MR. TITO: Wrestling Fans Need to be Patient with LA Knight and WWE World Title Pushes

Right now, if you dare say anything about LA Knight, the online wrestling mob will come and get you! WWE Hall of Famer and wrestling legend, Kevin Nash, found that out the hard way when he gave his own opinion about LA Knight. Sadly, Kevin has been backtracking on his initial opinion about LA Knight when he called him an “absolute ripoff” of the Rock. Obviously, the online wrestling mob aka “Internet Wrestling Community” aka “Cancel Culture” got to him. Plus, I would imagine old Clique buddies (Shawn & Hunter), who really really like LA Night, probably reached out to Nash to cool him down.

Now, am I here to throw a wet blanket onto LA Knight? No, I’m here for perspective and to preach PATIENCE…

And as I predicted weeks ago on my July 4th edition of Ask Tito, all of you within the online wrestling mob were venting on Kevin Nash because you were still sore that LA Knight didn’t win the 2023 Money in the Bank briefcase match. Remember? Weeks before the show, you were going nuclear because you thought Logan Paul could “steal LA Knight’s moment”, only for Damian Priest to do so. Then, you began attacking Priest until shifting that heat towards Kevin Nash who made his comments right after the Money in the Bank PLE.

On my end, I’m still having a hard time removing that Mountain Dew Pitch Black sponsored JOKE of a match between LA Knight and Bray Wyatt from Royal Rumble 2023 out of my head. You know, the terribly worked match that LA Knight not only lost, but had to endure a Botchamania moment with Uncle Howdy afterward. Folks, that was just 6 months ago and since then, you want LA Knight to instantly become World Champion after that bad feud and match-up?


Where have we seen this kind of push before? Where have I seen this kind of Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) mob movement before? You know, to back a specific wrestler, often in protest of whom WWE Creative wants to push?

Oh yeah, Kofi Kingston during 2019. He acted as a last minute substitute wrestler for a big match and the smart fans tried to induce the WWE to give him a big World Title push that year. With nothing else going on during 2019 for the WWE, a very lackluster year in terms of quality content, the WWE gave in and actually crowned Kofi as WWE Champion during Wrestlemania 35. How did that turn out? Nothing but business declines insomuch that the WWE course corrected by having Brock Lesnar squash him to debut the FOX Smackdown.

Another was Rusev… The internet wrestling fanbase made it seem like “Rusev Day” was over, but it was Aiden English’s promos that were truly getting Rusev any kind of notice. As you can see in AEW land, it’s been difficult for Miro to get any consistent good booking or reactions. WWE knew what Rusev was really drawing based on internal numbers and therefore, they were confident about releasing him years later.

Same thing for many Dolph Ziggler attempts at pushes. Online fans were calling it as a “travesty” that he hasn’t been pushed to the top. He has one big Money in the Bank cash-in moment and what else? Many good matches? Sure, there are lots of great in-ring technicians out there, but you need other intangibles to be great.

How about Cesaro? For years, and I shall indict myself on this one as well, we ripped the WWE for not pushing Cesaro. Yet, since he’s joined AEW/Ring of Honor, has he drawn? How is he doing in that environment where his nightly opponents aren’t as technically sound as his former WWE opponents? Suddenly, he looks awkward inside the ring and not as crisp. Imagine that.

How is Keith Lee doing? Online fans repeatedly attacked the WWE for not pushing him hard once he made the WWE roster. Actually, the WWE tried pushed him but he underwhelmed inside the ring.

Personally, I like Kevin Owens and feel that he’s had a great WWE career. But is he a sustained World Champion there? He’s the perfect guy for Main Event wrestlers to work with, but not the guy to be a sustained top level superstar. Him teaming up with Sami for a high level Night 1 Wrestlemania match is a perfect role for him and shows that Owens has utility within the WWE company.

Come on with Finn Balor. Online fans have lusted over his ability, while ignoring his size, inability to cut good promos, and lack of connective tissue with casual fans. If WWE cared about pushing the Cruiserweight Division, then he could really thrive there but as a Main Eventer, he just doesn’t fit the mold and the WWE has tried repeatedly without success afterward. Him going back to NXT tells me everything.

Hate to say it, and I’m guilty on this one from back then but understanding in hindsight, but Daniel Bryan. He wins the WWE World Title at Wrestlemania 30 and then we’re like “now what”. Granted, he was injured through his feud with Kane… But he tried to come back through 2015 and the magic just wasn’t there. He’s been popular ever since, but Main Event popular like other top stars in the past? I don’t think so… Fans were ramping up Daniel Bryan love because they were completely rejecting Randy Orton as WWE Champ, along with an Evolution love fest planned to headline Wrestlemania 30 with Orton vs. Batista. That was the true nature of the loud “Yes!” chants during early 2014 that forced the issue.

We’ve heard it repeatedly about Bray Wyatt… Oh, the WWE Creative Team is out for him. Right, I guess we can forget that he was a 3-time WWE World Champion and with that 3rd title reign, WWE gave him every opportunity to succeed with that Fiend gimmick. But the matches were AWFUL, and any fan with a brain has admitted that. Then, he returns through 2022 and had a great speech… But the matches that accompanied that were awful too. WWE Creative has spent overtime pushing ideas with the Wyatt Family, the Bray Wyatt character, and the Fiend but in return, the matches were lackluster. WWE gave into your online hype of Bray/Fiend, but it turns out that online and smart fans were wrong. The wrestler couldn’t live up to the hype, even when given the hottest female personality (Alexa Bliss) to Band-Aid any of his shortcomings as a top guy.

The only time that you’ve been proven right was with Becky Lynch… Your fight for her against the WWE machine, following that Nia Jax punch and trying to turn Becky heel against Charlotte, was victorious… But why? Because Becky was legitimately talented, was a hard worker, and had the intangibles of a top star. Kofi, Rusev, Ziggler, Finn, Cesaro, Keith, and Bray did not.

Yeah, the WWE did overpush Roman Reigns incredibly hard during 2014-2019 as a babyface and really forced the issue… They heard you, for example, in 2015, and changed the finish of Wrestlemania 31 to let Seth Rollins steal the WWE Title via MITB cash-in. What happened after that? Oh yeah, one of the more frustrating World Title runs with Rollins facing off with Corporate Kane. And then after that, the Internet Wrestling Community was repeatedly WRONG on stars they suggested to push, as seen above. They were VERY WRONG on Bill Goldberg and slandering him for years, too, as Goldberg re-established his 1998 WCW brand and drew legitimate money for the WWE.

Am I here to praise WWE Creative for the many atrocities that they’ve done to wrestlers? No… Read my many other columns. I have been quite critical of them for their handling of CM Punk during 2011, for example, and being complete idiot ex-Hollywood writers who cannot write comedy. But I’ll tell you this much, how Brock Lesnar was used after 2012 has been magnificent, how Bill Goldberg was salvaged was great and recreated an old star, and now with Roman Reigns and the Bloodline has been captivating. This WWE Creative Team has made household stars that a weaker talent developmental system couldn’t hand them under Triple H’s rule.

Getting back to LA Knight… Let’s slow down. I know that he’s the shiny toy at the moment and you hate almost everything else that the WWE is doing. Hence, why you have channeled your anger towards the WWE through LA Knight, much like you have in the past. Furthermore, you have to realize that the Money in the Bank briefcase SUCKS and DOES NOT MAKE STARS! After all, it was recently cashed in to challenge for the United States Title. Before that, it induced cheap World Title victories with those cheap 24/7 cash-in rules. How about this? CM Punk cashed in TWICE to win World Titles. Did he get over then? No, he got over during 2011 when he organically climbed that ladder as a heel and worked his way to John Cena for a match. How did Alberto Del Rio do when he cashed his MITB briefcase on CM Punk at SummerSlam 2011? Yeah, he was never the same after that, even in WWE’s eyes and they really liked Alberto back then.

Repeat it with me… The Money in the Bank briefcase = TRASH. Period, end of story.

The REAL route to success in the WWE is the Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania path. While this has been botched too in pushing the wrong guy, it’s often the official launchpad for a star. Wrestlemania is the #1 show and winning the Rumble gets you a World Title shot on that show, potentially the main event. Granted, the awful Elimination Chamber has watered this down along with the brand split, but the Rumble still matters in most wrestling fans’ minds. Hence, why that event packs arenas and now stadiums.

6 months ago, LA Knight was in an AWFUL feud with Bray Wyatt. Looking forward 6 months, guess what is on the horizon? 2024’s Royal Rumble.

If wrestling fans REALLY want to get LA Knight to the top spot, then they need full fledged support from NOW until January 2024 to help LA Knight get to the promised land. It’s going to create lots of work and finances from wrestling fans to achieve this. How?

(1) Buy up his merchandise online. Make an investment, go to WWE’s Shopzone, and buy EVERY LA Knight item possible. Or, in a smarter way, buy individual items from using your friends and family. If WWE sees an individual buying up everything on their account, they may think something is up… But if they see multiple people buying LA Knight merchandise, they’ll think he’s drawing.

(2) Bring a wad of cash, buy LA Knight’s merchandise at the arena. This may sound crazy, but attend WWE events and buy up every piece of LA Knight merchandise that you can BUT with cash. If you purchase by card, they could review and see that 1 person is buying up the merch to spike numbers. Pay by cash, they can’t track it and they’ll just see that LA Knight’s merchandise has sold.

By the way, this point #2 involves you ATTENDING any WWE event that LA Knight appears… Gotta pack those houses for any show where Knight is advertised to be appearing on the show, whether he is wrestling or not. Then, raid that merchandise table with cash!!!

(3) Make it a point to watch LA Knight on television and then purposely stay for the next Quarter Hour segment. For example, if LA Knight shows up at 9:30pm to wrestle or cut a promo, keep your television on for that entire segment and THEN keep your television on for the following 15 minute segment. For example, LA Knight wrestles from 9:30pm to 9:45pm. Keep your television on until at least 10pm. Why? Because it will show that Knight excited you in that segment and kept you watching for another 15 minutes. DO NOT drop off after Knight’s match, as the analytics guys will blame Knight’s match for the lost viewership. If, for example, LA Knight’s match or promo needs more time and overlaps into an additional quarter hour, watch another quarter hour. For example, if Knight’s match runs from 9:30pm to 9:50pm, then you need to watch until 10:15pm before daring to drop off.

(4) Talk about LA Knight positively online and often. Burner accounts are welcome… WWE measures the analytics of Social Media discussions on their wrestlers, along with the quality of the detail. Speak positively about LA Knight on all of your accounts, LIKE anything said about him by other fans, and LIKE anything WWE’s social media says about him. Don’t get negative, either… Don’t go on Creative Team rants. The more accounts you have, the more participation you can do for this process.

(5) Pump up those YouTube numbers for LA Knight segments or matches. If you have multiple devices or different logins, check out his matches/segments on each one. Always thumbs up anything he does.

BUT here is the real trick…

Once LA Knight successfully wins a WWE World Title, you gotta keep the momentum up… Keep buying his merch, watching his segments, and supporting him online. You may think that is crazy, but ask an older WWE fan how much merchandise they bought of the Rock or Stone Cold. YEP!

Because many, many wrestlers have won a WWE World Title… It’s what you do with that title afterward that matters. Younger wrestling fans bought heavily into the Ultimate Warrior in 1990 as the next big superstar, but the support was lacking after that and made for the WWE’s beginning of its 6 year decline. Support was lacking for Kofi Kingston after he won his WWE Title, and many threatened to “quit watching” the WWE after Brock Lesnar mowed him over during the first WWE Smackdown on FOX. Nope, y’all kept watching and now Smackdown on FOX is more successful than ever (besides that initial night). Daniel Bryan‘s hype quickly cooled after he won his title. Experimental World Champs like Miz, Sheamus, Jack Swagger, and Jinder Mahal (ugh!) failed to draw, proving that awarding a World Title to someone does not make them “over”.

You have to be CAREFUL on elevating someone to a World Title, because that could be their peak. What you want is SUSTAINED success… Austin and the Rock kept winning title after title, as did John Cena. Many one-hit wonders by comparison. That was my worry with Cody Rhodes getting rushed to the WWE Title at Wrestlemania 39. After toppling the Bloodline, what was next? Feuds with Drew McIntyre? Whoopee. Now, Cody has an extensive feud with Brock Lesnar and then he can challenge the Bloodline as a stronger opponent than before.

My fear with LA Knight is based on the following:

(1) He’s 40 years old, going to be 41 in November. Just more prone to injury and the human body begins to really slow down during those years.

(2) He has the right height and weight, has a good look… But the look isn’t exceptional. Rock, Cena, Austin, Goldberg, Lesnar, etc. all look “larger than life”. LA Knight resembles many other wrestlers. Nothing stands out, as if he’s the basic template for a Create-a-Wrestler on a wrestling video game.

(3) Finishing Move needs work. BFT looks great when his opponent properly sells it, but is very reliant on the opponent. You could argue that other finishers are reliant on opponents, too, but sometimes the angles are too weird and the move looks weak. You could argue that Rock’s Rock Bottom looked weak, too, but he accompanied that with other trademark moves. Either tweak your finisher and make it more effective, or create other trademark moves. LA Knight has the neckbreaker, too, but it’s a neckbreaker… Great main eventers have a great trademark move, and the BFT just doesn’t look perfect as it could.

(4) Terrible theme music. This point really matters, and is a lasting effect of WWE taking the talents of Jim Johnston for granted. His theme music is just bland and sounds like something was quickly cooked up. If you are truly going to push him as a big star, that music has to set the table.

(5) TNA/Impact “stench” is still on him. He was working with Impact during the 2010s, which weren’t a particularly great period for Impact coming off the Dixie Carter years and into Anthem trying to run the company. As Eli Drake, he looks exactly as LA Knight does now and speaks mostly like him. He just moved to WWE town and received a new name. Go look at “Stunning” Steve Austin in WCW and then look at “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in WWE. They are different… Hulk Hogan in WWWF versus how he appeared in the AWA that enticed WWE to bring him back. Drake and Knight are way too similar.

(6) Vince McMahon isn’t a fan. Remember during early 2022, Vince rebranded Knight as “Max Dupri” and made him the MANAGER of the Maximum Male Models.

In my opinion, issues with 1-4 is putting an over-reliance on LA Knight’s promo cutting ability to get over. Thankfully, he’s good at that and that has helped stir up online wrestling fans AND smart New York City fans to get behind him.

That is why TIME is needed to mold LA Knight further into a Main Eventer. DO NOT rush him to a World Title right now. Get a decent plan behind him, tweak his finisher and theme music, and get in some valid feuds and matches over the next 6 months before Royal Rumble 2024 arrives. If the numbers are there, WWE will pull the trigger on LA Knight. If they aren’t, LA Knight will become another victim of the Internet Wrestling Community’s hype train that has let down many, many passengers before him.

LA Knight has these advantages to build on:

(1) Great name. Whomever named him “LA Knight” deserves an award. It feels big, it feels like Hollywood, etc. If he came in as Eli Drake, he has no chance for marketing purposes.

(2) Great on the promo. His promos are carrying him with wrestling fans now and helping him to overcome other issues with him or how WWE markets him (awful theme music, especially).

(3) Has charisma. Now saying that he has loads of it, but enough to sell his character.

(4) Great inside the ring. Guy can perform in big spots when needed. No issues with match quality.

(5) Great athlete, in shape. But again, his look isn’t entirely unique. I’m not saying overhaul his look, but consider amplifying his other talents to offset it. Once he has more catchphrases built up, that can add to his look (which he’s already doing, YEAH).



