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LA Knight Brushes Off Accusations He's a Ripoff of The Rock and Steve Austin

Many fans point out significant similarities among WWE Superstars LA Knight, The Rock and Steve Austin on the microphone.

By Chris Phelan
Split image of Stone Cold Steve Austin, LA Knight and The Rock

The meteoric rise of LA Knight in recent months has been one of the feel-good stories of the years. However, along the way, the WWE Superstar hasn't been immune to criticism.

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Aside from being one of the most physically-imposing wrestlers on the WWE roster, he has an uncanny ability to channel the spirit of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin on the microphone, a fact that many in the WWE Universe aren't afraid to point out. Knight's delivery, cadence, and vocal intonations are eerily similar to these Hall of Famers to the point where some are wondering if it's just a coincidence. 

According to LA Knight himself, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

LA Knight Defends Himself Over "Ripoff" Allegations

During an interview with Ariel Helwani for BT Sport, LA Knight was directly asked about the accusations by many in the wrestling world that he is ripping off the vocal stylings of legends like The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Even Knight's signature "Yeah!" catchphrase isn't too far removed from Steve Austin's iconic "What?" taunt. 

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"People are always going to make comparisons," explained Knight. "It's the easiest thing for people to do. If you have something that's familiar to you and here's this new entity, 'All right well what can I compare it to so that I can make it feel familiar to me?' That's fine. Whatever you need to do, go ahead and do it."

Even if the WWE Universe insists on drawing comparisons to some of the biggest stars to compete in the wrestling business, Knight isn't losing sleep over it – he knows who he is.

"I am me, I'm the one, I'm the only, I'm LA Knight," he stated.

While there are undoubtedly many similarities between Knight and Superstars like The Rock and Steve Austin, according to the man himself, there is a simple explanation for it. Many critics forget that LA Knight, like countless other members of the WWE Universe, grew up watching The Rock and Stone Cold during the WWE's bloodthirsty and edgy Attitude Era. So it's not surprising that a young and impressionable LA Knight would – intentionally or not – mold himself after his childhood heroes.

LA Knight's Wrestling Mind Was Molded by Watching WWE

"Those were the guys that I wanted to be when I was like 16, 17 years old. My normal speech pattern, every day when I'm talking to you, is probably somehow derived from them. Whether that's purposeful or not – and it's definitely not. So it's just the fact that I sat there and watched every single episode of Monday Night RAW – I had all the little VHS cassette tapes. I watched all that stuff. You're talking about formative years, very moldable years. So maybe in some way, I've just penetrated my brain in some way. Whether you want to make the comparisons, hey I'll tell you what, let's make this comparison – you want to say that I'm the Kobe to their Jordan? I'll take it."

Let's be honest; if LA Knight is already drawing comparisons to The Rock and Stone Cold, he might as well add Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan to the list. 

Regardless of any comparisons to multi-time WWE Champions, LA Knight currently has the proverbial rocket strapped to his back. He entered Money in the Bank 2023 as the odds-on favorite to capture the briefcase. Although he failed in his effort, the WWE Universe clearly sees Knight continuing his upward trajectory throughout the summer. After all, other ways exist to secure title opportunities without needing the fast-pass method of cashing in a Money in the Bank contract!

In an exclusive interview with USA Insider in December 2022, LA Knight told us that he's "never been in this business to be a background guy," before proclaiming that he will set his sights on the biggest championships in WWE – including the Intercontinental title. If Knight truly wants his wrestling mind to be shaped by the career arcs of Superstars like Rock and Austin, then perhaps focusing on the Intercontinental Championship is the logical next step. After all, Rock and Austin enjoyed lengthy and iconic runs with the title en route to becoming the larger-than-life Hall of Famers they eventually transformed into.

Whatever path LA Knight goes down next, he won't have to worry about doing it alone – the WWE Universe will be beside him. 

You can tune in to Peacock to watch WWE's SummerSlam on August 5. In the meantime, catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.