Though the decision to promote the man-born Shaun Ricker to the main roster after a successful run in NXT under the LA Knight moniker wasn’t surprising, as there aren’t many 39-year-olds in WWE’s developmental system anymore, how he was promoted was.
For the past decade, Knight has essentially been playing the same character, with his run in Impact under the Eli Drake moniker being arguably the most well-known and endearing run of his professional wrestling career. He honed his in-ring style, which would be more at home in the old-school WWF than in the modern-day WWE, and honed his promo game, which included signature catchphrases.
When the time came for Knight to get to work, it wasn’t as a cocky heel vying for the IC Championship; instead, he’d be working as a manager for Mace and Mansoor, taking on the role of eccentric Male Model enthusiast Max Dupri.
Dupri’s faction was a classic Vince McMahon idea in every sense of the word, immediately despised by fans, incredibly labored in its execution, and ultimately failed to gain traction in the way it was intended. Mr. McMahon was reportedly creeped out by Dupri, and one of the final acts he oversaw before retiring was the introduction of Maxxine Dupri as Max’s sister and effective replacement. Maxxine Dupri shared an Instagram post and it steamed up the internet.
how I’ll be watching the debut of our reality show ‘Making It Maximum’ today
What do you think of the Maximum Male Models storyline? Sound off in the comments.