Wes Lee Gives Dominik Mysterio His Respect After WWE NXT Title Match

Wes Lee's 269-day run as "NXT" North American Champion was ended by Dominik Mysterio recently, and while some fans on social media have criticized WWE's booking decision, Lee himself has given props to the third-generation wrestler for stepping away from his legendary father's shadow.

"He deserves his kudos," Lee told "WrestlingNewCo" in a recent interview. "It's very, very tough to grow within this business. To have the pressure of being a living legend's son, and then to be brought in borderline at the top of the crop and having to live up to expectations, thrive and stand out on your own, and find a way to stand outside your father's shadow — it's very difficult. 

"As human beings, we do that while growing up with our fathers. [I] can't imagine doing it under the limelight of the entire world. So, for him to grow and expand upon himself, and become what he is today — I gotta tip my hat to him."

Lee then switched into kayfabe mode, calling out Mysterio for constantly berating his father and "spitting on his legacy," not to mention relying on underhanded tactics and the assistance of Rhea Ripley and The Judgment Day to routinely win matches. "In the process, he's building his own legacy," Lee admitted. "When people hear the [name] Mysterio, they know of Rey, but they now also know the name of Dirty Dom. So, he's definitely taking the necessary steps to separate himself from his father's shadow."

Prior to his loss to Mysterio, Lee became the longest-reigning "NXT" North American Champion back in August, surpassing Velveteen Dream's 231-day reign as champion. Now, it remains to be seen if Mysterio rewrites the history books by setting a record of his own. At tonight's Great American Bash premium live event, Mysterio will defend his title against Lee and Mustafa Ali in a triple-threat contest.