Keith Lee tried out for WWE on three occasions before the company finally signed him in 2018. His first tryout was a decade ago.
“I had a five-day tryout in 2008, a three-day tryout in 2011, and in 2013 I was part of the first tryout group at the WWE Performance Center,” Lee recently told WWE.com. “I believe there were 32 of us there.”
Lee said it was during this tryout that he received some advice from the legendary Dusty Rhodes.
“During the 2013 tryout, if you were going to show who you were on a microphone, you had to do it in front of The American Dream. When I finished, he pulled me aside and said to me, “That’s it, baby. You’ve got a presence I can literally bask in. Take it and do what you want.” And thus, ‘Bask in my glory’ was born. It is now something I hold very dear.”
Keith Lee WWE
In the 10 years since that first tryout, Lee has gone from someone WWE was willing to pass on to a superstar with “Limitless” potential.
“When I first met and worked with him, he let me know how much and where I lacked,” Lee said of Dusty. “I applied his words and honed myself.”
Lee has had two televised matches thus far on NXT programming, winning both in squash-match style.