LA Knight’s Little Known Acting Career Explored

Published 01/07/2024, 3:21 PM EST

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LA Knight has emerged as one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE. The pro wrestler has shown great promise in his ring as well as mic work, which turned him from a WWE Superstar into a WWE celebrity. Interestingly, while Knight has become a celeb via WWE, there was a time when he tried the same route via acting.

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Born Shaun Ricker, LA Knight has played small parts in several acting roles. His acting career didn’t shine the way it did for The Rock or John Cena. However, it did mold his presentation skills and the final product had the entire WWE Universe mesmerized. Here’s a look at the small-time acting career of LA Knight.

LA Knight made an appearance in one of America’s favorite shows

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LA Knight’s journey to the top in WWE wasn’t always a walk in the park. Before reaching his current status, he faced financial and professional challenges. To make ends meet, Knight not only focused on honing his wrestling skills but also took up commercial acting gigs. One memorable stint included a guest appearance on the popular sitcom Brooklyn 99.

Even before he became a wrestling sensation, Knight, then known as Shaun Ricker, dabbled in acting. His brief role on Brooklyn 99 labeled him a ‘guest star.’ Although he aspired to become a successful actor like John Cena, his time on Brooklyn 99 was limited to a specific episode, Season 2 Episode 17.

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Approached for the role shortly after his WWE release, Knight embraced the opportunity. He said in an interview, “I got released the first time, back to LA, that’s where I got the role in Brooklyn 99. They gave me a trailer and a name for my character. I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be a meaty role, my name is Mario, and I’m getting married,’ then I just stood there. I don’t know why they named the character, they didn’t mention my name, I didn’t say anything.” However, the scene’s original concept changed during filming. 

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Knight portrays a bodybuilder getting married inside a gym in a flashback scene for Terry Crews’ character. Despite the twists, Knight’s journey from financial hardship to WWE stardom reflects his resilience and diverse talents. Knight took on various short acting roles including an Aldi commercial.

Other roles in television

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Before rising to WWE stardom, LA Knight started with small TV commercial gigs. These commercials are gaining attention online as Knight’s popularity grows in WWE. In 2013, he appeared on The Hero, a reality show hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Then, in 2020, scenes were shot for GLOW’s fourth season, where Knight played DJ Henderson, but unfortunately, the show got canceled before airing. 

In 2021, Knight played a heel wrestler, The Overcharger, in a CarShield commercial, humorously bragging about charging customers unfairly. Ric Flair takes him down in the ad. Knight also appeared in the Swole-Mates TV series and had a notable role in a regional casino commercial as a masseuse, earning him a quick $800. But with that all said and done, Knight received a massive push in the WWE, making him one of the many rising stars in the promotion. He is currently set to face Roman Reigns in Royal Rumble 2024 alongside Orton and Styles

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Did you catch Knight’s guest appearance on B99?

Watch this story: 50 Years of The Rock: Dwayne Johnson’s Greatest Achievements in WWE

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Written by:

Sheron Singh

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One take at a time

Oh, let me tell you about myself, I'm Sheron Singh, the WWE aficionado and person behind many of trending WWE stories at EssentiallySports. My journey into the world of suplexes and powerbombs began at the age of 6, thanks to my father and I've been hooked ever since. With a postgraduate degree in clinical psychology, I have the superpower to dissect the emotions both in and outside that squared circle at ES.
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Edited by:

Donna Eva

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