Shaun Ricker, known as LA Knight, dominates the professional wrestling world. Born on November 1, 1982, this American star shines not only in WWE’s SmackDown brand but also in Impact Wrestling as Eli Drake.
LA Knight began his wrestling journey in 2003. Quickly, he moved from the independent circuit to major roles in Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, NXT, and Impact Wrestling. Here, he won prestigious titles like the Impact Global Championship and the TNA King of the Mountain Championship. He impressively switched between characters, once playing Max Dupri, a talent agent. However, fans love him most as LA Knight, thanks to his engaging promos and unmatched in-ring prowess.
Many regard Ricker as a top talker in today’s professional wrestling. His charm isn’t limited to the ring. He featured in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s ‘The Hero’ and made a guest appearance on ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’.
Discover the bio, wiki, age, height, real name, parents, siblings, career, WWE journey, awards, wife, net worth, and FAQs of LA Knight. Get insights into his personal and professional life, including his accomplishments in the WWE and answers to frequently asked questions.
LA Knight Biography/Wiki
|Birth name||Shaun Michael Ricker|
|Born||November 1, 1982 (age 40)
Hagerstown, Maryland, U.S.
|Ring name(s)||Deuce, Dick Rick, Dick Rick Leykis, El Hijo de Trump, Eli Drake, LA Knight, Max Dupri, Shaun Ricker, Slate Randall|
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Billed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|Billed from||Hagerstown, Maryland
Los Angeles, California
|Trained by||Cody Hawk|
|Debut||February 15, 2003|
LA Knight Early Life
Shaun Ricker, who is now known under his ring name, LA Knight was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, on November 1, 1982. He was the youngest among three children in the family. After high school, Ricker moved to Cincinnati and began training at the age of 20 on March 17, 2003, supporting himself with work at a wood mill and a Ruby Tuesday restaurant. He began working regularly for the Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) later that year under the ring name Deuce. On November 9, 2004, Deuce won the HWA Television Championship, and dropped it on January 4, 2005.
LA Knight Family, Parents & Siblings
The attempts to learn more about Knight’s parents and family were ineffective. As no online source had this information. Hence, making it difficult to determine who his parents are. Or whether he has siblings or not.
Therefore, we can say that he is a very private person when it comes to his family. All we know is about his wife.
LA Knight Nationality & Ethnicity
LA Knight was born in the United States. Therefore, he holds the nationality of the United States.
LA Knight Age: How Old Is LA Knight?
LA Knight, whose real name is Steven Mitchell, is a renowned professional wrestler currently signed to WWE. Born on November 28, 1982, LA Knight is 40 years old as of 2023. He has made a significant impact in the wrestling world with his exceptional skills and charismatic personality.
LA Knight Height: How Tall Is LA Knight?
Standing tall at a height of 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 meters), LA Knight has an imposing presence in the ring. His height gives him an advantage in his matches, allowing him to tower over many of his opponents. This physical attribute, combined with his wrestling prowess, makes him a formidable competitor.
LA Knight Weight: How Much Does LA Knight Weigh?
As for his weight, LA Knight weighs approximately 240 pounds (109 kilograms). His weight is a testament to his rigorous training regimen and dedication to maintaining his physical fitness. This, in turn, contributes to his strength and endurance during his matches, making him a tough opponent to beat.
Professional Wrestling Career
Stepping into the Ring: Early Career (2003–2010)
Every wrestling superstar starts somewhere. Shaun Ricker began his journey in Cincinnati after high school. At just 20, he trained while working at a wood mill and Ruby Tuesday restaurant. He made a name for himself in the Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) as Deuce. Ricker won the HWA Television Championship on November 9, 2004, setting the stage for an impressive wrestling career.
Rise to Prominence: National Wrestling Alliance (2009–2012) and NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood (2010–2013)
Ricker’s career trajectory took a dramatic turn when he transitioned to the NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood in December 2010. Teaming up with Brian Cage as “The Natural Selection,” they clinched the NWA Heritage Tag Team Championship. Following an intense feud with Cage, Ricker emerged victorious in late 2012, further proving his mettle in the ring. His fighting prowess earned him the Percy Pringle III Cup, granting him a shot at any championship of his choosing, and subsequently, the CWFH Heritage Heavyweight Championship.
