying fatal four way match.[1] He lost in the next round to Jonny Storm.[1] In 2010, Spud became locked in a war of words with Storm and would take part in multiple FWA Flyweight Championship tournaments.[1] His feud with Storm culminated in a match at New Frontiers 2011, which ended in a no contest.[1]

 
Spud wrestling for IPW in 2010

Spud competed regularly for the International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom promotion right from its creation in 2004.[1] Through 2005, Spud had a high-profile feud with Jack Storm, which culminated in a street fight in January 2006.[1] While in IPW:UK, Spud became one half of the tag team Dragon Hearts, with fellow wrestler Dragon Phoenix.[1] On 24 September 2006, Dragon Hearts defeated The Untouchables in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to become IPW:UK Tag Team Champions.[1] The Dragon Hearts also got involved with IPW:UK's inter-federation feud with Frontier Wrestling Alliance, and even though Spud is a regular for that promotion he wrestled on the side of IPW:UK in a match against Team FWA.[1] The Dragon Hearts teamed up with Leroy Kincaide to face off against Iceman, Jonny Storm, and Jorge Castano in a match that saw both Phoenix and Spud suffer injury. Phoenix suffered a deep wound to his head while Spud suffered what appeared to be a separated or dislocated shoulder due to a dropkick at the hands of Storm.[1] Storm and Spud faced off in a grudge match in early 2007 with Spud picking up the win.[1]

Spud went on to represent IPW:UK in the joint FWA vs IPW:UK Final Frontiers show losing to Hade Vansen.[1] After a losing effort against IPW:UK Tag team champions Swiss Money Holdings in IPW:UK's debut in Liverpool, Luke Dragon Phoenix left the promotion disbanding The Dragon Hearts.[1] Back to singles action, Spud went on to face Big Brother contestant Billi Bhatti in a losing effort thanks to the Hated Heroes.[1] Spud recently defeated Dave Moralez and Eamon O'Neill to advance in the opening rounds of the British National Championship but was defeated by Sam Slam in the Quarter Finals.[1] Spud's last recent appearances for IPW:UK have seen him in losing efforts to former Gladiator's and current TNA star Magnus Nick 'Oblivion' Aldis.[1]

Spud returned to the promotion after 6 months under his "Rockstar" character and defeated Lion Kid to become the IPW:UK Cruiserweight Champion.[1] Spud has appeared for the London and Midlands based promotion SAS Wrestling since its establishment in 2005.[1] He has waged war with long-time nemesis Jack Storm after he turned on him in the "Bring Your Jeans" show of November 2005.[1] Spud battled against Team Charming members for nearly a year to get his hands on Jack Storm.[1] He faced him eventually in the final of the first SAS UK Wrestling Championship tournament by pinning his foe after a hard-fought encounter thought by many as UK Match of the Year in 2006.[1] Spud lost the championship a month later thanks to Jack Storm's manager Charming Don Charles, and in another long feud eventually wrestled him in a one on one Bring Your Jeans Streetfight match pinning him with one foot after a steel chair shot to the head.[1]

Spud became SAS UK Champion once again by defeating Jack Storm in April 2008 in a steel cage match.[1] Recently Spud turned his back on the fans by attacking Phil Bedwell, citing the fans not caring about him as much as they do about the former alcoholic as his motivation, and evolved into his 'Rockstar' persona.[1] Spud defended the championship for most of 2009 against Derise Coffie and Bubblegum before finally losing the championship to Bubblegum in a Steel cage match in June 2010.[1] Spud would continue to sporadically appear of IPW before leaving for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.[1]

After the feud between FWA and IPW:UK ended, the XWA promotion was founded from the remains of the FWA.[1] Spud feuded with XWA Flyweight Champion El Ligero, defeating him in a last man standing match to become champion with help from The Kartel and Martin Stone to form 'The Firm' faction.[1] Spud won the annual Goldrush rumble to become the No 1 Contender to the XWA Heavyweight Championship while still the XWA Flyweight Champion, which he succeeded in doing after beating Sam Slam at the 2009 Last Fight at the Prom.[1] However, Curtin was stripped of the XWA Flyweight Championship due to his lack of defences and also lost the XWA Heavyweight Championship later in the year to Johnny Phere. Spud, since losing the XWA Heavyweight Championship, suffered a number of defeats and was then injured in September 2010 in a match with Nathan Cruz.[1] Spud made his return in February 2011, confronting Cruz and his former allies Team Rockstar for abandoning him in the annual XWA Goldrush Rumble.[1]

