Keith Lee becomes fifth former NXT champion to join AEW

Feb 11, 2022 - by Colin Vassallo

The arrival of Keith Lee in All Elite Wrestling marked the fifth former NXT champion to jump ship to the Jacksonville-based promotion since it started operating in 2019.

The Texas native had an impressive debut on Dynamite this week, showcasing his raw power in a match against Isiah Kassidy and the fans in Atlantic City basked in his glory.

Lee now joins PAC, Malakai Black, Andrade El Idolo, and Adam Cole as former NXT champions who now find themselves performing for the competition. Lee and Cole were two individuals who lived the “Wednesday night war” between NXT and Dynamite from 2019 up until April 2021.

Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly are also former NXT Tag Team champions who with Cole and Lee went through the whole rivalry between the two brands and are back together on the other side. FTR are the other former NXT Tag Team champions who are on the AEW roster too.

3 Responses

  1. Some guy says:

    And yet… with all of this “main event talent” AEW has… they still don’t move the needle. Punk and Bryan don’t do it. Omega didn’t do it. Jericho and Mox don’t do it.

    Just a company run by a money mark. All it is.

  2. ryan says:

    Yeah, this is a company pulling in (nearly) and average of a MILLION viewers each week. Raw, which has been on for nearly 30 years only pulls in a bit over 2 million each week. I think that’s pretty substantial. Idiots like to act like aew isn’t getting the ratings that they’re getting and just wanna be marks for one particular company.

    All this being said, aew has been very, very stale the last 2 months and I hope this is not a sign of things to come for the company

  3. Rob Dam Van! Shirt Typo! says:

    Ryan, that isn’t really an adequate or even productive comparison. We’re talking about an already segmented population (wrestling is down big in recent years), meaning most of the viewership between either company won’t likely be unique viewers, they’ll be shared viewers on different nights. It actually isn’t statistically substantial based on just viewership numbers unless we have the sheets that demonstrate unique viewership. Being a niche market (wrestling these days) and having a show on a different night simply means the same niche market can watch both programs. However, the vast difference in viewership would then demonstrate that despite the fact that the main shows are on difference nights the fanbase just isn’t there.

    I like aspects of AEW, and I look forward to them trimming the fat on a lot of the less than desirable talent they unfortunately tried to set up shop with early on. However, they won’t have much growth if they don’t stop constantly trying to only focus on the viewers they have built in. AEW fans won’t go anywhere, not anytime soon, and as such they need to turn their efforts to casuals and those that turned away from wrestling. A father and son flipping through the channels, stopping cause they see a scrum and hearing “omg thats so and so from other company and they wrested insert indie darling in random location” doesn’t capture them, it doesn’t really tell them who that person is or why it matters.

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