Say goodbye to Gibson and Drake, and hello to Rip Fowler and Jagger Reid, as The Grizzled Young Veterans undergo a name change.
Over the past few years, WWE has made a habit out of needlessly changing the ring names of its Superstars, often to mass criticism. The latest victims of this trope are the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions, The Grizzled Young Veterans.
Respectively, Gibson and Drake will be known as Rip Fowler and Jagger Reid going forward. The name changes were confirmed by PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, though it wasn’t confirmed when, exactly, the pair will return to WWE programming. They last wrestled on 19 April, losing to Legado del Fantasma.
It comes just two months after the GYV underwent an initial name change, albeit a slight modification. Previously, the duo were known as Zack Gibson and James Drake, with their first names being removed following the aforementioned encounter vs. Cruz del Toro and Joaquin Wilde.
Officially forming The Grizzled Young Veterans in 2017, the English pair have held gold in both NXT UK and PROGRESS Wrestling. In January 2019, Gibson and Drake defeated Moustache Mountain in a shock result to become the inaugural doubles champions on WWE’s UK developmental brand.
They were moved to the North American branch of NXT in early 2020, officially debuting in that year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, where they advanced to the finals before falling to The Broserweights. The former PROGRESS champions also advanced to the finals of the 2021 tournament offering.
Other WWE name changes from 2022 include WALTER to Gunther, Pete Dunne to Butch, Raquel Gonzalez to Raquel Rodriguez, and, allegedly, Elias to Ezekiel.