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[2020-01-22-WWE-NXT] Roderick Strong vs Keith Lee

paul sosnowski

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I think what I love the most about this is the overwhelming feeling of an incoming new champ, and they play that feeling into this match wonderfully. Roddy comes into it with a perfect gameplan & he executes it brilliantly; watching him go to town on Keith's ankle with big focus was a joy. He was like a shark who wouldn't let up, and there's a couple of nice sequences which demonstrate this very nicely, for an example there's a bit where Keith tries desperately to kick him away from the ankle, but Roddy just always gets up and goes straight back to it. It's a great performance from him, and the same could be said about big Keith -- he is in peril for most of the match, and like I implied, Roddy is great at putting the pressure on him, but Keith himself also sells really, really well & every bit of offense he gets in feels truly big & impactful. I think the great finishing sequence sums up the story here almost perfectly with Roddy having Keith in big trouble, but Keith pounds that mat, grits his teeth & catches him into that finishing move of his. To put it in some cliches - Roderick Strong wrestled a hell of a match, a near perfect one even, but he was never gonna get the win here, because this was Keith Lee's night. One of the more slept-on great matches of 2020. ****

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