A top WWE Executive doesn’t think LA Knight is copying anybody and instead doing his best to be the first LA Knight.
The rise of LA Knight in WWE has led to a lot of talk amongst fans, former wrestlers and anybody that consumes the WWE product. Knight was put on the WWE main roster over a year ago as Max Dupri, but when Triple H took over the creative team from a “retired” Vince McMahon in July 2022, one of the first things he did was bring LA Knight back.
For most of this year, Knight was a heel character, but WWE couldn’t keep the Smackdown star in that role because the fans absolutely love him. Knight is now one of the top babyfaces on the Smackdown brand and is featured prominently every week. On last week’s Smackdown episode, Knight was featured in three segments with a promo leading to a win over Austin Theory.
Some critics of LA Knight also point out that he comes across as a ripoff of top Attitude Era stars like The Rock or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin because of how he talks as well as some of his catchphrases. Knight has admitted that he grew up as a huge fan of those guys, so that’s probably where it comes from.
Nick Khan believes LA Knight is his own character rather than some kind of ripoff of another star
WWE President Nick Khan was on The Bill Simmons podcast talking about rising stars in WWE when LA Knight’s name was brought up.
“You mentioned LA Knight. I think what’s proven in combat sports is the next one never looks like the last one. You see folks, WWE included, you get a John Cena, and part of the thought is, ‘we just need to find the next John Cena.’ There is no next John Cena. The next one never looks like the last one.”
“If you look at UFC, same thing. When you saw Conor McGregor, a megastar in terms of marketability. Darren Till came around and it was ‘Darren Till is going to be the next Conor McGregor.’ There is never going to be a next Conor McGregor. If you look at boxing, when everyone was looking for the next Muhammad Ali, it didn’t look like Ali, it was Sugar Ray Leonard. When it was the next Ray Leonard, it didn’t look like Ray Leonard, it looked like Mike Tyson.”
“An entity can be fixated on ‘this is our next so and so,’ I’ve never seen it work. LA Knight is the first LA Knight, and that’s part of why we think he’s resonated.”
LA Knight will be in action tonight on Smackdown in Denver when he renews his rivalry with The Miz. Knight beat The Miz at Payback two weeks ago, but The Miz wanted another match and he’ll get his opportunity later tonight.