Former WWE NXT UK Tag Champions Grizzled Young Veterans Officially Free Agents

After months of speculation about their future in WWE, James Drake and Zack Gibson are now officially free agents. According to Fightful Select, Drake and Gibson, who performed on the "WWE NXT" brand as Jagger Reid and Rip Fowler, respectively, are eligible to appear for other promotions immediately. Drake and Gibson — known collectively as The Dyad — bowed out of WWE with a loss to The Creed Brothers on the August 29 "NXT," where they wrestled Julius and Brutus Creed inside a steel cage. The grudge match was months in the making after Dyad defeated the Creeds in a Loser Leaves Town Match in July, following which the Creeds returned to "NXT" with intentions of being reinstated to the roster. 

Earlier this summer, it was widely reportedly that Drake and Gibson were denied their releases from WWE, and the fact that they stayed on as members of The Schism gave some reason to believe that The Dyad signed contract extensions with the company. However, that was clearly not the case, with Fightful confirming that the veteran wrestlers were just waiting for their WWE contracts to expire. On Thursday, Drake confirmed via X that he and Gibson will pursue ventures outside WWE imminently. "ICYMI. Tomorrow, a new chapter begins," he wrote. "Thank you everyone who has supported us through the past 7 years, it really does mean a lot. I'm excited and equally terrified for what comes next. I haven't felt this alive in such a long time. Life is for living, don't forget that."

Prior to their run as The Dyad, Drake and Gibson were known as the Grizzled Young Veterans for years not just on the indie circuit, but also on the "NXT" and "NXT UK" brands. As original members of "NXT UK," GYV were crowned the brand's inaugural tag team champions in 2019 when they defeated Moustache Mountain. Upon being moved to "NXT" in February 2020, they originally started out as GYV before being repackaged as The Dyad in July 2022.