Keith Lee Says Triple H Tried To Keep Him In NXT For As Long As He Could

Keith Lee's 2020 started off as hot as possible.

On the January 22, 2020 episode of NXT, Lee defeated Roderick Strong to win the NXT North American Championship. This was his first title win in WWE since signing with the company in mid-2018. A mere four days later, Lee competed in the Royal Rumble match, going toe-to-toe with the likes of Brock Lesnar.

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After defending his title a couple of times, Lee challenged Adam Cole for the NXT Championship at July's Great American Bash. Lee would go on to win the match and become the first person to hold the NXT Championship and North American Championship at the same time. Little did we know, Lee's reign atop NXT was about to come to an abrupt end.

Two weeks after defeating Cole, Keith Lee relinquished the North American Title, choosing to focus his efforts on one belt only. He proceeded to enter into a feud with Karrion Kross, dropping the NXT Championship to him at TakeOver XXX in August. This would be Lee's final match in NXT.

Appearing as a guest on the most recent episode of Out of Character with Ryan Satin, Lee shared how long before that final match with Kross he knew that he'd be moving to WWE's main roster.

"Not long before, bud. It was kind of like, the match was coming up with Kross and in passing (it was mentioned). It was casual like, 'one this is done, you're going to one of these two places. We don't know yet.' 'Alright. Let's make the most of this and try to have some fun on the way out and cut loose a little bit,'" he said.

Lee continued on, saying that he could have spent more time in NXT and that Triple H was trying to keep him, but the main roster had been wanting him for a while. Here are his full remarks:

"I definitely could have spent more time there, without a doubt, without questions. Let's be honest, I not long won the NXT Championship and what, maybe six weeks of time before it was 'gotta go.' The reality was, as I understand, the main roster had been wanting to bring me up for a while and it was Triple H trying to keep me for as long as he could. Time was running out and some things are out of our hands. For me, personally, I'm always looking for another challenge so, going to the main roster, it's like, okay, now I get to see where I really stand because I was concerned I have everything I need. I think a random no-name guy steps up with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins at Survivor Series and has the crowd firmly on his side without having something. In my personal opinion, I have everything. Everything I need, I have it, and it's at my disposal. I don't think that happens, I don't think the situation at the Royal Rumble with me and Brock happens. I don't think you hear 42,000 people going nuts for a guy that has nothing, right? The one thing that matters, as far as I'm concerned is that it doesn't matter what Keith Lee is or who Keith Lee is. What matters is Keith Lee's connection with the people. No matter what happens, anywhere, anytime, those people are going to have something to say and I'll forever be grateful for it."

Keith Lee was off WWE television throughout the spring and early summer after a health scare following a positive COVID test. You can read Lee's comments on his absence and return by clicking here.

He debuted his "Bearcat" character on the September 27 episode of WWE Raw. Lee also discussed his change in character during the interview. Those comments can be seen here.

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