WWE is kicking off 2021 in a huge way with tonight’s episode of Monday Night RAW. Not only will a slew of WWE legends be brought out of their caves for their annual outing, but the WWE Championship will also headline the show in a bout between Drew McIntyre and ‘Limitless’ Keith Lee. Since Survivor Series 2019, the WWE Universe have been patiently waiting for the ultimate coronation of one of NXT’s most promising stars.
Word was spreading fast about how highly regarded Keith Lee backstage, which soon led to him dethroning Adam Cole to become the first-ever dual NXT & North American Champion. It wasn’t long before Lee stepped up onto the main roster, feuding with main event talent such as Braun Strowman and Randy Orton, picking up a huge win over the latter in his first pay-per-view appearance. It seemed written in the stars that Keith Lee will eventually find himself caught up in the title picture, but who would have guessed that it would have been this soon.
With Keith Lee’s first WWE Championship opportunity coming at the top of the year, the question now remains as to whether he should win the title this early in his main roster career, and whether it should be from the dominant ‘Scottish Warrior’, Drew McIntyre.
To me, it seems a little odd that little over a month ago, rumours were suggesting that Keith Lee had fallen out of favour with the boss, having been sent back to the PC alongside fellow big men: Otis, Dio Maddin and Omos. Even though to many, Keith Lee is one of the most entertaining and exciting big lads to ever grace the squared circle, I can appreciate that he might not fit the mould that Vince McMahon has carved out for his powerhouse stars. Perhaps this was a mere supplement to his aspirations for Lee to become his next big headliner in 2021, to help give fans a reason to fall back in love with the product following a pretty harrowing 2020.
I’m not going to deny that seeing Keith Lee hold up the WWE Championship would make for a fantastic late Christmas present, but maybe it’s just a little too soon. The casual audience are still finding their feet with ‘The Limitless One’, he’s making for an admirable babyface, but with little credibility behind him since leaving NXT, I think the majority of fans would struggle to accept him as their next ‘guy’ when there are far more established main roster stars who have been waiting for an opportunity at the big time.
A much more sensible booking decision would be to have Keith Lee go the distance in the 2021 Men’s Royal Rumble match, giving Strowman a run for his money with record eliminations and maybe even getting the win. Lee would certainly be a dark horse winner this year, being considered in with a chance amongst names like Edge, Seth Rollins and Big E.
Lee had an amazing Royal Rumble moment last year with his iconic stare-down against Brock Lesnar. Brock’s acknowledgement of the “Big Boy” coming his way gave Lee an aura before he even had the chance to throw a punch. This year, WWE should build on that presence by allowing him some big eliminations, and if they’re truly serious about featuring him in the WWE title picture, let alone the main event scene of WrestleMania 37, then now’s the time to pull that trigger.
It’s great to see Keith Lee being given such a huge match this early on in the year, and I hope that 2021 stands to be the breakout year for ‘Limitless’ Lee on the main roster, but let’s not jump the gun and create yet another monster-pushed superstar that the fans soon learn to resent. Keith Lee doesn’t deserve that. What he does deserve is a genuinely heartfelt storyline that sees him succeed in the Royal Rumble and culminate the many years of hard work in the main event of ‘Mania. That I could get behind for my WrestleMania moment this year.
What are your thoughts on Keith Lee’s title shot tonight? Should he dethrone McIntyre or will he be better kept for the Royal Rumble match? Let us know in the comments below!
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