LA Knight is fast becoming one of WWE’s most popular stars, but he revealed how it took him some time to sign with the sports entertainment giant.
Since making his way back to the WWE in 2021, LA Knight has made an impression in both NXT and on the main roster. After a brief stint as Max Dupri, Knight found himself firmly in the spotlight on Raw and SmackDown, and is a favorite to win the upcoming Money in the Bank ladder match on July 1st.
Speaking in an interview with Alex McCarthy for the Daily Mail, Knight opened up about why he didn’t sign a WWE contract sooner, saying the decision came down to money as he was earning a nice living for himself in IMPACT Wrestling.
“I won’t get super long-winded on this but I was originally going to come back in 2016. I was in talks to come back in 2016 but the company that I was at [IMPACT] was offering me a very, very nice raise and WWE at the time was offering me an entry-level ‘this is what we’re gonna do.’ I get it, so I say, you know, I gotta stay and take this money right now.
“The next year, we come back and talk again, it’s the same offer but I have a programmed raise where I was. So I stayed because I’ve never seen this money before. Finally I’m making money. So I figure year three, we’ll talk again – they give me the same offer, and I’m like, ‘god, guys, come on, you can’t give a little something extra?!’
“I said I couldn’t do it but I kicked myself for not doing it at that point because I realised that where I was, I had already reached the ceiling as far as money was concerned. What they were offering me was way less and it would have been a downgrade but I knew my ceiling was much greater in WWE. But it was just that I had been broke for so long that I needed to take that money at that point in time.
“For three years in a row, we talked. It didn’t work out, 2019, we were just kind of like ships passing in the night. We never really got in touch. In 2020, I thought with the pandemic there was no way, everything is shut down, my career is probably over, so I’m just gonna make whatever little bit of money I can with these smaller companies.
“At some point, it was, ‘well, let’s make one more run for it.’ I got in touch with Triple H and his team and we put things together and finally made it happen.”
Elsewhere in the interview, LA Knight explained why WWE initially wanted him to be a manager on the main roster instead of wrestling.