WWE: Keith Lee vs Karrion Kross doesn’t need cheap tricks

WWE, Keith Lee Credit: WWE.com
WWE, Keith Lee Credit: WWE.com /

Keith Lee didn’t need to take a fireball to the face to make us care.

On Wednesday’s edition of NXT, Keith Lee and Karrion Kross made their matchup at NXT TakeOver XXX official with an impromptu contract signing. This was an important moment as it solidified the next step in what is a very intriguing angle within WWE. Unfortunately, this should have been a moment that ended with the two men staring each other down. Instead, not unlike Keith Lee, we were hit in the face with yet another example of WWE being unable to stop itself from overbooking situations that do not need to happen.

After watching Kross “sign” the document in the portfolio, Lee would open it up to check for himself. Holding it super close to his face like he forget his glasses at home, he would be hit in the face by a mysterious fireball. As he screamed in pain WWE staff were there to help him, which also included Mia Yim, as the two are in a real-life relationship that has been pushed to the forefront of NXT content.

The angle between Lee and Kross did not need any of this. While Kross should not be in the title picture as quickly as he is, this is one of the rare times in which WWE has booked two powerful men in the top spots of a brand. In a world where wrestling outcomes have become well-predicted, it is hard to guess exactly who is going to come out of this match as the NXT champion. Will it be Lee, who has been very well pushed and protected since Survivor Series? Or will it be Kross, a monster personality that has been booked as a “killer” since joining the NXT roster? Either of these men can leave the next PPV with the belt around their waist, but that mysterious fireball does not make this story any more intriguing.

The babyface doesn’t always need to be the underdog

When booking babyface characters, WWE must stick to the narrative that there must be something for them to overcome. Whether it is an injury, numbers, or an authority figure of some sort. To be credible and likable, a face must have some proverbial “odds” to beat. Lee is billed at 6’2 and 340 pounds, so it’s understandably hard to find a way to place him at a disadvantage in a fight. This time around WWE Creative decided to blind him with a fireball, as if that would make him any more likeable as he prepares to deal with the stiff challenge that Kross presents.

Instead, creative should have just stuck with the direction that these are two men at the top of the food chain and one of them must eat. WWE is trying to force the underdog story that is considered popular in many sports. However, in combat sports its rare that an underdog really rises to the spot of champion. When two men or women are standing in the Octagon ready to do battle over a UFC title, they are fighting knowing that they are usually two of the best in the industry at that time. What they had to overcome is not thrust to the forefront.

Next. WWE: Bayley is the best in the world. dark

Keith Lee versus Karrion Kross was one of the most anticipated matches that WWE could have presented this year. Both Lee and Kross are two individuals that can be built into stars well beyond their involvement surrounding the NXT championship. That was enough to build this feud. The campiness of hidden fireballs and other parlor tricks are not needed, but once again WWE Creative cannot seem to help themselves in matters such as this.