Max Dupri: why SmackDown brand manager is an icon in the WWE?

Jun 28, 2022 - by Steve Gerweck

Max Dupri has been around the professional wrestling circuit under various different ring names, but his latest character is the persona that he will now be featuring under for the WWE.

Of course, he is no stranger to much of the WWE Universe, as he was once known as LA Knight and competed in NXT once upon a time across two stints. However, fans will now get to know him as “Max Dupri” and see him regularly on SmackDown.

But, will the SmackDown brand manager become an icon for the company? This article will explore what we could potentially see from the talented wrestler and decide whether or not he will be a hit, or ultimately fail due to creative issues that we all know the organization has suffered with over the years that has subsequently seen talent leave.

Max Dupri – what are we to expect?

Dupri has recently been making appearances on SmackDown where he has become a villainous manager that has created the stable “Maximum Male Models”. He has yet to make his in-ring performance under the new moniker, with the character seemingly making life rather difficult for general manager Adam Pearce as he continues to make certain demands.

Indeed, in a recent segment to have been aired, it would seem that we are expecting to see Dupri – whose real name is Shaun Ricker – finally make his debut in the coming episode, although it would not be a surprise if he were to claim again that something is not quite right and that things can not go ahead for the “Maximum Male Models” stable as planned.

Keeping in line with the storyline and the creative direction that the WWE has planned and outlined for him, it does appear that they are going to keep the Maryland native as a heel within the organization at the moment, and this is a move that could potentially help him to become an icon within the company in the future.

The 39-year-old, who has continued to refuse to reveal the first member of his new stable, is known for his ability on the mic as well as his abilities in the ring. One of the typical ways in which a heel can truly come across and make themselves known as an excellent heel is by the way that they talk. Dupri does not appear to have this problem, though.

According to some, he has been considered one of the best promo cutters of the modern professional wrestling era, with some having even compared him to the legendary Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Indeed, if this is what many think of him already at this stage of his career, then there is every chance that he will be able to become an icon for the WWE SmackDown brand in the future.

What does the future hold for Max Dupri?

Naturally, it is still very early days in regard to Max Dupri, although it would not be a surprise if fans were to be a little skeptical regarding the storylines being used and how the character is being portrayed.

There is no doubt that Dupri – aka LA Knight or even Eli Drake – is portraying it in the right way and is already being able to generate heat, however there will be questions regarding how far the WWE can take this story given the history that they have with similar plots.

Indeed, there will be a number of fans that will not be betting on this journey to be a big success, especially after seeing what has happened in the past.

With Dupri’s fellow Marylanders enjoying sports betting in the state now following the updated laws, there may be some that will be looking to place a wager on what he is able to achieve in the next stages of his career and what direction he might head into next.

Of course, a lot of the betting may also be based on the stable members that he is able to get for his “Maximum Male Models” group, with there having been some strong links to Europe recently thrown in because of a subplot that was made as a reason why he could not appear on a show.

Who could be joining Dupri’s “Maximum Male Models”?

If the WWE wanted to further intensify the heat that Dupri is getting and potentially propel him into iconic status, then they could ultimately look to have him name himself as the first member of the “Maximum Male Models” stable.

Indeed, this would generate a lot of heat from fans as they would be angered by the continued delays while it is a tactic that the WWE has used before with The Miz and Kevin Owens when they announced themselves as their guests on their own shows. Additionally, if the company does not know who they want to be a part of the stable at this time, it could buy them some time in a safe way that could only intensify the story further.

However, we could also see him look to actually bring in some names to the group. For instance, we could see Mansoor and Mace both involved as they have each previously worked together in the past during dark events.

Will Dupri become an icon in the WWE?

Obviously, it is still very early days and it can be rather difficult to speculate accurately what might happen for Max Dupri as of right now.

However, there is no denying his ability on the mic when it comes down to cutting some of the best promos we have seen for years, and this can go a long way into making the Superstar a potential icon for SmackDown and across the entire company.

It will be very interesting to see where he goes from here on, but if he continues to build as much heat as he does now in the future, then there is no doubt that he will be a memorable character and one that could achieve very high status.

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