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Another controversial ex-WWE NXT name announces retirement

Drake Wuertz worked in WWE developmental for most of the 2010s, primarily as a referee. He could be spotted working many a high profile match during the rise and heyday of NXT, and even officiated some big bouts on the main roster like Ronda Rousey’s debut tagging with with Kurt Angle against Triple H & Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 34.

Before that, he had a successful independent career as Drake Younger. He was best known for hardcore matches in promotions like CZW.

Leading up to his WWE release in 2021, however, Wuertz was usually in the headlines for his right wing politics, especially advocating against mask policies during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Making the news for those moments were apparently the final straw for WWE, but they weren’t the only issues that marked the end of what seemed like a promising career with the company.

Now, after a return to the indies and a failed run for the Florida House of Representatives, Wuertz has announced the end of his wrestling career:

For those in the pro wrestling space you may have heard that my 21 year in ring wrestling career has come to an end.

We in this profession all know that the ride we all want can end at any moment due to the physical punishment required for the job. It certainly does not make it sting any less when that day actually comes.

I’ve been blessed with an INCREDIBLE on camera career in our business.

-From my first $5 payday in 2002 at the Evansville Coliseum (plus a hamburger)...-to headlining Korakeun Hall in Japan while legitimizing American Deathmatch Fighting...-to standing in the ring in front of 80,000 people at WrestleMania about to ref the main event match for the boss that changed my life while being trusted by Mr. McMahon to make sure his Daughter stays safe in the match...-to proving the doubters wrong by showing I’m one of the best while giving back to the next generation...

The ride has been amazing!

However it is well past time to start putting my family first. Wrestling has come above everything for half my life. I’m blessed with a beautiful wife, 3 kids, and twin boys on the way.Breaking my back was a blessing in disguise and the slow down I personally needed.

I’ve caused a lot of damage at home and there are some steps I need to take to better myself for my family.

Thank you to fans across the globe for the love.

Wuertz joins fellow ex-NXT talents Chad “Jaxson Ryker” Lail and Kimberly “Kimber Lee/Abby Laith” Frankele in calling it a career this year.

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