LA Knight has become one of the most popular stars on WWE's main roster in recent months. However, his success has not come without its fair share of criticism. Some have accused the "WWE SmackDown" sensation of borrowing too heavily from wrestling legends like The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
One prominent voice among the critics is Kevin Nash, who voiced his discontent on a recent podcast. Nevertheless, not all wrestling veterans share the same sentiment as Nash. Booker T, renowned WCW legend and current "NXT" commentator, has taken a different stance.
While he acknowledged the validity of some of Nash's criticisms, Booker T respectfully disagreed with the notion that LA Knight is merely a rip-off. Speaking on "The Hall of Fame" podcast alongside Brad Gilmore, Booker T offered his perspective.
Booker T on Knight's Inspiration
Addressing the comparisons made between Knight and the iconic Austin and The Rock, Booker T admitted, "You can look at it in a couple of different ways, I guess. You could say, 'Well, he's ripped a lot of Stone Cold Steve Austin off,' [or], 'he's got a lot of The Rock's cadence.'
" However, the WWE Hall of Famer refused to label Knight as a copycat. Instead, Booker T highlighted the natural process of wrestlers drawing inspiration from others to carve their paths. Reflecting on his career, Booker T candidly revealed, "I took a lot of things from a lot of different wrestlers and kind of meshed it into everything that I did, and I called it my own." He says this is common among wrestlers, particularly those who achieve greatness.
Emphasizing that adopting elements from predecessors is a way for performers to grow and stand out, Booker T stated, "I think that's just what wrestlers do, especially the good ones!" To further support his argument, Booker T cited examples of wrestling history wherein legendary figures like Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan incorporated influences from those who came before them.
Drawing from this perspective, Booker T concluded that assimilating styles and gimmicks are not inherently harmful but an integral part of the evolution of the wrestling industry. As the debate surrounding LA Knight's resemblance to Steve Austin and The Rock rages on, Booker T's insightful commentary adds a nuanced perspective.
While some critics may see Knight as a mere imitator, Booker T sees a wrestler taking inspiration from wrestling's rich heritage and shaping it into his unique persona. Ultimately, only time will tell if LA Knight can successfully establish his legacy in professional wrestling.
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