UPDATE: Well that didn’t take long; Eli Drake made his return to WWE TV at NXT Takeover: Vengeance Day as LA Knight. Drake made his debut as Knight during the Vengeance Say pre-show, interrupting the panel of Wade Barrett, Brandon Walker, and Sam Roberts. Knight cut a heel promo on Barrett and Walker, playing the role of an arrogant heel. You can see a portion of his promo below:
WOAH! Look who just showed up on the #NXTTakeOver: Vengeance Day Pre-Show! 😲😲😲😲😲
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) February 14, 2021
ORIGINAL: WWE has added another member to their NXT roster in Eli Drake, according to a new report. PWInsider reports that Drake, real name Shaun Ricker, has signed a deal for the company after he was quietly released from his NWA deal late last year.
This would be the second stint in WWE for Drake, who worked for NXT from late 2013 to May of 2014. Drake was reportedly released due to issues that he had with then-head trainer Bill DeMott. After that, Drake signed with Impact Wrestling in February of 2015 where he had a run with the Impact World Championship, the King of the Mountain Championship and the Impact Tag Team Titles.
Drake’s run in Impact Wrestling ended with headlines in April of 2019 when the company released him after he had made comments about the company in interviews that upset people, added to the fact that he refused to face Tessa Blanchard at United We Stand. Impact was said to be considering a breach of contract suit against him but the situation was resolved and Drake announced his free agency in June of 2019, signing with the NWA later that month.
Drake is expected to be part of the next WWE NXT classi, which will begin at the WWE Performance Center on February 23rd. Former Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie is also reportedly set to start with WWE as part of that class.