WWE needs to hand LA Knight the keys to the Penthouse Suite

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

WWE needs to hand LA Knight the keys to the Penthouse Suite

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.

When that finally happened, it was almost sabotaged right out of the gate. In YET ANOTHER name change, Ricker became known as Max Dupri. He was placed in a laughable role of a talent agent for Maximum Male Models. It looked like a box office bomb for the man who had been waiting for years for his close-up.

Thankfully, someone in the creative team (likely Triple H) came to their senses and let him be who he really is. Ricker is a guy who truly feels he's a blue-chipper, and he's absolutely correct. He has all the measurables and the persona to be a matinee idol, but he never seemed to get the call-back. If that means he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder then so be it. In fact, he can use it as motivation in his marquee performance.

The role that LA Knight most deserves, however, is that of a main event player in WWE and possibly even a future Universal Champion

He's got celebrity style and awesome in-ring skills. At 240 pounds, he's a legitimate heavyweight, who is athletic and agile enough to hang with the cruiserweights.

He also cuts the figure of a perfect corporate champion. The substance and strength mixed with a shot of style. All that, along with a set of cheekbones that any luminary in Tinsel Town would be jelly over. If presented correctly, LA Knight is the literal definition of glitz and glamour. And quite frankly? Everything that you want your promotion's leading man to be. A bona fide star.

Regardless of the outcome of his Pitch Black (sponsored by Mountain Dew) match against Bray Wyatt at Royal Rumble on Saturday, it's time for WWE to take advantage of his potential. Not later, but right now. When this angle is finally over, the media monster should focus on making Knight one of their prime-time players.

That would start with giving him a high-profile match at WrestleMania 39. One where he gains a victory and looks like a combination of Clint Eastwood's toughness and Denzell Washington's cool factor.

How fitting that it will take place in Hollywood, where so many stars have been born.

For LA Knight, it could be where he finally gets the chance to deliver the performance of a lifetime.
Or in his case? Many lifetimes.