Posts Tagged ‘Keith Lee’

Everybody loves The Acclaimed.

Max Caster and Anthony Bowens are the brand new AEW Tag-Team Champions. The popular duo dethroned Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland on Wednesday’s special ‘Grand Slam’ edition of Dynamite – some fans believed The Acclaimed should’ve won the belts back at All Out, but all’s well that ends well.

‘Swerve In Their Glory’ held the belts for a total of 70 days after winning them from The Young Bucks back at ‘Fyter Fest’ in July. That three-way bout also involved then-Team Taz members Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks.

Hopefully, this is the start of something special for The Acclaimed. They’ve managed to rise up through the ranks and go from slightly-grating heel unit to genuinely over babyface sensations. AEW’s fanbase was ready to see the titles switch hands on Wednesday night, and Tony Khan didn’t disappoint.

It remains to be seen what All Elite will do with Lee and Swerve now they’ve dropped the straps. They always felt like a thrown-together tag anyway, so major singles runs could be coming for both. Meanwhile, Caster and Bowens should hold the belts with distinction.

Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland are the new AEW World Tag Team Champions. 

Swerve In Our Glory captured the AEW Tag titles on the Fyter Fest episode of Dynamite on Wednesday, defeating The Young Bucks, and Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks in a three-way. 

Strickland pinned Starks after a Swerve Stomp to secure the victory, ending the second Tag Team title reign of The Young Bucks. 

The title victory is the first in AEW for both Lee and Strickland. Lee joined the promotion in February, debuting on February 9 on Dynamite with a win over Isiah Kassidy. Strickland’s signing was announced at the Revolution pay-per-view on March 6, with his first AEW bout taking place on that week’s Rampage episode. 

The Young Bucks title reign ends at 28 days and zero successful defenses.  

Swerve In Our Glory had previously challenged for the Tag Team titles at Double or Nothing in May in a match also involving Starks and Hobbs, as well as then-Champions Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus.

Add another match to the pile for AEW Double or Nothing, as the World Tag Team Championship will be defended in a three-way match pitting champs Jurassic Express against Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks and Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee.

Lee & Strickland knocked off the Workhorsemen in short order on Dynamite Wednesday night, then announced that that victory bumped them into the top five of ranked tag teams. This brought out Hobbs & Starks for a jaw-jacking session.

It didn’t take long for the tag champs Jurassic Express & Christian to make their way out to issue the challenge to the two teams for the upcoming PPV. This would mark the team’s sixth title defense in their four-plus-month reign at the top of the division.

The match was teased last week on Rampage when Jungle Boy lost an FTW Championship match against Starks when Swerve inadvertently caused a distraction when he tried to stop Starks from using the title belt. This led to tension with Christian, who blamed Strickland for leading to Jungle Boy’s downfall.

The tag title match will get a preview next week on Dynamite when Swerve, Jungle Boy and Starks all tangle in a three-way match of their own, which Christian said is an opportunity for JB to get his win back from Rampage.

AEW’s Keith Lee had trouble trusting billionaires after some negative experiences over in WWE.

Lee told ‘MackMania‘ that this caused “trust issues” which kinda got in the way when he first met Tony Khan for talks about signing on the dotted line for All Elite. Big Keith wanted assurances that he wouldn’t be jumping from one poor situation into another immediately.

Khan was only too happy to put his mind at rest.

Those conversations helped Lee “dispel” a lot of the perceptions he had about wealthy men in charge of top wrestling companies. If that sounds a little silly, then consider the final few months of Keith’s WWE run – his stint as ‘Bearcat’ on Raw was an abominable reminder of how quickly things can sink.

Nobody could claim with 100% accuracy that Lee’s AEW career has exactly taken off onscreen, but the man is a lot happier with his current employer than he was with his old one. Some friendly, “get to know one another” meetings with Tony were essential for putting Keith’s mind at ease and letting him know that he’d be content in All Elite Wrestling.

Former WWE Superstar Keith Lee was a recent guest on Busted Open Radio, where he looked at the AEW roster. The new signing for Tony Khan admitted that he’s not familiar with everybody in the company. However, that is something that excites him.

“There’s a lot of people here that I am not familiar with at all,” he admitted. “So, the prospect of meeting and battling new people, or people that I don’t know, or have never met, is always exciting to me. It was the same way on the indies. When I would go to a different country or something to that effect. I went out to do battle with that country’s guy.

“That was always something that very much excited me. So, in this situation, clearly, excitement is through the roof and there’s a lot of potential for different battles and things of that sort. It’s something that I am very much looking forward to.”

Keith Lee was initially part of the Wednesday night war on the opposite side of things. He was involved with WWE, and the former NXT Champion has admitted it is strange to be on the other side.

“It’s very strange,” Keith stated. “As a matter of fact, this is actually a conversation that I had with Tony, the strangeness of doing battle against each other, and myself and Adam Cole being some of the people he was most worried about going against. Now all of a sudden, it’s like some during the season illegal trade was made and now we’ve joined the other side.

“I think it’s exciting, it adds something different. And kind of shows, what you mentioned earlier, about this world moving so quickly. Sometimes I think wrestling moves too quickly. But I think that in this circumstance, I really feel like it’s very likely for the best.”

Keith Lee also spoke about the possibility of being in a faction with Mark Henry. This led to him revealing that WWE had issues with the way he spoke. This is something that the World’s Strongest Man could cover if that becomes a problem again for him.

