UPDATE: LA Knight did indeed return during SmackDown and is now set to team with John Cena at Fastlane!
LA Knight's star is clearly on the rise and, rather than ignoring the obvious fan support for the Superstar formerly known as Max Durpi, WWE appears to be embracing it.
In recent weeks, we've seen Knight defeat The Miz on multiple occasions and even receive a seal of approval from John Cena. Unfortunately, he missed last Friday's SmackDown due to a positive COVID test.
As we're sure you'll recall, SmackDown ended with Cena's tag team partner at Fastlane, AJ Styles, being taken out by Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso. As a result, he no longer has someone to ally himself with to take on two-thirds of The Bloodline at the upcoming PLE.
The idea was for Knight to make the save by taking out Sikoa and Uso, with a storyline injury for Styles paving the way for the red-hot babyface to then take his place. Needless to say, being inserted into The Bloodline drama and tagging with Cena would further cement Knight as a top star in WWE.
Now, it's widely being reported that Knight will make his return during tonight's episode of SmackDown. Not only that, but WWE appears to be laying the groundwork for him to challenge Roman Reigns for his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship!
"Cena & LA Knight vs. Sikoa & Jimmy Uso was scheduled as the main event [of Fastlane]," Dave Meltzer reveals in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter. "Knight missed the 9/22 Smackdown due to testing positive for COVID, causing changes in the show."
"He is believed to be returning on Smackdown on 9/29 and one would expect they go to the original plan. Knight, who is very hot right [now] when it comes to all facets of business and reactions, appears to be groomed for a Roman Reigns title shot in the not-too-distant future," he adds. "Reigns has no obvious contender at this point and will be defending on the 11/4 show in Saudi Arabia."
While nothing is confirmed, this certainly bodes well for Knight and sharing the ring with Reigns even in a losing effort will go a long way in cementing him as a main event-level talent in WWE.
Unfortunately, we wouldn't bank on him dethroning the Head of the Table as that's currently expected to be down to either Cody Rhodes or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at next year's WrestleMania. Of course, with the SAG-AFTRA strike nearly over, The Great One may soon choose to return to Hollywood!