Tonight, Keith Lee has the chance to make history in NXT.
The North American champion has the chance to become a double champion when he takes on NXT champion Adam Cole with all the hardware on the line on night two of NXT’s Great American Bash.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Lee as he has shot up the ranks on Wednesday nights and even rubbed shoulders with the likes of Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar on pay-per-view.
He has the chance to become the man on WWE’s Yellow Brand if he dethrones the longest reigning NXT champion of all time, but, just before he attempts to write his name in the history books, talkSPORT had the chance to bask in his glory.
Hi Keith! You’ve been a central part of NXT over the past year especially, do you think the introduction of AEW and the Wednesday night rivalry has brought the best out in both companies? The recent ratings certainly suggest NXT has been moving in the right direction.
Honestly? I don’t even really think about that. It’s nice to have competition in general, but I’m always competing with myself. So it isn’t really about anyone else.
It’s for Keith Lee to go out and do the best that Keith Lee can and if Keith Lee did good, how much better can Keith Lee do the next time? That’s literally my own mantra. There’s always competing with yourself.
I love competition, but 99.9 percent it’s against myself. I do believe competition is good for everybody, but for me specifically, it’s good for myself [laughs].
We saw on Twitter over the past week some apparent leaks emerge from tonight’s main event. While we won’t go into those, do spoilers and things like that upset you at all heading into a career moment like this?
Not at all, man. When you think about it, as you say ‘apparent leaks’, look, at the end of the day the only way someone knows what happens is when it airs.
For those people that think that they’ve unloaded some big mystery or something is one thing, but the only thing that makes me sad in the scenario is how many of them are trying to ruin it for other people, because there is the potential for it.
Then again, some people could be very happy about it. If that were to change because of the scenario, I don’t know… I just feel like that is not good for people.
And then for the people that don’t want that potential spoiler or whatever it may be, it’s not fun for them either.
To me, it shows me how uncool some people can be, but at the end of the day, you don’t really know what’s happening until it happens and that’s just the truth of the matter.
So if they feel righteous in their activities, then hey, good for them. The people that have to look at that, they aren’t having fun. And I think they should consider them before anybody else in this situation.
En route to the main event scene you currently thrive in, you worked sensationally well with Dominik Dijakovic. Many fans know your battles in PWG and beyond well, but I’m curious as to whether WWE knew that and booked you two together as a result? Or did you two propose it to them knowing what you can do? How does that all work?
In my personal, honest opinion, I don’t everyone within the company is always aware of things going on outside the company.
So I don’t think people were actually, necessarily aware of some of the things that we were capable of as athletes.
I think it was just a radical mixture of luck and circumstance and at the end of the day, them seeing something they’ve never seen before and saying ‘woah, this is a competition that probably shouldn’t be just let go so easily,’ and we got more than one opportunity.
And as that grew it continued and goodness, I’m not even sure how many matches we’ve had across television even before Portland. I think it’s just them seeing it for the first time and saying ‘wow! These two guys push each other to a completely different level. It’s probably money!’ And just accepting the fact that we are some next level athletes.
Check out the second and final night of NXT Great American Bash headlined by Keith Lee and Adam Cole for the North American and NXT titles on the WWE Network and BT Sport