“Listen, it’s something that Mark and I talked about years ago, maybe I think I was still in NXT at the time. He knows I am open to that,” Lee said on a potential faction with Henry. “Especially since in that particular place most people had an issue with the way that I speak and my demeanor in how I speak, and my cadence.

“I don’t know what it is about. Maybe my voice or maybe its vocal tone, whatever it may be, was a bit of an issue there. If it ever becomes an issue, I am sure that Mark could take the reins. The guy is very versatile with his microphone skills.”

Keith Lee has broken his silence on his WWE release, doing so in a new statement posted to Twitter on Monday afternoon (8 November).

One of 18 WWE wrestlers let go in the promotion’s latest round of cuts on 4 November, Lee appears to already be looking to the future, saying that he is capable of a lot more than people might assume. The biggest takeaway, however, is that he, not WWE, paid his medical bills for a potentially life-threatening battle with COVID-19 earlier this year.

Here’s the former NXT Champion’s statement in full:

Lee was sidelined after first contracting COVID back in February, leading to a lengthy absence from television that he eventually revealed was primarily down to heart inflammation. Forbidden from doing any physical activity beyond a light walk, there was doubt over whether or not Keith would ever be fit to return to wrestling – though he was eventually cleared.

The 37-year-old spoke of his “fight against death” in a video uploaded in August.

Lee’s WWE release caught some by surprise, as the promotion appeared to be in the middle of repackaging him with the ‘Bearcat’ monicker. Bound by a standard 90-day non-compete clause, he, like many of WWE’s other 4 November releases, will be able to sign elsewhere from 2 February 2022.

WWE legend Mick Foley has called the company’s decision to release stars like Karrion Kross, Scarlett, Keith Lee, Mia Yim, Franky Monet and others as “downright baffling”.

Foley posted a lengthy rant on Facebook about the situation, and he didn’t hold back. In particular, Mick was annoyed that WWE seemingly went out of their way to wreck some of the workers involved before cutting them loose.

He pointed out that the promotion is “supposed to make the people they hire more interesting, not less”.

The multi-time World Champion and WWE Hall Of Famer then opined that Keith Lee’s recent ‘Bearcat’ persona wasn’t as good as his NXT one; he also said that Mia Yim’s work “as Jade in TNA” was way more interesting than anything WWE had ever done with her.

Foley then said it wouldn’t “take a genius” to reunite Karrion Kross and Scarlett elsewhere. If that happens, then he thinks they’ll “instantly become one of the hottest duos in the business”. High praise indeed.

Mick torched WWE’s decision making, and ended by saying that “some things just don’t make sense”. He’s totally confused by these releases.

Keith Lee was released by WWE, according to Fightful.

Lee signed with the company in 2018 and joined the NXT brand. During his time with NXT, he won the NXT Championship and NXT North American Championship.

He was called up to the main roster in August of 2020, and earned a pinfall victory over Randy Orton in his first pay-per-view match at Payback in September. He was scheduled to face Riddle and Bobby Lashley for the United States Championship at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view this past February, but was pulled from the match. He remained out of action until July. He later revealed that his absence was due to contracting COVID-19, followed by heart inflammation.

Lee returned to RAW in September as “Bearcat” Lee, and defeated Akira Tozawa. He had one more match on RAW, defeating Cedric Alexander on the October 25th episode.

One of WWE’s apparent plans for Adam Cole on the main roster has today been revealed, with Dave Meltzer describing the idea on the most recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio.

WWE planned on pairing Cole up with Raw’s Keith Lee. While this doesn’t sound terrible in and of itself, it gets worse.

Per Meltzer, Lee would have turned heel to facilitate the Cole partnership. Adam would have then effectively operated as the big man’s manager in a relationship similar to the old Lio Rush/Bobby Lashley partnership, where Rush was a mouthy smaller wrestler hiding behind a hulking Goliath. Cole would’ve played that same role with Keith.

On top of this, Adam would have likely had to change his ring name in order to avoid confusion with the other Cole in the promotion, Michael, who currently serves as SmackDown’s lead announcer.

One source informed Meltzer that this was a Bruce Prichard idea, while another claimed it came from Vince McMahon. Whoever devised it, they saw Cole as more of a manager than a wrestler, owing perhaps to his lack of size.

Cole debuted for AEW at All Out 2021 on 5 September, doing so nine days after his last WWE contract had expired. The former NXT Champion personally met with Vince prior to his release, suggesting the Chairman has keen to retain the 32-year-old, even with this wacky pitch.

For those left in disbelief at those stories of WWE going all in on a Becky Lynch heel turn, it looks like you can soon add Keith Lee to the list of stars getting a somewhat questionable character change.

In a new report from WrestlingNews.co, Vince McMahon is said to be considering turning Limitless into a vicious monster heel. This follows recent stories of how Lee has been working dark matches prior to Raw and SmackDown as WWE looks to “refine” his on-screen persona, and how WWE is looking at changing Big Keith’s style.

Of course, at these dark matches, Lee has been getting major babyface reactions because, well, he’s Keith Lee and has a unique charisma and appeal that instantly connects him to an audience and has them rooting for him. So, in that case, obviously WWE is weighing up a heel turn for the former NXT Champion…

Keith revealed earlier this month that the reason for his prolonged WWE TV absence earlier in the year, was down to him battling COVID-19 and a heart issue. Limitless was last on our screens back on 2 August, defeating Karrion Kross on an episode of Raw.