Keith Lee Beats Adam Cole to Win NXT Title, Retain North American Title

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2020

Credit: WWE.com

Keith Lee beat Adam Cole in a winner-take-all match on Wednesday night's episode of NXT to retain the North American Championship and win the NXT Championship for the first time in his career.

Wednesday's bout was determined two weeks ago when Lee defended the North American Championship in a Triple Threat match against Finn Balor and Johnny Gargano. NXT general manager William Regal announced that the winner of that match would go on to face Cole.

Lee prevailed despite being pushed to the limit by two of the best Superstars in NXT history, and that set the stage for The Limitless One's first-ever NXT Championship match against Cole.

While Lee was in search of his first NXT title reign, Cole entered Wednesday's Great American Bash edition of NXT with an eye toward regaining a title that he helped put on the map over two years ago.

Cole was the inaugural NXT North American champion, winning a six-man ladder match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans the same weekend as WrestleMania 34 in the Big Easy. Since then, many NXT performers have been launched to superstardom by winning that title.

Lee is among them as he went from a solid mid-card performer on the black-and-yellow brand to one of its most popular figures. Lee received so much fanfare that WWE made him one of the two remaining Superstars at Survivor Series in November and had him push Roman Reigns to the limit.

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Considering everything he has accomplished in NXT and on the main roster, the most logical next step was vying for the NXT Championship against a Superstar in Cole who entered Wednesday's show with a 400-plus-day title reign intact.

Cole's resume as NXT champion was something to behold ahead of his match against Lee. While he undoubtedly had help from his Undisputed Era stablemates at times, he successfully defended his title against the likes of Gargano, Balor, Tommaso Ciampa and Velveteen Dream, among others.

Meanwhile, Lee beat the likes of Gargano, Damian Priest, Dominik Dijakovic, Roderick Strong and Cameron Grimes during his five-plus months as North American champion.

Both Cole and Lee had all the momentum in the world on their side ahead of their title clash, making their match one of the most highly anticipated ones in NXT TV history.

Lee is now a double champion, but with Superstars like Cole, Gargano, Balor, Karrion Kross and others champing at the bit to regain or seize championship gold, the target on Lee's back is now bigger than ever.

     

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