A new report suggests that a pair of NXT standouts have caught the attention of WWE owner and chairman Vince McMahon, thus hinting at the possibility of a move to Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown in the coming weeks.
Citing a source within WWE, WrestlingNews.co wrote that Keith Lee is one of the NXT stars that have apparently impressed McMahon as of late. Per the outlet’s Paul Davis, the source claimed to have overheard the WWE boss “praising” Lee and projecting the 320-pounder as a “powerhouse heel” when he gets called up to Raw or SmackDown. Davis also reported that Lee has another thing working in his favor apart from his size and in-ring potential — his status as a well-liked individual in the locker room.
In addition to Lee, Matt Riddle was mentioned as another NXT superstar who has received praise from McMahon. While the former UFC fighter had previously gotten some criticism for his Twitter feuds with legendary wrestlers such as Bill Goldberg and Chris Jericho, WrestlingNews.co reported that McMahon still sees a lot of potential in him, even going as far as to compare him to WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels.
“Vince like guys like Shawn who have that rebel mentality and he sees some of Shawn in Matt,” said a source who spoke to WrestlingNews.co‘s Davis.
“Matt can rub some people the wrong way but he’s a good guy and he will do great when Vince calls him up. I think he’s a future world champion. Vince will try to tweak him but his personality will get him far.”
As of this writing, it has yet to be determined whether Lee or Riddle will be included in NXT‘s team of five in the men’s elimination match at Survivor Series on Sunday. However, both men were spotlighted in the lead-up to the event, as they appeared on the November 1 episode of Friday Night SmackDown and took part in a series of segments that culminated with an attack on the villainous Sami Zayn, per Cageside Seats.
Despite how McMahon seemingly had great things to say about Lee and Riddle, it’s far from clear when they may be considered for a move to either one of WWE’s two main brands, as pointed out by Davis. He did, however, cite a source that believes the success of the NXT “invasion” storyline heading into Survivor Series could lead to “more crossover stuff” going forward, especially if All Elite Wrestling continues defeating the black-and-gold brand in terms of Wednesday night viewership figures.