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla made their first tour of the UK in February 2006 where Spud teamed with Topgun Talwar and Aviv Maayan faced Excalibur, Disco Machine and Ronin in a 6-man tag team match where Spud was pinned by Excalibur.[1] At PWG's second UK show in October 2007 Spud faced off against Joey Ryan.[1] Ryan pinned Spud after a Superkick.[1] Spud also became one of the top British stars in the One Pro Wrestling roster since its inception in 2005. Still competing under the out matched underdog gimmick, Spud had a longtime feud with American wrestler Sterling James Keenan and the super heavyweight Abyss.[1] Spud and partner Luke Dragon Phoenix resurfaced in 1PW to win the Tag Team Titles in their debut as a team, but Spud left the promotion in the Winter of 2007 after losing the 1PW Tag Team Titles to The Damned Nation along with partner Luke Dragon Phoenix.[1] Spud later returned to 1PW at The 3rd Year Anniversary, as Hubba Bubba Lucah's mystery tag team partner to finally cause the disbanding of the Damned Nation.[1] On 15 November 2009, he defeated Darkside to win the 1PW Openweight Championship.[1] On 20 September 2014, Spud made his debut for Chikara, losing to Juan Francisco de Coronado.[4]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling / Impact WrestlingEdit

British Boot Camp and Ohio Valley Wrestling (2012–2013)Edit

 
Rockstar Spud in 2013

Spud first appeared in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) on the reality show TNA Wrestling: British Boot Camp that began airing on 1 January 2013 on Challenge.[1] Spud won the competition and earned a spot in the TNA roster.[1][5] Spud made his debut on 7 February episode of Impact Wrestling, in an interview segment that was interrupted by Robbie E and Robbie T and ended with Spud attacking Robbie E.[6] Spud made his in-ring debut on 21 February episode of Impact Wrestling, defeating Robbie E.[7]

Spud returned on 18 July episode of Impact Wrestling, when he took part in the Destination X episode of Impact Wrestling and entered a tournament to determine the new X Division Champion; he was defeated by Greg Marasciulo in his first round three-way match, which also included Rubix.[8]

Then, Spud was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling, TNA's developmental territory and made his debut on 13 March 2013 episode of OVW. He defeated Cliff Compton for the OVW Television Championship, making him the first man to win the title in his debut match.[9] He would go on to defend the title for 59 days and making several successful weekly defences before losing it to Randy Royal.[1]

Chief of Staff (2013–2014)Edit

On 28 November episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud returned as Dixie Carter's new Chief of Staff. Later on the night, he hosted an in-ring Thanksgiving dinner with the entire heel roster only to be interrupted by Kurt Angle and the faces of TNA which ended in a brawl. On 30 January 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling, he attempted to interrogate The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) over who The Investor was, only to get beaten down. After Team Dixie was defeated by Team MVP at Lockdown, MVP, having become the Director of Wrestling Operations, abolished the position of Chief of Staff.

However, when his TNA contract was up for renewal in April 2014, Carter, upon her return, awarded him a 'substantial contract extension' in reward for his loyalty to her, and also retained his position as her Chief of Staff.[10] Through TNA's relationship with Wrestle-1, Spud made his debut for the Japanese promotion in Tokyo on 6 July, teaming with Ethan Carter III in a tag team match, where they were defeated by Tajiri and Yusuke Kodama.[11][12] On 4 September episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud came out to the ring with Ethan Carter III and cut a promo about Carter's anger at those who he held responsible for TNA President and his aunt Dixie Carter getting put through a table.

On 8 October episode of Impact Wrestling, Ethan Carter III called him out and gave him a chance to make amends. Carter condemned Spud for his failure to stop Bully Ray from putting his aunt, TNA President Dixie Carter, through a table, EC3 would then publicly humiliate Spud by calling him a loser and slapping him in the face. In the end, Spud fought back and immediately punched Carter, and turning face in the process. Rather than physically retaliating, EC3 fired him from his position as the Carters' chief of staff. On 22 October episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud teamed up with Eric Young in a losing effort against EC3 and EC3's new ally Tyrus in a Tag Team tournament.

