WWE refuses to pull the trigger on LA Knight at Money in the Bank


Fans wanted to see LA Knight win big and take home the Money in the Bank briefcase and fans are throwing their hands up in frustration. 

The 2023 edition of the Money in the Bank was another successful show for the WWE in both critical response and revenue generated. There were several moments to look back on, but there was one that fans missed – seeing LA Knight grab the briefcase and secure a future title shot. That accolade went to Damian Priest, leaving many to wonder what is next for Knight. One thing is clear, WWE must pull the trigger on Knight’s ascension or risk missing another big moment for the fans.

The story of WWE not giving fans what they want is one that is long and true. Just this year saw Cody Rhodes fail to defeat Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 in a match that fans are still complaining about three months later. There’s a level of predictability that works in professional wrestling. Fans expect to see their favorites win big matches and reach the top of the ladder, but WWE continues to push those moments out – sometimes never allowing them to come to fruition. Will the company do the same with LA Knight?

Knight’s ascension is hard to ignore. Look at how fans react to his entrance and every word he utters in front of the camera. Those types of reactions are rare within the WWE product, especially as the company struggles to build more stars. LA Knight with the MITB briefcase, tormenting Seth Rollins for months on end could have been a massive storyline with a major payoff.

The speculation is that WWE is hesitating on pulling the trigger with Knight because of his age. He’s 40 and has spoken outright about that situation.

“It was organic, real stuff happening. I come up for a dark match, I get the attention of the right people; “Hey, who is this guy?” but then the age thing comes up – [whispers] “Oh no, he’s 40, danger,’” Knight said when speaking to Alex McCarthy of The Daily Mail. “But I’m not the average 40-year-old. I haven’t gone through the wringer. I haven’t had a bunch of surgeries or injuries, knock on that wood. I’ve lived a good, youthful life in a certain sense and I’ve taken care of myself in a way I would say most don’t.”

This is the same company that’s run by 38-year-old Roman Reigns. Cody Rhodes is also 38. Finn Balor is 41 and Damian Priest is older than Knight at 41 as well. As with many talking points within WWE, there’s seemingly no rhyme or reason when ideas about age are “enforced.”

The reason there is a concern is that it’s difficult for WWE to keep performers hot in the eyes of fans. Can they keep Knight in a significant role on SmackDown? Do they put him in the United States title picture, as Austin Theory puts together a forgettable reign? Will that be enough to keep fans truly interested in him, or is there a bigger (read: Vince McMahon in creative) issue at hand here? When Knight’s moment truly comes, will fans be as invested as they are today? Those are all questions WWE must face as the company has once again delayed a gratifying moment in the eyes of fans.

There’s space for both predictability and anticipation in professional wrestling. AEW strikes this chord correctly when major championship wins are easy to call – but still excel in wrapping fans into that moment with their biggest favorites. WWE goes the opposite route, often delaying or sometimes completely denying the big win altogether. LA Knight is over with the fans. As Batista once yelled at Triple H, “Give me what I want.”

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