Keith Lee just defeated Randy Orton clean at Payback 2020. While it may not be surprising to some, it undoubtedly took most fans by surprise as Randy Orton has been WWE's hottest heel and one of the company's hottest stars in the COVID-19 era.
Up until SummerSlam 2020, Randy Orton was undefeated between WrestleMania (after losing to Edge) and then his WWE title loss to Drew McIntyre. Now, Keith Lee has handed Randy Orton one of his few losses in WWE during 2020.
It wasn't a classic by any means. The match hardly went over five minutes, but there was a realistic feel about it that added a sense of legitimacy to it. While there's always going to be one side that will go overboard by saying that Randy Orton got buried, there were likely a few very good reasons why WWE allowed Keith Lee to defeat Randy Orton clean at Payback 2020. Here are a few of them.
#5 Randy Orton possibly wanted to put Keith Lee over himself
One of the things that Randy Orton has said off-screen for a few years now was how rewarding it felt for him to work with the younger generation of his talent. Orton is the only Superstar of his generation on a full-time schedule and he's getting to work with a lot of exciting young talent.
Keith Lee is on that list and many were a bit surprised that WWE put him in a program with Randy Orton right off the bat. Keith Lee has had extremely impressive appearances in WWE so far - falling short to Roman Reigns at Survivor Series 2019 in an impressive performance during the traditional Elimination match, having a confrontation with Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble 2020, and now, beating Randy Orton in his singles PPV debut for WWE.
Randy Orton may have voluntarily put Keith Lee over in an attempt to build a legitimate star.