Since getting called up to the main roster last summer, Keith Lee has seen himself in high-profile matches and major title opportunities. He jumped to Monday Night RAW from WWE NXT and immediately scored a star-making pay-per-view victory over future Hall of Famers Randy Orton. Since then, he has been apart of a victorious RAW Survivor Series team, won numerous singles matches on weekly TV, and even challenged WWE Champion Drew McIntyre on the first red brand show of the new year.
While the Limitless One has had a strong start on WWE’s main roster, he definitely had some growing pains when adjusting from NXT. Speaking to Graham GSM Matthews of Bleacher Report, Lee said the main difference he’s found between the two brands is the level of “chaos.”
“I think the nature of the beast that is this sport, it’s a whirlwind in general,” Lee said. “It’s all hectic and a little chaotic. In NXT, I felt more of a controlled chaos and I think when I came up to RAW, it became chaos all out. There were adjustments to be made and also strategic moves to be made on my part to try and make the biggest impact as possible.
“It just kind of threw me into the deep end of the water right away, which is kind of what I like. Somehow I’ve managed to swim, and the idea is to keep swimming until I’m standing on top of the water. At this point, the opportunity is in front of me to make it happen. It’s chaotic, it’s a whirlwind, but it’s kind of what I thrive in. I have no problem with that.”
Lee’s main roster debut was met with significant criticism from WWE fans, as his trademark trunks were traded in for a singlet of sorts, and his popular entrance music was swapped for generic instrumentals. Speaking on the music situation, Lee admitted he was confused as to why he had to switch.
“That was something else,” Lee said. “Originally, honestly, even I was a little perplexed. You get all the people who came up to RAW who still used their old music. Mind you, none of them did their own music. I’m the only one that did, so it would make more sense for me to be the one to keep using my music. However, that did not happen, so they asked me to use something else, and I did, and I tried to be as accommodating a possible by putting the front of the song on that track, and it just didn’t vibe [laughs]. It was rough, man! I did the best I could given the circumstances, and I was like, ‘I just have to ride with this until I can figure something out.’ Man, the way that blew up on the internet, it was like, ‘I thought you guys were my friends! I think I’m starting to understand some things here.’ Between the gear and the music, I just got destroyed.”
In the subsequent weeks, Lee was able to record a new theme for himself. Lee said the sudden shift upon his debut left him a bit flustered, but he’s glad that he’s been allowed to be himself in recent months.
“I had nothing ready, nothing at all,” Lee said. “At that point, I didn’t know I’d have to change music, so I had nothing ready. Over time, people backstage said, ‘Hey, y’all have to let Keith do his thing,’ and eventually they said, ‘Well, you think you can write something and maybe record it again?’ I said, ‘Yeah, just give me the OK.’ It took a little time, but eventually, I wrote something and got with the music guys, and over a little bit of time, we put something together that I was happy with, even though the one I’m using right now is actually a different version than what I wanted to use. For what it is, I’m very happy to have something I at least wrote and performed.”
While Lee unsuccessfully challenged for Drew McIntyre’s WWE Championship this past Monday on RAW, the talk of the show was about what went down after the match. WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg returned to issue a WWE Title challenge to McIntyre for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Speaking on McIntyre’s next challenger, Lee shared a story about meeting the former Universal Champion for the first time.
“I was hanging out with some friends and a group of fans were hanging around us and Goldberg comes walking down the street,” Lee said. “One of the fans was like, ‘Goldberg!’ He stops, and he’s a very intense guy. So, he’s like staring a hole in this dude. This man does not flinch. The fan goes, ‘You see this man right here? He’s Keith Lee and he’s going to come to the WWE and beat you one day.’
“I’m like, ‘Wait, what? I didn’t sign up for you to do that. What are you doing?’ He looks at me and looks at him and takes a couple of steps toward us. He grins a little and says, ‘Whenever you get there, change nothing about you.’ Which to me meant he has an idea of who I am and I’m like, ‘Wait, what?’ And then he shook my hand and just kept walking. That was super unexpected. Goldberg holds a little special place in my heart just because of that.”