X Division Champion and final storylines (2015–2017)Edit

On 23 January 2015 episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud won the Feast or Fired match with an opportunity for the TNA X Division Championship. On 13 March episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud's feud with Carter ended in a Hair vs. Hair match, which Spud lost. The following week on 20 March episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud defeated Low Ki to win the X Division Championship. On the 27 March episode of Impact Wrestling, he successfully defended his title against Low Ki in a rematch. On the 1 May episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud lost his X Division Championship against Kenny King in a ladder match, also involving Tigre Uno and Mandrews. However, Spud won the title back on the 29 May episode of Impact Wrestling during a Gauntlet match.

On 10 June episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud vacated the title to gain a title shot for the World Heavyweight Championship. That same day, Spud faced Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship but failed to win the title. Later, he began feuding with Austin Aries. He defeated him on the 5 August episode of Impact Wrestling in a name vs. career match, ending Aries's career at TNA. On the 23 September episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud challenged his former rival Ethan Carter III for his TNA World Heavyweight Championship, in a losing effort. During late 2015, Spud took part in the first ever TNA World Title Series as a member of Group UK, on 7 October episode of Impact Wrestling, defeating Grado in the first round, thus earning him 3 points. He later failed to qualify for the Round of 16 following losses to both Drew Galloway and Bram who were also competing in Team UK.

In February, Spud started an alliance with his former rival Ethan Carter III in order to even things with Hardy and Tyrus, defeating them in a tag-team match on the 16 February episode of Impact Wrestling. At 2016 Lockdown, Spud came out, supposedly to stop Reby Sky from attacking EC3. However, he would close the cage door on EC3 to help Matt Hardy retain his TNA World Heavyweight Championship, turning heel once again in the process. He would follow up, with encouragement from Matt Hardy, by delivering a conchairto to EC3 with his head on the steps. On 9 March 2016 episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud aligned with Matt Hardy and Tyrus to form a stable, after explaining his actions as getting revenge against Carter for his cruel treatment of him last year. The trio would go on to face EC3 and Jeff Hardy in a losing effort. On the 29 March episode of Impact Wrestling, Matt Hardy, Rockstar Spud, Tyrus and Reby Hardy were defeated by Carter by disqualification in a Four On One Handicap match. On the 10 May episode of Impact Wrestling, he was defeated by Carter in a Six Sides of Steel match. At May Mayhem, Spud and Tyrus were defeated by Jeff Hardy in a Ladder match. On the 31 May episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud and Tyrus were defeated by The BroMans in a number one contendership match to challenge Decay for the TNA World Tag Team Championship at Slammiversary. On the 21 June 2016 episode of Impact Wrestling, he challenged Braxton Sutter, Spud interrupting him when Sutter scheduled match against indy wrestler Balam. Sutter went on to defeat Spud and following his victory, was viciously attacked by Spud. During several months, Rockstar Spud and Braxton Sutter have many confrontation, during X Division matches. On 1 September edition of Impact Wrestling, Rockstar Spud viciously attacked Sutter with a chair during an Ultimate X match, and attacked him once again on 8 September edition of Impact Wrestling after his match against Drew Galloway, breaking one of his teeth. The feud ended in "Empty Arena, No Turnbuckles" match 15 September edition of Impact Wrestling, which was won by Sutter. At Bound for Glory, he participated in the Bound for Gold but was eliminated by Tyrus.

On the 27 October episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud took part in the Team X Gold match teaming with Decay against DJ Z, Braxton Sutter and Mandrews ("Go for Broke"), in a losing effort. On the 3 November episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud and Decay lost a three-way match against Go for Broke and The Helms Dynasty. They were defeated once again in a three-way tag team match against Go for Broke and The Helms Dynasty, this time in an elimination match. At "Total Nonstop Deletion", Spud was defeated by Broken Matt Hardy's son King Maxel. The same night, he lost at the Tag Team Apocalypto after his partner, Swoggle, attacked him. On the 5 January episode Impact Wrestling, Spud called out Swoggle, seeking revenge for his betrayal but lost an impromptu match. A frustrated and angry Spud then ostensibly quit TNA. On the 12 January 2017 episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud returned as Aron Rex's manservant, who was now portraying a "Liberace"-esque character.[13] On the 19 January 2017 episode of Impact, Aron Rex and Spud defeated Robbie E and Swoggle. The partnership with Rex abruptly ended due to the company's new management and Rex no longer being contracted with Impact Wrestling.[14]

