Jim Cornette believes one WWE Superstar is talented, and he feels “embarrassed” after their recent gimmick change.
LA Knight was a force in NXT, having memorable feuds with the likes of Cameron Grimes and Grayson Waller. However, when the star finally debuted on SmackDown after being called up to the main roster, he’d undergone a complete change of identity.
On the May 20th episode of SmackDown, Knight marched into Adam Pearce’s office and introduced himself as Max Dupri. The star claimed he was the CEO of hot new modelling agency, “Maximum Male Models.” He explained that his goal was to find a new generation of Superstars who can headline both Paris Fashion Week as well as WrestleMania.
Then, on the July 1st episode, he unveiled his first Maximum Male Models to the world as he introduced former RETRIBUTION star Mace alongside Saudi Arabian star, Mansoor. To complicate matters slightly, the two men are now known with the slightly tweaked monikers of ma.çé [pronounced mass-ay] and mån.sôör̃ [pronounced man-soir].
— WWE (@WWE) July 2, 2022
Speaking on the most recent episode of Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru, the legendary wrestling manager didn’t mince words when he criticized the new gimmick, saying that it makes him feel “embarrassed.”
“It was Mansoor and Mace, and now it’s mån.sôör and ma.çé with Max Dupri (…) Where do I start? I was so embarrassed for – I met this guy when I did the NWA commentary and also he was in TNA when it was Global Force [Wrestling] and him talking as Eli Drake (…) when he was Eli Drake and later when he was LA Knight, he could talk, he was glib (…)
“In NXT there, he was experienced, he could work, they put him in with these other green guys to have good matches, he was a classic pro-wrestling style pro-wrestler (…) Whatever we saw on Friday night on SmackDown was the first time I’ve ever seen it.”
Continuing, Jim Cornette proceeded to compare Max Dupri to another maligned character of the past, saying that the modeling agency might be worse than the time Terry Taylor portrayed the Red Rooster.
“But the thing is, I was embarrassed and I felt bad for Eli/LA. Because he’s talented. This is worse than The Red Rooster. First of all, the fans, just this presentation, within seconds were ‘What-ing’ him out of the building. And the problem was, he is so uncomfortable at doing this.”