LA Knight has opened up about his brief run as Max Dupri after he was called up to the WWE main roster.
It’s been an interesting 2022 for LA Knight, who started the year on the NXT brand after a memorable feud with Cameron Grimes in 2021.
Knight was a post-WrestleMania main roster call up after that, but there was a significant change. Instead of being a wrestler, Knight became Max Dupri, who was a manager for the Maximum Male Models group. Since Knight is a great talker, it made sense for him to be on the main roster. However, it was strange that the 40-year-old in great shape wasn’t allowed to wrestle.
The situation changed for Knight when he dumped the Dupri persona in late September and officially became LA Knight again on the October 7th edition of Smackdown. Over the last two months, Knight has started a rivalry with Bray Wyatt that has given him a much bigger spotlight.
In an interview with USA Insider recently, Knight talked about moving away from the Max Dupri and going back to his NXT persona.
“There was an NXT built-in audience that knew who LA Knight was. So now here comes this other character being introduced and so for those people, it was like, ‘Wait, what is this?’ But when you look at the numbers of a SmackDown audience, for a large swath of those people, they are seeing me for the first time. So I could’ve been Joe Shmoe for all it matters.
“In a strange sense, that would have actually worked just because three quarters of that audience is seeing me for the first time regardless of who I am. At the same time though, I think there is a matter of the shoe fitting and not.”
LA Knight would go on to say that one character was more like him than the other one, which is a reference to the Knight character.
“I will make any [character] work, but when it comes down to it, there was one that was way more ‘me’ than the other one.”
Prior to his WWE run, Knight’s greatest success in pro wrestling came in TNA Wrestling where he won the company’s World Heavyweight Title in 2017 using the name Eli Drake.