WWE NXT's Keith Lee Calls Out Karrion Kross' Chosen One Status and Fire Mage Ahead of TakeOver XXX Match

This weekend's NXT TakeOver XXX is loaded with top tier matches, though one of the most anticipated of the night is the match between NXT Champion Keith Lee and Karrion Kross, and it's been anything but a normal feud. Kross has not only beaten down some of Lee's friends but he's also inflicted damage to Lee himself, though we should probably credit Scarlett more for that particular injury. The NXT Championship being on the line keeps the stakes considerably high, but during a recent conversation with ComicBook.com, it became very apparent that this match has become quite personal for Lee, and we talked with him all about it, that crazy fireball moment, and more.

This has been anything but a typical feud, and for Lee the biggest difference comes down to Karrion having a fire mage at his beck and call. Unfortunately for Lee, the fire resistance just wasn't high enough on his currently equipped gear.

"Oh, that's easy. He has a Fire Mage," Lee said. "Actually, there are a few things that are different. First of all, I come innate, naturally with a Fire Resistance of rate nine, but they used Fireball 13 on me. Okay? That's a problem. That's not even fair. The fact that he has a Fire Mage, seems like it shouldn't be allowed. Let's start with that."

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(Photo: WWE)

"Secondly, you're talking about a guy that apparently wants to call me out, but every time I offered him the opportunity or I bring myself to him, he just doesn't want to be face to face," Lee said. "While everyone else, even Cameron Grimes, is willing to get in my face, willing to face me, man to man, but this guy avoids that. He's just a weird dude, man. He's somebody that I like to and I've described him as this to other people, as well. I described him as just a chosen guy."

"Like, he's in a position that I don't know if he understands what he's gotten himself into, because you ask about what other feuds have been like, and they've been feuds, but I've also looked at those feuds as competition," Lee said. "I enjoy competition. Yes, there are people that make me mad in a match because they're good enough to do that. This guy has pissed me off beforehand, and with that being said, the difference from this to any other match, every other match was a competition. This match is not about competition for me because of how I feel about who he is and what he represents. I just want to beat the s*** out of him, and so, that's what I intend to do. It's a fight, not a match."

Speaking of that Fire Mage, fans saw Lee take a fireball to the face after Kross signed the contract for the TakeOver match, resulting in a hospital visit and some pain to the eyes, so we had to ask how he was feeling.

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(Photo: WWE)

"Actually, something dropped today with me and Mr. McIntyre training together, and that was kind of the first moment that I took off sunglasses because I've been obviously very sensitive to light," Lee said. "I am very fortunate that I did not get my eyebrows burned off or some nonsense like that, but it was enough that being in my eyes, it kind of, I don't know what it is with people and my eyes. It's like my Achilles heel, I guess, I don't know what's going on there. I'm feeling for the most part okay, but at the end of the day, Matt, it doesn't matter how I feel. I am who I am and who I am is going to get in the ring, regardless."

That said, I did recommend the purchase of a Shockmaster helmet or something because you gotta protect the eyes. "Brother, I'm looking into masks with goggles. Like, it's going down one way or another, I'm going to figure out some protection. I need armor, I guess."

Because I'm a huge geek, I did recommend getting some armor with a plus to Eye Defense, and because I got a laugh I'll call that a victory.

Kross doesn't really go anywhere without Scarlett, and while she's probably not going to hop in the ring to take on Lee herself, I had to ask if he thought about evening the odds of interference with Mia Yim joining the festivities. That's a no go for Lee, but he does have some thoughts on Karrion's whole presentation and how WWE seems to have embraced it.

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(Photo: WWE)

"I'm not reducing myself to his tactics. Look, at the end of the day, yes, I could do something like that, but I've gotten here on my own and I will continue to do battle on my own," Lee said. And to be... I don't think he's as dumb as the things that he's done thus far have been. I mean, hell he's even got WWE posting videos with the sound of a clock dubbed over the visual of an hourglass. Like, when are we going to figure out that a clock has its sound and sand does not make that sound? But we can't figure that out. For some reason, there's an idiocy that's been permeating this company because they're, I don't know, invested in the guy, whatever it may be. It's ridiculous."

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"I am going to fight him the way it is, but I don't think he's dumb enough to have her interfere," Lee said. "Because let's be honest, if you use your Fire Trap card, you're getting disqualified. Like, that's just the way it goes."

You can watch Lee take on Kross and his Fire Mage on TakeOver XXX when it airs this Saturday on the WWE Network starting at 7 PM EST, and for complete coverage you can follow along on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!