Shaun “Max Dupri” Ricker (born November 1, 1982) is an American professional wrestler and actor. He is currently signed to WWE, performing on the SmackDown brand. Ricker is also known for his time with Impact Wrestling (2015-2019), as Eli Drake. Ricker has also worked extensively on the U.S. independent wrestling circuit, and he has been signed by prominent promotions like Championship Wrestling from Hollywood distinction) and the National Wrestling Alliance (2019-2021).
Ricker made his name in the independent circuit and later joined CWFH, which then moved from NWA affiliation to align with NXT. After leaving CWFH in 2013, Ricker got signed by WWE and competed on the NXT under their developmental program. WWE released him in 2014 and he went on to perform for Impact Wrestling, WWE‘s former rival promotion. He won the Global Championship twice, King of The Mountain Championship twice, and Tag Team Titles once each. He also won the briefcase on two consecutive occasions with Scott Steiner.
In 2019, after leaving Impact Wrestling, Ricker re-signed with the newly-rebooted NWA and held the NWA World Tag Team Championship (with James Storm). He left the NWA in 2021 to re-sign with WWE, but he changed his character name to LA Knight. Before he left NXT was a major production on par with WWE‘s top two TV franchises: Raw and Smackdown. He is considered one of the best promo cutters of professional wrestling‘s modern era.
Outside of wrestling, Ricker appeared as a cast member on the TNT reality series The Hero, hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He also appeared in an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine in 2015.
Ricker made his first WWE appearance in 2008 at ECW, teaming with Gene Snitsky in a losing effort against Cryme Tyme. He also appeared in 2011 during a segment between CM Punk and Kevin Nash during the infamous text message promo. In June 2013, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Ricker has undergone testing to be signed by WWE. He would report to the WWE Performance Center as Slate Randall on October 9th, 2013. After defeating Yoshi Tatsu in a dark match on November 6th, 2013, he only competed as an enhancement talent for Triple H’s NXT developmental branch of WWE, losing to names such as Mason Ryan, Baron Corbin, and Mojo Rawley. His final match was on May 2, 2014, at an NXT Live event. On August 1st somewhat inexplicably, he was released from his contract with Corey Graves reporting on F4WOnline and saying that Ricker’s release was due to not getting along with then-NXT head trainer Bill Demott (whom WWE would later fire after allegations of Demott’s abusive behaviors toward several wrestlers became widely reported by wrestling news sites).