Say what you want about the music and gear change for Keith Lee. The WWE Universe has certainly given their opinion on the subject. Regardless, WWE has sent the Limitless One straight to the top. Though his first match on RAW ended in a DQ, the former NXT Double Champion managed to defeat Randy Orton clean in the middle of the ring with a thunderous Spirit Bomb.
Lee has now knocked off the top heel in WWE. It's not known where he'll go from here, but clearly, there's a lot of faith behind him. Many times, WWE have brought NXT Superstars up to RAW or SmackDown with little or no plan of what to do with them. However, sometimes WWE surprises its fanbase and turns someone into a star in their first night on the main roster.
Had Keith Lee's first official match ended in him pinning Orton, he'd be on this list. Unfortunately, that DQ knocked him down a few spots. However, we are starting with someone who started their main roster run off with a loss. It's not always about the end result. Our first entry on the list proves that sometimes, even in a loss, a Superstar can be made.
#5 Sami Zayn challenges WWE US Champion John Cena (2015)
What could've been, huh? Sadly, this was the moment that Sami Zayn injured himself and cut short his feud with Kevin Owens over the NXT Championship. Still, it was incredible, as was basically every match involving the WWE United States Open Challenge when John Cena held that title.
It's been many years now, but Cena put on some bangers against the greatest workhorses in WWE for months and months on end. One of the better bouts was, of course, against Sami Zayn.
It started, out, of course, with WWE Hall of Famer and Montreal's favorite son, Bret Hart, introducing Sami Zayn to the WWE Universe. Of course, the fans were well acquainted with Zayn and exploded when his music hit.
Zayn injured his shoulder before the match, and yet put on a breathtaking performance, bringing the WWE Universe along for a fantastic ride. Many times throughout the title bout, it looked as if Zayn was going to capture the United States Championship.
Ultimately, of course, Cena would overcome Zayn, but not before putting Zayn over in a big way. A highly competitive match, with the Face of WWE taking all of your best offense, and you even manage to kick out of an AA on your first night on RAW.
Without a doubt, this was one of the greatest call-ups from NXT that WWE has ever seen.