Why is WWE using Drake Maverick and Lio Rush as managers on Raw?
Last week on Raw, 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick decided to expand his portfolio by taking on managerial duties for Akam and Rezar.
During a pre-match promo, Maverick claimed his goal is nothing less than making AOP the Raw Tag Team Champions. Akam and Rezar squashed a pair of local competitors — Keith Thompson and Jimmy James — in 30 seconds, finishing them off with the Super Collider before posing in the ring with Maverick.
The resurrection of AOP continued this week on Raw, with Maverick once again leading Akam and Rezar through a one-sided demolition of local competitors — Ronnie Ace and Nathan Bradley.
Later in the show, Lio Rush took interest in Bobby Lashley’s workout and tried to motivate him.
Fightful asked several WWE performers and employees about the creative team integrating 205 Live Superstars on Raw as managers and those in the know said there is a push from the writers to implement more managers on the program in an effort to revive “floundering acts.”
We’ve heard that Vince McMahon is the main person behind the change. For the past several years, McMahon has preferred not to use managers even if it would be beneficial to a struggling wrestler or act. McMahon, however, recently changed his stance on using managers and is actually now very interested in using them for wrestlers who aren’t the best at promos.
The idea of pairing Rush with Lashley was brought up over the past week at creative meetings. It feels out of left field, but that’s how McMahon is at times.
As for AOP, the feeling is they’ve needed a manager ever since their separation from Paul Ellering on the night of their main roster debut.
Furthermore, members of 205 Live are booked for less than a half-dozen dates per month, and this is being seen as an effort to maximize returns on their investment in them. Past attempts to invest in 205 Live talent would end up blowing up in WWE’s face (namely Neville and Enzo Amore).
Maverick and Rush’s respective manager roles should not affect their standing on 205 Live.
Maverick’s partnership with AOP could factor into some of his decisions on 205 Live. During a backstage segment on this week’s show, Maverick told Drew Gulak and Gentleman Jack Gallagher that his involvement with AOP would not distract him from his role as 205 Live General Manager, but that he can arrange a meeting with them if they like.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) September 12, 2018
Gulak and Gallagher wisely declined the offer.
It was then announced that Rush, who is undefeated on 205 Live, will face Noam Dar next week.
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) September 12, 2018
There’s a difference between you and me. @NoamDar its time to find out next week on #Lio5Live why the #MOTH makes the big bucks. ⏳💰6-0 here we come! #WWE @WWE #205Live #MerchOfTheHour @WWEShop @WWE205Live pic.twitter.com/UW7jaLzRg5
— #LIO5LIVE⌛️ (@itsLioRush) September 12, 2018
It’s a bit questionable to have Maverick play a face on one show and a heel on the other. McMahon considers 205 Live and Raw separate from each other, and Maverick can, therefore, play almost two different characters.