Keith Lee Defeats Randy Orton at WWE Payback 2020

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2020

Photo credit: WWE.com.

In his first pay-per-view match as a member of the Raw roster, Keith Lee defeated Randy Orton at WWE Payback on Sunday night.

The Viper hit Lee with a draping DDT was lining up for an RKO, only for The Limitless One to counter out. He quickly hoisted Orton onto his shoulders before connecting with the Spirit Bomb.


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After dropping the NXT Championship to Karrion Kross at NXT TakeOver: XXX, Lee made his main roster debut on Monday's Raw by interrupting an Orton promo after The Viper had punted WWE champion Drew McIntyre in the head multiple times.

Lee introduced himself to Orton and the WWE Universe, and he challenged The Viper to a match later in the night.

The Limitless One showcased his remarkable power and athleticism and had the 13-time world champion on the ropes at times during the match, but it was thrown out when McIntyre ran to the ring to attack Orton in retaliation.

Orton got revenge by punting McIntyre again shortly thereafter, which resulted in the Scot getting taken away in an ambulance. Lee then vowed to get back at The Viper for injuring his friend, and the rematch was set for Payback.

Sunday's match was a significant one for both men for differing reasons. For Orton, he needed a big, bounce-back win after losing to McIntyre at SummerSlam via a backslide. A rematch against McIntyre in the near future is likely, and momentum is key.

As for Lee, beating a surefire Hall of Famer in his first PPV match is something that lends instant credibility and sets a Superstar up for long-term success.

There was grumbling within the WWE Universe regarding his debut on Raw because of the decision to change his theme music and gear, but he had a chance to render all of that moot with a win over Orton at Payback.

Lee already showed he was a star at Survivor Series by lasting until the end against Roman Reigns and in the Royal Rumble match by having a showdown with Brock Lesnar, and Sunday presented him with yet another opportunity.

By beating Orton on the pay-per-view stage, it is abundantly clear WWE plans to move forward with Lee as one of the top babyfaces on the red brand.


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