SummerSlam Preview: Drew Gulak vs. Oney Lorcan

This past Tuesday night on 205 Live, a 6-pack challenge between Kallisto, Tony Nese, “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher, Akira Tozawa, Ariya Daivari and Oney Lorcan was held to determine the #1 contender to WWE Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak for this Sunday’s SummerSlam event, and after it was all said and done, NXT Superstar Oney Lorcan won the right to head to WWE’s second-biggest show of the year in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Sunday night. At SummerSlam, a Seven Year War will be reignited.

For Oney Lorcan, it marks a huge journey from NXT’s Live Events to making NXT television, to forming the dependable tag team with Danny Burch (former UK indie star Martin Stone), who has been utilized in both NXT and NXT UK. He made his debut on 205 Live earlier this year. But for Oney Lorcan and Drew Gulak, it’s the culmination of a seven-year war that began in the US indies.

Photo: Chaotic Wrestling

Both Gulak and Orcan – who competed on the US indies as Bif Busick – were products of the East Coast of the US. Drew Gulak, from Philadelphia, come up through the Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) and CHIKARA schools, while Boston’s Bif Busick grew up in the New England indies. Both men had trainers of prestige – Gulak was trained by Mike Quackenbush and Chris Hero, while Busick travelled to Calgary, Alberta, Canada to get his tutelage under Lance Storm.

Photo: Oli Sandler

The two first encountered each other in New England with Beyond Wrestling in 2012, at Swamp Sessions. Busick had made his Beyond debut that year, after working with Chaotic Wrestling since 2008, while Gulak had made his own Beyond debut the year before, after establishing himself as a star with both CZW and CHIKARA since 2005. It began an intense rivalry that would span multiple promotions, across the US.

In 2014, both men were competing for CZW, when their feud entered the main event. The August prior, Drew Gulak had captured the CZW World Heavyweight Championship from MASADA and defended it for over 270 days, against the likes of AJ Styles, Chris Hero, Timothy Thatcher, AR Fox, and Roderick Strong. In April 2014 at CZW To Infinity, Busick got his chance. After a brutal contest, Gulak retained, but the fight was far from over. A month later at CZW Proving Grounds ’14, Busick was finally successful, ending Gulak’s reign as CZW World Champion at 273 days.

Over the years, they battled in multiple battlegrounds – in EVOLVE Wrestling, CZW, Beyond Wrestling, CHIKARA, and ICW New York – to determine the best technician on the canvas. But as much as they warred, they were also frequent tag team partners. In Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) and Canada’s Smash Wrestling, the two primarily competed together in the tag team Fourth Gunn.

But since both arrived in WWE – Lorcan in the fall of 2015, and Gulak a year later in the winter of 2016 – they have yet to meet face to face in the ring. They’ve fought opposite each other in multi-man or 6-man tag matches, but the two warriors who fought up and down the East Coast had yet to meet one-on-one in singles action.

But now, this coming Sunday at SummerSlam, two huge veterans of the Eastern US indies, will renew a rivalry that began hot July night in 2012 in Bridgewater, Massachusets, but this time, it’s not for a spot on Beyond Wrestling’s roster. It’s a battle for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

So ends this week’s NXT recap stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.  And make sure to watch SummerSlam this Sunday on the WWE Network.