The Problem With Keith Lee That No One Wants To Talk About

From Limitless to Limited.

Even for Vince McMahon, booking Keith Lee should be one of the easiest jobs in professional wrestling.

The many flaws of WWE's broken star-making machine make it difficult for anyone to stay over beyond the initial honeymoon period, but Lee has the sport's most appropriate nickname. He is 'Limitless'. There isn't a single hole in his game and while any improvements made during his two-year stint in the WWE system are negligible, NXT and the Performance Center at least helped him acclimate to the promotion's oft arcane methods before jumping to the main roster.

"Athletic big man" is almost cliché in 2020, given how many wrestling giants are so light on their feet these days, but none of them are like Lee. Dominik Slapjackovic can match his athleticism but can't talk as well, isn't as physically imposing, and doesn't project superstar charisma. Damian Priest does, though Lee is smoother and more adept at laying out a match. Luchasaurus is considerably slower and his gimmick has a lower ceiling. Braun Strowman lost his explosiveness a long time ago. While Brock Lesnar's aura and presence are unmatched, he'll never be tied to a full-time schedule.

So Lee is a unique, versatile, and infinitely marketable commodity, who carries himself like a star, exudes confidence, is well-regarded behind the scenes, and has a record of great matches that speaks for itself. Getting him right should be easy: he'll do most of the hard work himself.

Why, then, is his main roster already stuttering less than six weeks removed from his call-up?

(Author's note: nobody is saying Keith Lee is being "buried" here. Let's make that immediately clear. He isn't "ruined," either: this is just a middling main roster run that should be an excellent one.)


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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.