Dabbling in the Big Leagues: WWE (2013–2014)
WWE is every wrestler’s dream, and Ricker was no exception. He made his first WWE appearance in a dark match in 2006, only to reappear in 2008 and later in 2011 as a security guard in a CM Punk and Kevin Nash segment. Following necessary medical testing, he reported to the WWE Performance Center in May 2013, officially signing with WWE and competing under the new ring name Slate Randall. After a series of matches, his WWE journey was cut short when he was released from his contract in 2014.
Circling Back: Return to the Independent Circuit (2014–2019)
Post-WWE, Ricker returned to the independent circuit, continuing his wrestling career with the same fervor. Participating in a trios tournament at Full Impact Pro’s Fallout and securing a win over Kenny King at FSW Luck of the Draw, Ricker showcased his resilient spirit. Despite a controversial stint in Impact Wrestling, he made a robust comeback by debuting for the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico at WWC Aniversario, wrestling against Carlito Colon. Throughout his career, Ricker, aka LA Knight, demonstrated time and again his dedication to the art and sport of professional wrestling.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling / Impact Wrestling (2015–2019)
The Rising and Early Feuds (2015–2016)
Eli Drake, whose real name is Shaun Ricker, made his first appearance in TNA One Night Only’s TNA Gut Check tournament on February 16, 2015. He emerged victorious against Crazzy Steve, earning his place in a five-way elimination match. Despite the promising start, Drake was unable to clinch the title, with Tevita Fifita emerging as the victor.
The following month, Drake joined Drew Galloway and Micah to form The Rising, a dynamic trio that managed to defeat The Beat Down Clan in the March 27 episode of Impact Wrestling. However, the newly formed group was short-lived, as it faced dissolution after being defeated by The Beat Down Clan in a 4-on-3 handicap match in July.
A new chapter in Drake’s career began on July 15 when he turned heel by costing Galloway a match against TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III. He continued his antagonistic streak by defeating Galloway at No Surrender on August 5, though he was eventually defeated by Galloway in a No Disqualification match at Turning Point on August 19.
In the 2016 Feast or Fired match, Drake managed to secure the briefcase containing a title shot for the TNA King Of The Mountain Championship. He was later attacked by Grado, leading to a bitter feud between the two wrestlers.
Fact of Life and Namer of Dummies (2016–2017)
Drake reached a significant milestone in his TNA career when he won his first title in TNA, the TNA King of the Mountain Championship, by cashing in his Feast or Fired briefcase on May 31, 2016. Drake successfully defended the title against Bram, both in the championship and at Slammiversary.
However, Drake’s title reign was not without controversy. He invited James Storm to a Fact of Life segment and insulted him, which led to Storm retaliating with a Last Call. This incident sparked a feud between the two, with Drake eventually losing his championship to Storm.
Impact Global Champion (2017–2018)
Drake achieved his first world title reign from a major wrestling promotion when he won the 20-man gauntlet match on the August 24, 2017 episode of Impact!, becoming the GFW Global Champion. He defended his title in Japan for Pro Wrestling Noah against Cody Hall and on Impact against Matt Sydal.
Drake’s championship reign was challenged by Johnny Impact, resulting in a match at Victory Road. Despite repeated interference from Adonis and a low blow, Drake successfully defended his title. His title reign ended on February 1, 2018, when he lost the renamed Impact World Championship to Austin Aries.
Feuding with Hardcore Wrestlers and Departure (2018–2019)
In 2018, Drake began a series of feuds with hardcore wrestlers, starting with his “lawsuit” against Impact Wrestling management for an “unsafe working environment” following an attack by Abyss at Bound for Glory. He also had encounters with Tommy Dreamer and Raven, with Drake criticizing the hardcore wrestling style. He later had a memorable victory against Abyss in a Monster’s Ball match at Impact Wrestling Homecoming in January 2019.
