WWE Superstars are no strangers to changing their identities as their characters evolve, and one of WWE SmackDown’s most featured stars says he’s “night and day” from a previous persona.
Though he found success in NXT after signing with the sports entertainment giant in 2021, fans were in for a shock when LA Knight made his way to the SmackDown roster. Instead of continuing his familiar identity, the star instead introduced himself as Max Dupri, announcing that he would be putting together the group known as Maximum Male Models. He recruited MACE and Mansoor to his stable, renaming them to ma.cé and mån.sôör.
In July, Max’s cousin Maxxine was added to the group, and in October, Max declared he was done with them. He soon returned to his previous persona of LA Knight, and though Maximum Male Models continue to be a force on SmackDown under Maxxine’s leadership, they’re in the distant past for Knight as he focuses on his upcoming Pitch Black Match with Bray Wyatt at the Royal Rumble in San Antonio.
WWE SmackDown’s LA Knight Compared His Current Persona To That Of Max Dupri
Speaking in a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, LA Knight opened up about comparing his current persona to his former identity as Eli Drake in promotions such as IMPACT Wrestling and NWA.
“To be honest, there really isn’t, they are one and the same. And that’s the funniest thing is a lot of times again, from social media, they are like oh I miss Eli Drake. And I’m like you dummy. It’s the same thing, it’s the exact same thing. LA Knight is Eli Drake, Eli Drake is LA Knight.
“So you know, look, use what brought you to the dance. I know what brought me to the dance, and do a little dancing with it. That’s what I’m doing right now. So the idea that anybody thinks it’s any different just because they changed some letters around?”
However, the star says that he couldn’t be any more different to his Max Dupri persona as part of Maximum Male Models, even joking “Who?” when asked about the character.
“Oh boy, who? Night and damn day. Very much so, we couldn’t be more opposite ends of the spectrum.”
Continuing, Knight expanded on the decision to go along with the character change when making his WWE main roster debut, but said that in the end, he couldn’t be anything other than himself.
“There’s an undeniable thing there where it’s like you get told that well, you know, if you want to go legit, maybe you should think about trying this or that. And you know, in my head, I’m like alright, let me just go ahead and do what I need to do to get ahead here. And so that’s what I do for a minute.
“But at some point, eventually I got to come to terms with the fact that I can’t be anything other than myself. And that’s exactly what happened where it’s just kind of like I’d eventually this stuff starts just sprinkling it out until eventually it’s just full blown.”
If you use any quotes from this transcription, please credit Insight with Chris Van Vliet and link back to this article with a h/t to Inside the Ropes.