Jim Cornette has hailed Keith Lee’s AEW debut match as the best in the history of the company.
On the February 9th episode of Dynamite, Keith Lee made his AEW debut, appearing as Isiah Kassidy’s mystery opponent. The highly anticipated arrival came after days of heavy speculation following an announcement and teaser from Tony Khan.
On the night, Lee demolished Kassidy in a little under five minutes in a brutally impressive performance. The match opened with the former NXT Champion launching his rival skyward, and come to a finish with one of the more powerful powerslams seen in recent memory.
Reflecting on the match on his Jim Cornette Experience podcast, legendary manager Cornette was full of praise for the bout. The outspoken personality wasted little time in describing the match as the best in-ring debut in the history of the company.
“The match, I will just say that this was Isiah Kassidy and the opponent was revealed to be Keith Lee. I think this is without doubt the best debut match in the history of AEW, they did it right for once. I’m not sure if I can say they, maybe it was all Keith Lee I don’t know this guy. But the Punk surprise debut and interview was the big debut. But as far as a match, a first match for a new talent coming into AEW, this is the only time in the past 2 and half years that I can think of where they got it absolutely perfect.”
Expanding further, Cornette detailed how Lee looked like a man transformed from his time in WWE.
“This was stunning, this is exactly what it should have been, this is how you get over. Not only that, but Keith Lee feels like the shackles are off, he is into this. There is a world of difference in the way that he carried himself and he did his sh*t from when we saw him on WWE television.
He was confident, dominant, in control physically. Even when he sold it was only for a moment and he came right back. He did all of his stuff and showed the people what he can do, and he won convincingly and dominantly. That’s the way, I don’t care if it’s a new guy or a big star coming from another company, that’s the way you make a f*cking debut when you are a wrestler in a match. It was perfect.”
Cornette continued by breaking down the match, explaining how everything served its purpose and all of the spots within the contest existed to highlight Lee. Although he did admit he didn’t think the post-match shenanigans were needed, he closed by calling the debut “perfect.”
“The opening Biel, as soon as he grabbed Isiah Kassidy and gave him that Biel, I’ve been watching wrestling for 50 years now, I have never seen a Biel like that, they nailed it. Then they have Keith Lee do the slingshot and the cross body. This wasn’t just goofy spots or impressive spots, he was toying with Kassidy. He laid his big bear pawn on him. They give him that body block through the ropes and Hardy is at ringside, they give him a bit of a haha with that.
Matt Hardy is so disgusted that he climbs over the rail and into the crowd. Those Hardy Boyz never learned the shortest distance between the points is a straight line. Kassidy is back in the ring and Lee swatted him down, hit him with a pop up into fireman’s carry, turned that into a powerslam and 1,2,3, boom! He gets his hands in the air and the heels attack him.
The afterbirth was not necessary but at at least they don’t f*ck it up. But the heels attack him and they roll to the floor, one does a dive and he [Lee] catches them. Then the other does a dive and he catches them upside down and powerbombs him onto the guy on the floor. But this was just perfect.”
With victory, Keith Lee earned a spot in the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match at AEW Revolution on March 6th. The winner of the match will earn a shot at the TNT Championship.
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