Drake and Eddie Edwards formed a tag team in early 2019 and had several matches against other teams, including LAX and the Lucha Bros. However, their partnership faced a significant challenge when Drake was booked to face Tessa Blanchard at United We Stand. Drake refused to compete in an intergender match, a decision that led to a public dispute with Impact and his subsequent firing on April 7. He was a free agent as of June 4, 2019.
National Wrestling Alliance (2019–2021)
In late June 2019, Drake made a surprising appearance at the Ring of Honor event Best in the World, where it was revealed that he had signed an exclusive deal with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). He later formed a tag team with James Storm and won the NWA Tag Team Championship at Hard Times in January 2020. Despite a successful reign, Drake and Storm lost the titles to Aron Stevens and JR Kratos in November 2020. Shortly after, in February 2021, it was announced that Drake had been quietly released from the NWA.
LA Knight’s Exciting Journey Back to WWE: NXT Chapter (2021–2022)
LA Knight’s Resurgence in WWE and NXT Debut
On February 14, 2021, the wrestling world was abuzz when news broke that Shaun Ricker, known as LA Knight, had re-signed with WWE. His return was marked by a memorable debut at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day as a heel. LA Knight’s first in-ring bout came on the March 17 episode of NXT, where he successfully defeated August Grey.
LA Knight’s Quest for the NXT North American Championship
In April, at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Knight participated in a Gauntlet Eliminator for a chance at the NXT North American Championship. Despite an impressive performance, victory eluded him.
Partnership with Ted DiBiase and the Million Dollar Championship
Knight’s journey took an intriguing turn when he aligned himself with legendary wrestling figure, Ted DiBiase. This alliance led to a ladder match against Cameron Grimes at TakeOver: In Your House in June, where Knight was crowned the new Million Dollar Champion.
LA Knight’s Betrayal and Butler Stipulation Match
In a shocking turn of events, Knight betrayed DiBiase during the title ceremony, only to be thwarted by Grimes. This confrontation set the stage for a stipulated rematch at The Great American Bash in July, where Grimes became Knight’s personal butler following his defeat.
Loss of the Million Dollar Championship
Knight’s reign as Million Dollar Champion concluded at NXT TakeOver 36 in August, where he lost to Grimes following interference from DiBiase.
New Feuds and Faces in NXT
September introduced new challenges for LA Knight. He faced defeat against the debuting Bron Breakker and also failed to secure the vacant NXT Championship in a fatal four-way match. October saw Knight entangled in a feud with Grayson Waller, leading to a Last Man Standing match at Roadblock in March, which Knight lost. His time in NXT concluded with a challenging match against Gunther at NXT Stand & Deliver.
The WWE Main Roster and LA Knight’s Ascendancy (2022–present)
LA Knight’s Transition to the Main Roster
Knight made his first main roster appearance on Raw in January 2022, in a backstage segment with The Dirty Dawgs. In April, he emerged as a villainous manager for his new stable, “Knight Model Management”, taking Mace and Mansoor under his wing.
The Emergence of Max Dupri and Maximum Male Models
May introduced Knight as Max Dupri on SmackDown, and he announced Mace and Mansoor as Maximum Male Models. However, this partnership was short-lived as Dupri ended the alliance in September and returned to his LA Knight persona.
LA Knight’s Feuds on SmackDown
Post a short feud with Ricochet, Knight clashed with Bray Wyatt in November, culminating in a Mountain Dew Pitch Black match at January 2023’s Royal Rumble. Tragically, this was Wyatt’s last match before his untimely death at 36.
Rise in Popularity and Recent Performances
On March 31’s SmackDown, Knight joined the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal but faced elimination by Bronson Reed. Despite a villainous on-screen persona and a string of losses, Knight’s fanbase grew.
On June 2, he secured a spot in the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match by defeating Montez Ford. However, Damian Priest clinched the win, pushing Knight off the ladder.