Spud was made the new ring announcer for Impact Wrestling. On the Impact broadcast aired on 27 April, Spud was viciously attacked with a hammer by Swoggle, who accidentally has his pants ripped off by Spud earlier in the night. On 30 October 2017, it was reported that Spud was officially released two or three weeks earlier by Impact Wrestling.[15] Curtin reportedly requested the release himself after Impact told him the promotion would reduce his salary.[16][3]

WWE (2017–present)Edit

Debut and managing AOP (2017-2019)Edit

Curtin signed with WWE in October 2017, but had to postpone his debut until his U.S. work visa was renewed. On 30 January 2018, Curtin debuted under the name Drake Maverick and was appointed the new General Manager of 205 Live. In his first appearance, he scheduled a 16-man WWE Cruiserweight Championship tournament that would culminate at WrestleMania 34.[17]

On the 3 September 2018 episode of Raw, Maverick turned heel when he accompanied the tag team AOP (Akam and Rezar) as their new manager.[18] On the 5 November episode of Raw, Maverick led AOP to their first reign as Raw Tag Team Champions.[citation needed]

At the Survivor Series pay-per-view, Maverick was in AOP's corner for their match against The Bar; threatened by The Bar's associate, Big Show, Maverick wetted his pants, distracting The Bar long enough to allow AOP to score the victory.[citation needed] On 10 December episode of Raw, AOP lost their title to Bobby Roode and Chad Gable in a three-on-two handicap match, that also involved Maverick. While acting as a heel on the main roster, Maverick remained acting as a face General Manager on 205 Live. In a dark match before the April 9 episode of SmackDown, Maverick managed EC3.[19] However, the owner of WWE Vince McMahon was reported to have disliked the match and manager spots, so the partnership was not brought to television.[20]

24/7 Champion (2019-present)Edit

Since the introduction of the WWE 24/7 Championship, Maverick has chased the current holder of the championship on Raw, SmackDown and 205 Live, most notably, R-Truth. During his pursuit, Maverick has created flyers of R-Truth and handing them out to fans, backstage personnel, and superstars in various places. WWE management liked Maverick ideas and, in regard, gave him a little push.[21] On the May 29 edition of SmackDown, R-Truth and Maverick interrupted the Shane McMahon Appreciation Night in an impromptu match for the title, which Maverick lost.[22] On June 18, Maverick (disguised as R-Truth's manager Carmella) surprised R-Truth in the parking lot of the arena, pinned him for the title and immediately drove off in the referee's car. This marked his first championship win in WWE. Maverick also became the second holder - after R-Truth - to hold the title for over one day.[23] However, he lost the title to R-Truth during his wedding, two days later.[24] During the following episode of Raw, Maverick had a rematch against R-Truth for the title, but he was quickly defeated. On the July 1 episode of Raw, Maverick atttacked with a suitcase and pinned R-Truth in the backstage, while the latter was fleeing from a mob of wrestlers to become a two-time 24/7 Champion.[25] However, Maverick lost the title to Truth 14 days later when Truth pinned him on his honeymoon bed. His second reign become the longest reign at 14 days (13 as recognized by WWE), breaking the previous reign of 12 days made by R-Truth.[26] On the July 16th episode of 205 Live, Mike Kanellis demanded a WWE Cruiserweight Championship title shot, but was declined by Maverick, resulting in a brawl after Kanellis had verbally insulted him and his wife. Maverick would later win back the championship from R-Truth on the Raw Reunion on July 22, 2019. While trying to leave the arena, Maverick was scared by The Boogeyman and hurt himself trying to escape, allowing Pat Patterson to attack and pin him to win the championship. Later in the night, Maverick defeated the new champion Ted DiBiase in a limousine to win the title for a fourth time, only to lost again the belt against R-Truth.[27]

In other mediaEdit

In August 2006, Curtin appeared on Channel 4's Big Brother's What They Did After the House, where he was defeated by Big Brother contestant Billi Bhatti at an IPW:UK show in Orpington. In January 2011, Curtin appeared as his Rockstar Spud character on BBC Three's Snog Marry Avoid, where he was given a "makeunder". He also played a small part as a clown in a short film called Light the Lights.

Curtin, as Drake Maverick, appears in WWE 2K19 as a manager.

Personal lifeEdit

In June 2019, Curtin married fellow professional wrestler and 2017 Mae Young Classic competitor Renee Michelle. The wedding was incorporated into WWE programming as the venue of him losing the 24/7 Championship. [28]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Luchas de Apuestas recordEdit

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Ethan Carter III (hair) Rockstar Spud (hair) London, England Impact Wrestling 31 January 2015 Aired 13 March 2015

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit