While LA Knight came out of nowhere to become a megastar in the WWE, early signs of his future success were evident in his NXT promos in 2013.
While fans may remember his run as the Million Dollar Champion in NXT, it is a little known fact that he was actually signed years before that to the WWE.
LA Knight joined NXT in 2013, before he had made his name as Eli Drake in TNA Wrestling.
When he signed for the WWE in 2013, LA Knight was given the name “Slate Randall”, which may go down as one of the worst names in NXT history.
Slate is a material used to make roof tiles, and not even remotely is it a first name.
Meanwhile, Randall evokes two characters from media – the evil chameleon from Monsters Inc, and the snitch from Recess. Neither are people LA Knight should aim to emulate.
Despite this awful name, LA Knight’s promos in his first NXT run were just as good as you’d imagine.
LA Knight’s First WWE Promo
One of LA Knight’s first promos from WWE has recently resurfaced, showing a much different version of the Megastar.
Performed under the name of “Slate Randall”, he still showcased some of the same characteristics that fans love about LA Knight – including opening the promo with his catchphrase “let me talk to you”.
He also ends the promo by saying “You’ve been slated”, a play on his first name (“Slate”), and the basis for another catchphrase.
In this promo, LA Knight spoke about meeting The Undertaker, which brought up memories of him being mentored by Paul Bearer during his career.
He spoke about how Bearer loved him, and saw him destined for great things. LA Knight then noted that he was not a “background actor” and would become the megastar he was destined to be.
In his NXT promo, LA Knight said (as Slate Randall):
“Let me talk to you. Seeing the Undertaker earlier today kind of brought up a few emotions from me because we share a common bond. That common bond is Percy Pringle, known to many of you as Paul Bearer, and even fewer as William Moody.”
“Now, for the last three years leading up to his death, he walked me side by side down that aisle. Anytime I needed to call him, whether for advice, questions, or frustrations, he could always set me on the right path. I don’t have that anymore.”
“But what I do have is a legacy to live up to. When you think about all the names who walked side by side with that same man over the years, you think of names like Ravishing Rick Rude, the Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin. “
“Yeah, I got big shoes to fill, but don’t get lost in the sauce. Believe me, those size 12 and a half shoes have never had a tough time filling.”
“Before Percy passed, he left me a message. He said, first and foremost, he loved me, and secondly, he wished me luck because he said I was going to go on and do great things.”
“And he was right. Because I stand here right now, not to be a background actor. I never could be. I’m going to go on and do great things, believe that. There ain’t a person in the world who can stop me. And that’s not an insult, that is just a fact of life.”
“You’ve been slated.”
If you use any quotes from LA Knight’s first promo in WWE, please give a H/T to Atletifo for the transcription.
LA Knight is rumored to be facing Steve Austin at Summerslam – do you want to see that match happen?
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.