Knight’s journey continued with a U.S. Championship Invitational tournament, reaching the semifinals. He then bested Ashante “Thee” Adonis, earning a spot in the Slim Jim Battle Royal at SummerSlam, which he clinched by eliminating Sheamus.
On the subsequent Raw, Knight’s character turned face, initiating a feud with The Miz. This culminated at Payback, where Knight triumphed over Miz with John Cena as the surprise referee.
LA Knight & SummerSlam 2023
WWE SummerSlam 2023 was a turning point for LA Knight, a rising WWE Superstar. He stood out in the 20-man SummerSlam Battle Royal, and everyone wondered if he would win. He did, with a loud “YEAH!”
Fans have passionately supported LA Knight’s journey, eagerly waiting for his big moment. WWE took its time with his rise, but seeing his growing popularity, they released merchandise and highlighted him in pre-match promos. After his SummerSlam Battle Royal win, it’s clear WWE believes in LA Knight.
The Battle Royal was intense. Superstars like Omos, Tommaso Ciampa, and Sheamus delivered standout performances. Omos dominated, Ciampa made quick eliminations, and the final face-off between LA Knight and Sheamus had fans on their toes. LA Knight’s win over Sheamus with a clothesline received the night’s loudest cheer, cementing his top WWE Superstar status.
LA Knight’s SummerSlam 2023 win wasn’t just a match victory; it showcased WWE’s trust in him. He’s now a major WWE force, and his journey has only begun. His merchandise sells fast, his promos captivate, and his SummerSlam win promises a bright future for this talented Superstar.
LA Knight Championships and Accomplishments
As a prominent figure in professional wrestling, LA Knight has achieved numerous accolades and triumphs throughout his career. A former Impact World Champion, Knight’s extensive list of accomplishments spans numerous leagues and categories, highlighting his exceptional abilities in the ring.
LA Knight in Championship Wrestling From Hollywood
Knight’s prowess in Championship Wrestling From Hollywood is undeniable. He won the CWFH Heritage Heavyweight Championship and the NWA Heritage Tag Team Championship twice, partnering with Brian Cage. In addition, his 2013 Red Carpet Rumble victory underlines his strategic competence and athletic prowess.
LA Knight’s DDT Pro-Wrestling and Future Stars of Wrestling Successes
In the Japanese DDT Pro-Wrestling, Knight emerged victorious, claiming the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship. The Future Stars of Wrestling saw him clinch the FSW Heavyweight Championship twice, a testament to his consistency and unyielding determination.
LA Knight’s Dominance in Empire Wrestling Federation and Heartland Wrestling Association
Knight’s achievements extend to the Empire Wrestling Federation, where he bagged the EWF Heavyweight Championship and shared the Great Goliath Battle Royal victory with Josh Dunbar in 2011. Additionally, he clinched the HWA Television Championship in the Heartland Wrestling Association.
Knight’s Winning Streak in National Wrestling Alliance and Pro Wrestling Illustrated
The National Wrestling Alliance saw Knight teaming up with James Storm to capture the NWA World Tag Team Championship. He was also ranked as the 32nd of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s PWI 500 in 2018.
LA Knight’s Impact Wrestling Triumphs
Knight’s spectacular performance in Impact Wrestling earned him the Impact World Championship and the Impact World Tag Team Championship, sharing the latter honor with Scott Steiner. Knight also claimed the TNA King of the Mountain Championship and triumphed in the Gauntlet for the Gold twice, among several other notable victories.
LA Knight’s Achievements in Ultimate Championship Wrestling and WWE
Ultimate Championship Wrestling saw Knight seize the UCW Heavyweight Championship, demonstrating his talent yet again. He has also tasted victory in WWE, securing the Million Dollar Championship.
Despite some downs, such as the 2022 “Worst Gimmick” award from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, LA Knight has proven to be an indomitable force in professional wrestling, boasting an impressive resume of championship victories and significant accomplishments.
