Keith Lee reveals health challenges and absence from WWE TV

WWE, Keith Lee (photo courtesy of WWE)
WWE, Keith Lee (photo courtesy of WWE) /

The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused havoc across the world for nearly two years. Professional wrestling was also hit hard, as many promotions were forced to closed doors and find new ways to create. The talent was also impacted in many different ways, but those that were still performing had to worry about heightened health risks. Keith Lee took to YouTube to explain his absence from television in early 2021, telling a story that revealed the extent of danger he was in and the dire nature of his state of wellbeing at the time.

Lee revealed that in January he caught COVID-19, which caused him to be removed from television for approximately three weeks. In February Lee competed against Matt Riddle on the February 8th edition of Monday Night Raw, winning the match. That would be the last time he was on television for five months, recently making a surprise return against Bobby Lashley on the July 19th edition of WWE Raw.

After that February 8th match, Lee revealed that he was informed of irregularities with his blood that turned out to be heart inflammation. During the time he was unable to train outside of anything of a light walk due to the potential that he could “suddenly pass away.” Lee recounted struggling to go through several MRIs, including the challenge to fit into the MRI machines. He said the first MRI was “bad,” and the second was “worse.”

“Very fortunately, even though it took a long time, we waited that amount of time. It allowed the inflammation in my heart to eventually go down to normal.”

During the video Lee pointed out the importance that Mia Yim played during his recovery, informing listeners that she stayed by his side the entire time.

“Let me go ahead and point out something because I did see some disturbing and just rude remarks toward Mia Yim. Let me go head and clear that up right now, were it not for her, I don’t know how things would have gone,” Lee said. “I contracted COVID, she did not for about three weeks. The only reason she did contract it is because she refused to not be there and take care of me. At the end of the day, I am grateful to her and it is unfortunate that some of you are ungrateful.

Since his return to Raw, Lee has competed in four matches. This includes splitting contests against Karrion Kross, and two dark matches. The first against Austin Theory as a dark match during the SmackDown edition on August 6 and a Raw dark match against Chico Adams on August 9.

While Lee was away from wrestling tending to his health, wild speculation occurred across wrestling Twitter. As the multiple rounds of cuts trimmed down the WWE roster, fans wondered and wrongly questioned Lee’s absence from television. Nothing about Lee’s status was revealed publicly by the WWE.

“This became a fight against death. We fought death; I do not mind fighting anybody else. We continue to show exactly what it means to be limitless.”

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