Backstage News On WWE Writing Max Dupri Off SmackDown

Much like Twin Peaks in the early 1990s, Max Dupri came and went before you could blink an eye. After several appearances on "WWE SmackDown" as the presenter of "Maximum Male Models," the former LA Knight was suddenly nowhere to be seen on last week's episode, replaced instead by his "sister", Maxxine Dupri. Reports soon emerged that the replacement was possibly permanent, and a new report seems to confirm as much.

In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer revealed that Dupri is now out of the Maximum Male Models storyline and that the call was made by Vince McMahon prior to McMahon retiring last week amidst a storm of controversy. According to Meltzer, McMahon soured on Dupri after feeling his line delivery was subpar during an early Maximum Male Models segment. Dupri is also said to have spoken out about some of the lines scripted for him, which had been alluded to in earlier reports.

What happens next with Dupri is anyone's guess, including Meltzer's.. The artist formerly known as Eli Drake is said to have supporters within WWE, and he may very well resurface with a new creative regime now in place at the company. However, Meltzer noted that the idea going forward was that Dupri would not be part of this angle, indicating that if he does return, it would be under a new role.

As of this writing, Maxxine is set to be the leader of the Maximum Male Models stable going forward. The former Sofia Cromwell had been making appearances in "NXT 2.0" prior to her call-up, and to this point has worked no matches during her brief tenure with WWE. Both Ma.ce and Man.soir will remain in the group as well; the duo appeared with Maxxine during her debut last week on "SmackDown."

"WWE Friday Night SmackDown" will air at its usual time tonight at 8 pm. EST, only on Fox. Maximum Male Models is expected to appear, unveiling their 2022 beach collection.