LA Knight Personal Life & Wife
LA Knight is married to Michelle Yavulla. Michelle was born on March 19 in the United States of America but her exact year of birth, age, and birthplace are yet to be discovered. However, it is assumed that her age is between 35 to 40 years. Her parents were featured in her Instagram story but their names are not known as of now.
Michelle Yavulla is a fitness enthusiast and took part in various female bodybuilding competitions in her early days. She won 5th place at the Baltimore Gladiator in 2016 and 3rd place in that same competition in 2017. Michelle is an energetic woman and loves to hang out. While celebrating a party, she uploaded several images with her sister, family, and LA Knight. She is also a dog-lover and described herself as the mother of her pet dogs. Michelle is very active on social media having 760 posts and more than 2500 followers on Instagram.
LA Knight is very private about his personal life. Though he uploads images with his spouse on his Instagram profile and wishes her a birthday. How they met or their exact engagement date and marriage are presently unknown. However, according to Knight’s Instagram profile, the couple has been engaged since 2018 and Knight wishes Michelle a two-year anniversary in 2020. The couple has been together for five years and they don’t share any kids as of now.
LA Knight Net Worth 2023
According to multiple sources WWE star LA Knight’s net worth is estimated to be around $3 million as of 2023. This figure considers various factors, including his WWE salary, outside ventures, merchandise sales featuring his name, and royalties from various revenue streams, such as video game appearances, DVDs, and streaming platforms.
LA Knight Social Media
Knight isn’t just a world-class Fighter but also very attractive as an individual. Other than being well famed as a WWE wrestler, he has a huge fanbase on social media. He also has an official Instagram account where he shares his daily activities as well as quality time with friends and family. Moreover, he has 224K followers, and follows only 836 people on his Instagram account. In addition, at every post, he gets no less than a thousand likes, which means he has got some die heart fans too. He has an official Twitter account with 110.3K followers, and follows only 577 people.
Who are LA Knight’s parents and does he have any siblings?
LA Knight is very private about his personal life, and there isn’t any readily available information about his parents or potential siblings. The wrestler keeps this aspect of his life under wraps.
What is LA Knight’s nationality and ethnicity?
LA Knight was born in the United States, and as such, holds American nationality. His ethnicity, like many aspects of his personal life, is not publicly known.
How old is LA Knight?
Born on November 28, 1982, LA Knight is 40 years old as of 2023.
How tall is LA Knight?
LA Knight stands tall at a height of 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 meters), an attribute that gives him an imposing presence in the ring.
How much does LA Knight weigh?
LA Knight weighs approximately 240 pounds (109 kilograms). His weight is a testament to his rigorous training regimen and physical fitness.
Who is LA Knight’s wife?
LA Knight is married to Michelle Yavulla, a fitness enthusiast and former bodybuilding competitor. They have been engaged since 2018 and have been together for five years. The couple doesn’t have any children.
What is LA Knight’s net worth in 2023?
As of 2023, LA Knight’s estimated net worth is around $3 million. This figure includes his earnings from his wrestling career, merchandise sales, royalties, and outside ventures.
What championships and accomplishments has LA Knight achieved?
LA Knight’s accomplishments span numerous leagues and categories. Some notable victories include the Impact World Championship, CWFH Heritage Heavyweight Championship, NWA World Tag Team Championship, and the WWE Million Dollar Championship, among others.
When did LA Knight sign with the WWE?
LA Knight initially signed a contract with the WWE in 2013 and was deployed to its then-developmental territory NXT under the in-ring name Slate Randall. However, he was released in 2014.
Who are some notable wrestlers LA Knight has partnered with?
Throughout his career, LA Knight has teamed up with various wrestling stars. For instance, he won the NWA Heritage Tag Team Championship twice with Brian Cage. Additionally, he captured the NWA World Tag Team Championship with James Storm.
Who is the wife of LA Knight?
Michelle Yavulla is passionate about fitness and competed in several women’s bodybuilding events. She secured 5th position at the Baltimore Gladiator in 2016 and improved to 3rd position in the 2017 competition.