Worse introduction: Matt Riddle or Keith Lee

Let’s put aside possibly the worst introduction ever in Retribution and focus on two made guys in NXT who have almost immediately felt like just a guy.

Matt Riddle - Called up in a shitstorm of sexual assault allegations, he loses his first big title match against Styles and just got pinned by Jey Uso.

The last few weeks he’s also been a random person partying in the champions lounge and most recently spent a minute trying to be funny and explaining his catch phrase.

Keith Lee - Called up wearing a skirt and with new generic music. He’s then forced to cover his chest when wrestling because Vince thinks he’s too fat.

He beat Orton at Payback and beat Ziggler (obviously) but has lost his five other matches for a variety of reasons.

Keep in mind both guys lost big matches on their way out of NXT.

So, who has had a worse introduction? I’m going to lean slightly towards Lee because it feels like Riddle hasn’t been used as much and therefore hasn’t been hurt as much.

But both have been colossal failures, as basically every other NXT call up has been (Hi Ricochet)

What say you? Riddle or Lee?

No comment on the subject at hand - just wanted to chime in to say that this very discussion proves how much NXT as an idea and brand is failing.

Both are now just bodies on the roster who are interchangeable with anybody else. Not the stars they should be. Part of a machine that doesn’t know how to serve as a platform for people to become stars anymore.


The moment they decided to go head-to-head with AEW killed NXT’s momentum and they’ve had no direction since then.

Everything has been reactionary to what AEW is doing when they were doing fine on their own. The NXT in 2018 is virtually unrecognizable to what is being presented today

Even though Riddle won his first Smackdown match over Styles, the negatives outweigh the positives for me, so I pick him. Keith Lee, despite having some of his aspects removed (mainly his music, and his smooth belly exposed), seems in a stronger position on TV, frequently tied to McIntyre and Orton.

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They’re both doing fine.

It’s funny. Keith Lee was signed to NXT in April 2018 and didn’t do a single big thing on TV until the first NXT on USA, what, 17 months later? He was just there. And then he had a big moment with Dijak and 3 months later was North American champion and 5 months later he was NXT champion.

Why am I bringing this up? Because it’s not like anything they’ve done with either of them has done any actual damage to them. We just overreacted to Keith Lee’s clothing and music 3 weeks ago and then 6 days later they had him run right through Randy Orton. And they followed that up by very clearly wanting him to be seen in the same light as their champion while going out of their way to not pin him. He’s at worst, what, the 3rd biggest face on Raw…all while slotted ahead of the #2 in Rey? This is something to be described as a “colossal failure”? C’mon.

Sure, Riddle lost to Jey Uso. But in a #1 contenders match after taking out both heels he got caught. And it was to put over a guy who needed a big win heading to one of the main events of a PPV. It wasn’t like he got squashed by The Miz or something in a throwaway match. He lost that match and an IC Title match against AJ Styles. And nothing else before during or after. Comparing him to Ricochet seems ridiculous because no one would be shocked if next month Riddle winds up Reigns’ next opponent for the title or something. We’d be shocked if Ricochet got a PPV match -of any kind- at the position he’s in. That is a failure. The rest of this is searching for something to be mad at.


So you’re saying they’re tied. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Remember when HHH said every guy called up would have a definitive plan? I’m not saying either guy should be champion at this point but give me some sort of character trait or motivation.

We still know nothing about either guy. Riddle says bro a lot and Lee is “enthusiastic”. It’s nowhere near fine


People got all worked up because he wore shorts that looked like a skirt and his music was changed. When his outfit and music are the biggest complaints about his main roster stint, I’d say the pro’s outweigh the cons. I have friends that don’t watch NXT, who at the moment view Keith Lee as a star with how he has been positioned/booked. That Randy Orton win really helped him, especially considering how strong Orton has been booked in 2020.


At the start I was like Bro :thinking: now I’m like Bro :confounded:


Bro :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Honestly though Ricochet has a debut as good or better than these two. He was teamed with Black and was in winning tag programs and in championship matches in that division. Then was in the upper mid card feuding for the US title, eventually beating AJ to win the title. Had a short reign and did ok in the King of the Ring. Then he he got involved with Brock and since has been utter trash. He wasn’t a top level guy but he was doing decently, until he wasn’t.

Not to say they’ve been used brilliantly but what do you actually want from call ups? Winning a world title straight away? Really?

The fact that Keith Lee is already a part of the main event scene is higher than I would’ve positioned him and Riddle’s issue is the allegation hanging around his neck rather than where he was being positioned by WWE.

This thread just seems like a chance to complain for the sake of complaining (because someone was saying negative things about AEW in a different thread…).

I prefer NXT to any other show (although SmackDown is definitely getting better) but making it at an NXT/AEW level doesn’t make you a big deal worthy of a big push. The real question of course is “why bring them up?” but I don’t think you can ask that with these two specific cases as WWE seem like they do want to use them. However crappy some of the ideas are.


People have their complaints about Keith Lee but if nothing else they’ve firmly established that he’s supposed to be a credible threat to the top guys in the company.

Riddle on the other hand feels like just another guy. Seems like it won’t be long before he’s teaming with Shorty G or some other random guy on the roster and he’s completely forgotten about.

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Riddle easily had the worst introduction and I really don’t even see how this is a question… Lee has been a regular part of the main event scene since being called up and is tied in to the world title storyline.

Who cares what his music is… that’s completely meaningless especially with no fans in attendance… as for his gear, Lee isn’t one of those guys where it really matters what he is wrestling in either as it doesn’t make or break him.

Riddle came up during crazy allegations and is virtually non existent… it’s a no contest

To me being non-existent is better than being booked to lose by DQ week after week.

Not being used and damaged by WWE creative is actually a benefit IMO. At least Riddle isn’t being booked to lose

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Most WWE DQs are really “non-finishes”. Not saying that’s a good idea, but it’s how they are presented. Dude runs in, attacks one or more participants, and the match that just ended is never spoken of again.

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I know this thread was basically created to crap on WWE a bit, but “allegations” and “virtually non existent” aren’t unlinked chains in the story of why Matt Riddle’s rocket-strapping to the top might be a bit delayed.

Also I know everyone here is watching all the Smackdowns and PPVs, so we might remember that Matt Riddle was in 1/7th of the matches on the most recent network event!

The hyperbole…is a bit aggressive.

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Right but I think that’s worse than being off the show. A new guy needs wins not to be 50/50’ed right out of the gate.

They changed things about Lee to turn off NXT fans from what he was there. Now why would a new fan like a guy who doesn’t win? It’s killing him

They actually referenced his problems at home in a promo. I’m just wondering why he was brought up in the first place. Just horrendous timing all around

The Gail Kim treatment, ya I’ve always found this to be even worse. This was my main issue with FTR being given the tag titles so quickly in AEW. Put the title on them day one, where do you even go from there, one direction which is down.

I think Lee has been booked strongly and I think 90% of fans feel that way as well. Riddle, well he’s been booked OK, I admit I hate the overuse of “bro” and the stupid nicknames, but he hasnt been buried or anything. In hindsight, he probably should have had his debut delayed given everything that happened, but if memory serves be correctly, his debut was taped before the allegations came out.

Yeah, that’s the other thing - the day the allegations broke he was involved in the first 30-40 minutes of the program. They couldn’t exactly write him out and once he’s up, taking him off TV entirely would have been an actual problem unlike what’s happening now. And despite that he’s been booked really strong and cleanly outside of losing two matches in top positions. There really isn’t a case that he’s been a “failure” so far.