Keith Lee was not seen on WWE television for several months and many fans were concerned about his status in the company. His partner Mia Yim refused to share details about his condition as well. Ultimately it was revealed that Keith Lee had a fight against death, which led to him not appearing on WWE television for so long.

Since his return to the company, Keith Lee has competed in a few matches on Monday Night RAW, especially against former NXT Champion Karrion Kross. However, he has also competed in several dark matches on Monday Night RAW and Friday Night Smackdown as well.

Keith Lee also had several changes to his entrance, look and also his name. They changed his name yet again on an episode of Monday Night RAW. He is now known as Bearcat Lee, which many fans don’t like whatsoever.

While speaking on the Out of Character podcast with Ryan Satin, Keith Lee talked about his ongoing health issues. Lee revealed that he thought his career was over when he was recovering from COVID-19.


I wasn’t feeling bad personally, originally. There were things that were going on that I didn’t really understand. The problem with this Covid thing is no one really knows what’s going on. It’s a trial and error situation. Everyone experiences different things. Sometimes these after effects hit people differently. Sometimes Covid hits people differently. Some people, it doesn’t really hit at all. In my case, I just assumed that would be fine. I’m ok. I tested positive, and in a couple weeks, we’ll get back to what we got to do. I came back after three weeks. I had that match with Riddle on February 8th.

The next day, I got a call saying there was something odd in my blood which gave the idea there was an inflammation. That led to multiple MRIs and really uncomfortable machines that jammed up this shoulder. At the time, yes, I felt some things that were odd, but I didn’t understand them to be that. I just assumed because other people were having different scenarios that were odd, post Covid, that maybe it was going to take me a little longer to get back to normal. I didn’t feel abnormal, but there were just some small things that felt odd. One MRI passed, and we were like, ok, we’re going to give it a week, two weeks, or whatever, and then we’ll do another one. The second one was worse than that. It led to, we can’t workout or do anything until we figure this out.

Then it became very uncomfortable because even though I knew what the potential endgame could be, I wasn’t telling my family. I wasn’t telling Mia (Yim). Because it’s something not in our control, it’s something I didn’t want them to stress about. It was a personal battle that I tried to calm on my own, and for the most part, stayed quiet about it regardless of timing. Just absurd amounts of messages. I’m not sure what it is about people thinking that their demands should be met in knowing what’s going on in my personal life. I’m generally a private person, so it took me a long time to share what was going on because it was my own personal fight, and I wanted to fight it.

There was nothing more important than fighting it to me. To this day, I still have some friends over a year later that are suffering from effects that are post-Covid. At the end of the day, I’m just grateful for the fact that I was even able to come back and be back in the ring because that fourth or fifth MRI, when I had to go to Pittsburgh, I was resigned to the fact that my career was done. I was just ready to be like, ok, I guess it’s time to pursue some other projects that I have an interest in. Then I got some good news. It took a lot of work to come back because when you’re a 340 pound athlete, the amount of training, power, and explosiveness that it takes to be a guy that’s 340 and does backflips. Then it was 5 months (that he couldn’t work out).

Then coming back out of nowhere, it’s like 5 weeks of just dying. Trying to come back was like, how have I not trained a thing, then I come back and try to cardio everything, every week, just trying to get back to normal. Normal, I didn’t know what normal was anymore. It was very strange. But now I can get back and have high energy workouts. It was nice when I can feel like, ok, I’m about where I feel I should be, but I still feel like there is work to be done. The grind continues, and I will keep on grinding.”

Regardless of Keith Lee’s current booking situation on Monday Night RAW, fans are simply glad that Lee is healthy enough to continue doing what he loves every week. It remains to be seen what is next in store for Keith Lee.

h/t to for the quotes.

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Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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