Look, I’m NOT here to rain on the LA Knight parade. If you read my columns, I was a fan of his past work in NXT and I have been mostly positive about him. Getting him to the Main Event requires long-term planning, great marketing, and timing… Creating an online mob to force this push, as you have done with many other wrestlers, has proven to be an unsuccessful way to go. I’m a student of wrestling history and I’ve seen the Internet Wrestling Community’s attempts to push certain wrestlers result in an overpushed wrestler who wasn’t ready for the big lights. Then, the return ashamed to the midcard for the rest of their career…

We have 6 MONTHS until Royal Rumble 2024. A good plan to elevate LA Knight could be easily put in place to get to a much more over LA Knight by January 2024. Otherwise, without proper planning, having him win the Rumble will feel like a Band-Aid to appease loud online or New York area smart fans.

Also, quit crying about Money in the Bank 2024. Trust me, Damian Priest won’t be elevated if and when he cashes that in, likely doing it to take advantage of a tired champion following the match. Priest, too, isn’t ready for the Main Event scene either, which makes me think that he’s cashing in for a midcard title that nobody will remember a week later. That MITB briefcase might as well have garbage in it from a dumpster because that briefcase is TRASH. Never cheer for a wrestler to win that ever again, mmmmkay? You want them to win the Royal Rumble which potentially secures the Main Event of Wrestlemania.

Also, don’t attack other wrestlers who get a great opportunity… For example, if Cody Rhodes wins the 2024 Royal Rumble, don’t attack him because LA Knight didn’t win it. That’s unfair to Cody or others who may win it instead. I learned this lesson the hard way as a younger columnist when I’d rip other wrestlers who gained an opportunity when my preferred wrestler didn’t. For example, winning the World Title or a big match at SummerSlam has proven to be highly beneficial to a wrestler’s career, too. Other Pay Per Views (or Paid Live Events) can prove to present big moments, too, depending on how the match is marketed and presented ahead of time along with match quality.

LA Knight has the foundation to potentially become “the guy”, but there is some legitimate work and build-up to be performed over the next 6 months before considering him for the Royal Rumble (7 months for Elimination Chamber). Fans need to overwhelmingly support Knight with their time, efforts, and their wallets to make this happen and then continue that same energy after he becomes champion. Your lack of support AFTER getting your heroes a World Title has ruined many careers from sustaining a spot in the Main Event or regaining it later.

Online wrestling fans need to show PATIENCE… 2022 and early 2023 were NOT great times for LA Knight. He was Max Dupri and then had an awful and embarrassing feud with Bray Wyatt. That is a LOT of damage to recover from and remember, Vince McMahon is back in charge and has his own creative opinions again. I also cannot distinguish LA Knight from Eli Drake. What’s the difference besides the name? What makes LA Knight so exceptional over Eli Drake, besides the WWE environment?

Had LA Knight won the Money in the Bank briefcase, they probably would have rushed him to a World Title shot and his gimmick would be all about that briefcase. Instead, LA Knight can challenge for Austin Theory’s United States Title WITHOUT a pathetic MITB trash briefcase cash-in and make that feud, along with the title, matter… Together! Austin Theory still has potential, too, and a great feud with Knight could prove beneficial to both. Austin and Rock worked together during late 1997, had great matches in Main Events during 1999 and 2001. Rock and Triple H worked together during 1998 and headlined shows everywhere as Main Eventers during the year 2000.

In case you haven’t noticed, I REALLY hate the Money in the Bank briefcase being cashed in after a champion has wrestled a match. It’s garbage and if LA Knight was a part of that experience, it would have lessened him as a wrestler. The better route is to WIN the Royal Rumble match and go on to Wrestlemania, or get a big title shot at SummerSlam. Believe me, LA Knight is BETTER for not winning that MITB briefcase and getting that “stench” on him.

I feel like I have written a FAIR column to assess LA Knight… I’m sure that many online fans will pull a sentence and use it out of context because they are OBSESSED with forcing change to the WWE’s creative plans. Many get a feeling of empowerment if they can cause a publicly traded company to change based on mob pressure. However, you’ve picked the wrong guy more than you’ve picked the right guy.

“Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana

Go look at the most successful Main Eventers and see how they did it… Hulk Hogan, Cody Rhodes, and AJ Styles did solid work early into their careers, but when they went away to other promotions and tried new things, they new tools and different looks to present to the audience. Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels, Ultimate Warrior, Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Triple H, the Rock, John Cena, and Batista all proved themselves by getting not only over as midcarders, but midcard champions as well whether that was a Tag Title, US Title, or IC Title. They each drew as a midcarder, which made it an easy argument to push them to the top. Furthermore, there was a hierarchy to the top… Tag Titles –> IC/US Title –> World Title.

Where I think Kofi Kingston failed was his optics that he was a Tag Team wrestler that was pushed too hard to the World Title, skipping a singles midcard belt and time needed. Then, you have a case like the Miz who seemed like he was an OK United States champion and that was enough for WWE to make him WWE Champion during late 2010. It didn’t work, and the belt made its way back to John Cena. You have to legitimately draw as an IC or US Champion, and we’re talking the ability pack houses if you’re defending that midcard title on top of a houseshow or even TV show. WWE used to run split houseshows with Macho/Hogan as champs on one show, Ultimate Warrior as the Intercontinental Champ of the other. They drew sooooo much money during 1988-1989, it’s insane, and hence why Warrior won the WWE title during 1990.

Creating Main Eventers should be a PROCESS and not a ways or means to create overnight successes that are desired by impatient online fans. Getting fans to buy into you as “the guy” takes more than online campaigns to get someone over not just with the hardcore WWE fans, but to rope in casual fans or recent fans who gave up on the WWE. I also think that working on the same show as the Bloodline could be packing houses and inflating things a bit for LA Knight, too. Honestly for me, Smackdown is terrible to watch BESIDES the Bloodline… Thus, LA Knight could be receiving sympathy cheers from fans bored of the rest of Smackdown and channeling their boredom or anger through LA Knight, much as they did for Kofi Kingston during 2019.

If online wrestling fans are successful in pushing LA Knight too fast, his World Title reign will be short and it will be his last before returning back to the midcard. HAVE PATIENCE… Help convince the WWE to build a 6-month plan to build up LA Knight to become the 2024 winner of the Royal Rumble match. If Triple H is really confident about LA Knight to be a potential main eventer, then carefully book him and get him some new theme music. The foundation is there for LA Knight to get there, but he needs proper planning and marketing to get there and NOT just by an online mob ripping the WWE anytime the booking isn’t mind-blowing for LA Knight.

And seriously, the Money in the Bank briefcase is pure TRASH. Quit crying over losing that damn thing, which has barely helped any wrestlers in the history of that thing for the past 18 years or so. Come on!!! Winning the Royal Rumble matters way more, as does headlining Wrestlemania. SummerSlam is cool to headline, too. But cashing-in the MITB briefcase on a tired champion after his match is bogus and has benefitted NOBODY except Edge who was the first to do that… But Edge was overdue for that WWE Title when he did that heel MITB cash-in and spent years justifying why he deserved to be champion.

Go ahead and attack me for stating a professionally laid out opinion on your current flavor the month, LA Knight. Unlike many of the other “flavors of the month” that your online mob has tried to force the WWE to push, I actually agree with you that LA Knight has legitimate potential and intangibles to headline. But he needs work because Max Dupri and that Bray Wyatt feud aren’t as easily removed from my memory bank as it is yours, along with knowledge of history of how other wrestlers became Main Eventers.

But attack me if you need to… “I can feel your anger… It gives you focus, makes you stronger”.

You know that I’m right and your frustrations about how LA Knight ISN’T READY, just yet, as a Main Eventer will help you channel your frustrations through me instead of at yourselves for not fully understanding at how the professional wrestling business works. That’s what you did to poor Kevin Nash when you channeled your Money in the Bank anger through him instead of realizing that winning that trash MITB briefcase is more of a handcuff rather than an opportunity. Because you want instant results and want to be empowered by forcing WWE change immediately, you could prove Kevin Nash’s initial comments to be right if you’re impatient.

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