oba femi

Oba Femi Believes In The Now, Says It’s Time He’s Acknowledged As Greatest NXT North American Champion  

Oba Femi wants to rewrite history and be recognized as the greatest North American Champion.

WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard spoke with Oba Femi ahead of his next title defense at NXT Heatwave. There, he will defend the North American Championship against Wes Lee, who will have his last shot at Femi’s title if he loses the match.

Oba Femi says Wes Lee’s comeback story is very moving, but it’s also time to move on and recognize him as the greatest NXT North American Champion, not Wes Lee.

“Well, I understand where all the Wes Lee supporters are coming from. The Wes Lee story is very very inspirational. Hurting his back, working hard all those months to come back quicker than anticipated. He once had the North American Championship and that was his claim to fame,” Oba Femi explained, “and the title rose his career to heights that we haven’t seen. Yada yada yada.

“But my goal going into this PLE, Heatwave, is to rewrite the history books,” Femi stated. “It is high time that everybody stops seeing Wes Lee as the greatest North American Champion ever. There’s been talks about that a lot lately, especially since his return. And my goal is just to change that narrative. It’s time that you start to acknowledge Oba Femi as the greatest North American Champion in NXT history.”

Oba Femi on the Follow up to his first impression

Oba Femi has been impressive since making his WWE debut in November 2022. He previously told Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald a first impression was very important, and he was very happy with his. How does he feel about the follow-up?

“I mean, the simple answer to that would be good, right? But I feel like it’s more than that. Who am I to say it’s been good? You know? At the end of the day, it’s all opinion-based. Because there’s a lot of people saying, ‘Follow up is great, we love him. Digging his stuff.’ And there’s still some naysayers and there’s still some people that are not quite Oba Femi believers quite yet. And everyone is entitled to their opinion,” he explained.

Femi said there are times when people check out on TV, but he is not one of those people. Whether you enjoy his work or not, his story is very real at its core, and he’s just being himself.

“This story that you are witnessing, this rise that you are witnessing is as organic and as tied to reality as it can possibly be,” he noted. “At the end of the day, I’m an athlete who is trying to make it to the top of the industry. When you strip everything away, that’s exactly what I am as a man.

“And that’s exactly what I am doing on TV every single week,” Oba Femi continued. “And I feel like that organic rise and that story is what the people want to see. So I’m just doing me. I’m just doing my thing. So, it’s left to the people to either be impressed by it, or think it’s good. Or not be impressed by it and think it’s bad.”

Oba Femi on getting called up to the main roster

Oba Femi is just starting his career, but fans have already wondered when he’ll be called up to RAW or SmackDown. Big E said he sees a main roster world title in Oba’s future, but the NXT North American Champion is still focused on the present. He appreciates the praise, but he is enjoying the moment and is focused on Wes Lee at Heatwave now.

“I 100% subscribe to that. I believe very much in the now. In the moment, in the title reign. In the North American Championship, in the feud with Wes Lee, because that’s what’s going on now. Because when people start thinking about call-ups, they start to tunnel-vision their own progress,” he pointed out. They forget about all the steps, and the corners, and the dips, and the highs that they have to go through to get to the end of the tunnel. And I don’t like to do that.

“And as far as the fans wanting me to get called up soon, I appreciate that,” he added. “I mean, of course, it is a good thing that people think of me as that caliber of talent. That is great. And I do believe I am too. But I believe in the now. I believe in elevating this title. I believe in making whatever feud I am in, the best it can possibly be. And I am all about making the next match better than the last.” 

Oba Femi will defend the North American Championship against Wes Lee at NXT Heatwave, which will take place on Sunday, July 7 in Toronto, Canada.

Watch our full interview with Oba Femi below: