After waiting for years to be a breakout star in a major promotion, LA Knight is poised now to be a main event player for World Wrestling Entertainment
When you go by a name like LA Knight, it immediately conjures up images of red carpets and regal events. The moniker alone suggests decadence at its absolute finest. It's the goal of all those who seek celebrity status - to be the one who is more 'in' than the in-crowd.
If you're a WWE Superstar, that's the ultimate goal, as well. Except to be truly elite in McMahonland, it's not about velvet ropes, it's about ring ropes. And the only way to truly be in the proper spotlight is to be draped in gold. Championships mean more television time, which translates into more fame, notoriety, and (ultimately) money.
That may not be too far away for Knight, as the 40-year-old veteran performer was already pretty polished when he was assigned to NXT in 2021. This came following the most successful run of his career up to that point. Performing as Eli Drake, he was the IMPACT Wrestling World Champion for five months in 2017, and it's where he really honed his current persona.
In fact, much of his promo material today as LA Knight was borrowed from his time schooling 'dummies' about The Facts of Life. During his time on top in IMPACT, he punctuated his promos with 'YEAH", just like he continues to do now.
It was an important point in his overall evolution
Up until that point, he had been mostly regarded as an underrated talent who was just waiting on the right opportunity.
Once he got there, it looked like Eli Drake would be the flagbearer for the promotion for a long time. However, it also came at a confusing time in terms of the promotion's history. Within months, he had dropped the title and started making appearances elsewhere.
For Shaun Ricker, the man behind the characters, time seemed to be running out. Like a prized prospect who can't seem to get out of the minor leagues, he was starting to look like a miss. At least in terms of his enormous potential. That is until he shined like a star in NXT. It wasn't long before all the critics were giving him a thumbs up to make the move up to WWE's main roster.