LA Knight has been called up to SmackDown and bosses have given him a new name.
The former superstar – who worked under the moniker Eli Drake before in 2021 – was undergone another change after making his blue brand debut.
The charismatic star wasin a backstage segment with Adam Pearce, where he introduced himself as Max Dupri, the CEO of Maximum Male Models.
He revealed he’d been signed by Sonya Deville before she was , and despite Pearce’s confusion he assured him a contract had been signed.
Dupri insisted he is looking for top stars who can be headliners on both fashion week and WrestleMania itself.
Although no names for the star’s unique group have been revealed, in recent weeks Dupri has been at ringside for untelevised matches accompanying both Mansoor and Mace (Dio Madden).
It remains to be seen if those two stars will be part of the faction on screen, with the act already undergoing name changes to align with Knight’s new moniker.
The move follows a new trend by WWE to give new names to stars being called up to Raw or SmackDown, although that’s largely been the case with talent who had been using their real name or one they build on the independent scene.
This led to , , and even Kay Lee Ray has switched to Alba Fyre on NXT 2.0.
However, LA Knight was a name WWE created and owned, which makes the change to Max Dupri a puzzling one – although it’s hardly a bad fit for the character.
Fans aren’t too sure, with one viewer tweeting: ‘Max Dupri WWE lol? At least the name LA Knight sorta resembles Eli Drake and it sure catches on with the live audience. But whatevs… (sic)’
Not everyone was quite so negative though, and another fan pointed out: ‘Remember how you felt about BUTCH and now you’re enjoying him? Max Dupri is MUCH better than LA Knight. (sic)’
WWE SmackDown airs Friday nights at 1am on BT Sport 1.