If, like me, you’re frustrated by the lack of managers in WWE right now, I may have some good news for you. Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard and the powers that be look like they’re ready to introduce the leader of a new faction, and it’ll be a familiar face to fans who watch NXT and/ or Impact: LA Knight.
After weeks of whispers about a possible call-up from NXT, LA Knight showed up at Smackdown this week and appeared in a segment not broadcast on television in which he hyped Knight Model Management, a new talent agency on the lookout for clients. He then introduced the first of those clients: Mace. You can check out the segment below which is now making its way around Twitter and YouTube…
Put aside any preconceived notions about what you think LA Knight should be doing on Smackdown. There are certainly no shortage of opinions running around social media concerning whether or not he should be wrestling or managing, but if you leave all that aside, you're left with a really good segment. I mean how do you say otherwise? I'm hyped and most I've seen on social media who watched it have been hyped too.
If WWE moves forward with this gimmick and LA Knight starts showing up on TV every week, he will immediately be one of the best people with the stick on the entire roster. He works the crowd. He delivers his words with conviction. He could potentially make a Miz-level impact with promos, which is an enormous compliment. And, oh by the way, he’s also a damn good wrestler and just because he's a manager doesn't mean he can't beat some people up too.
Now, obviously, WWE didn’t air this segment on Smackdown. It hasn’t shown up on any official WWE socials that I’ve seen either; so, there’s still time for WWE to pivot. There’s a long history of trying out both wrestlers and new gimmicks during dark matches and then bailing without it ever showing up on TV. It’s possible the bookers didn’t like what they saw here, but from my vantage point, that would be crazy. There's clearly something here, and I want to see more of it.
If nothing changes, it seems like WWE is going to pair LA Knight with Mace. I’m fine with that. Mace, or FACE, is a talented guy, who has been given very little to work with. I think LA Knight could propel his career forward. That being said, there are plenty of people on the WWE roster who could desperately use a manager, starting with Ronda Rousey. And a good manager is one of the most undervalued roles in wrestling. There are plenty of managers who have elevated the performers around them to incredible heights. If you don't believe me, watch Paul Heyman work or the dearly departed Bobby Heenan. A case could be made that during the late 80s, Heenan was the single biggest heel on the entire WWE roster.
Long story short, I think WWE needs more managers. There are plenty of really capable and talented people in the ring who are mediocre or worse on the microphone. They could be terrific with the right hypeman. Maybe LA Knight should be giving us more. Maybe there’s another path where he talks for himself and quickly climbs the main roster card, but as a manager, I’m really pumped to see what he can bring to the table and excited to see where it leads.
Typically WWE reshuffles the deck a bit after WrestleMania to start building new storylines. We've recently seen the introduction of new characters like my personal favorite Ezekiel or Veer Mahan, who finally came to Raw. With the right angle and some momentum, LA Knight (and Mace/ Face) could be a major player. We'll just have to wait and see.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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