At NXT TakeOver: XXX, the biggest title on the brand changed hands when Karrion Kross defeated Keith Lee for the NXT Championship. Leading up to the event in question, Kross left destruction in his wake. He, along with Scarlett, debuted in NXT in April, immediately setting his sights on Tommaso Ciampa. Kross defeated the former NXT Tag Team and NXT Champion at TakeOver: In Your House. The conclusion of this showdown saw Kross submit Ciampa.
Since then, Karrion Kross exercised his dominance over other Superstars en route to the NXT Championship. Such Superstars included Leon Ruff, Danny Burch and Bronson Reed. All the while, Kross was helped by Scarlett, who helped instill fear within the NXT Universe. Perhaps the most prominent victim of Kross’, however, was Donovan Dijakovic.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) August 23, 2020
It was Kross’ attacks on Dijakovic that caught the attention of Keith Lee, the reigning NXT Champion. Driven to defend his friend, as well as NXT itself, Lee accepted the challenge issued by the devilish duo of Scarlett and Kross. Lee would soon realize that they meant business. After Kross and Lee signed their names on the contract for the match, the NXT Champion was taken by surprise when out of the contract emerged a fireball. If Lee wasn’t driven before, being temporarily blinded due to nefarious tactics gave him the motivation he needed.
Lee and Kross faced one another in the main event of TakeOver: XXX. Lee put up a valiant effort, utilizing his unique combination of agility and power. During the match, Lee injured his arm, providing an opportunity for Kross to focus on. Despite Lee’s best attempts to end his opponent’s reign of terror, Kross emerged victorious. Kross ultimately defeated Lee with a top rope Saito Suplex, winning the NXT Championship within five months of his debut on the brand.
— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2020
In spite of this loss, Lee remains one of the most successful stars in NXT history. Keep in mind that he is the only Superstar to hold the NXT and North American Championships simultaneously. However, shortly after becoming a double champion, Lee relinquished the North American Championship to ensure other Superstars had an opportunity to compete for it. Lee held the North American Championship for 182 days, marking the second-longest reign associated with the title.
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