Keith Lee discusses his process of returning to the ring.
After being written off of television back in December 2022, Keith Lee returned to AEW on the February 17, 2023 edition of AEW Rampage. In his return, Lee targeted Swerve Strickland, who stomped a cinder block into his chest back in December.
In a new interview with Fightful's Grapsody podcast, Keith Lee went into detail about the process of his return to AEW and how he didn't do any in-ring training. Lee also revealed that the only time he's ever trained for a return was after his near death experience back in 2021.
"You mean like in-ring training? I don’t do in-ring training. I’m gonna level something here. This is where you’ll really understand why I’m confident in who I am and what I do. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe in training and believe it’s a good thing to do. When I came back form the almost dead situation, I did a lot of in-ring training, maybe five or six weeks before I returned. But it wasn’t enough time to get myself together and be back on a TV show, if that makes sense. Because the after effects of that whole ordeal left me in a position where things like running and some of my favorite versions of cardio were extremely difficult and some just couldn’t be a thought because it was too taxing on me and the recovery was too long. So at that time I did a lot of in-ring training and a lot of training outside of that to try to get back into a position to be ready. That’s probably the only time where I’ve been out that I have put in that much effort into returning. Part of it was, at the end of the day, I was prepared to change my entire career. Because for the entirety of those five or six months that I was out doing all of that, it was basically expected that if I did too much, I would die and wrestling wasn’t going to be a thing for me going forward. Coming out of that and learning otherwise, I was just excited to do this still in whatever capacity that would be. I was just happy to be able to take part and still be a credit to the industry. Now outside of that, I’ve never been out for more than maybe two or three months, I suppose. I’ve never been truly injured. I’m very fortunate in that. A lot of times, and I don’t know why this is, but in terms of needing a ring to get myself ready has never been a thing for me. Movement in the ring is not something that is difficult for me. For what you see in the ring, particularly today, is a fraction of what I’m capable of. I like it that way ‘cause I am always a guarantee regardless of what happens."
Lee also went on to humbly brag about the fact that he's able to pull off athletic moves like moonsaults and dives without ever training for them beforehand.
"Here’s a great example. The time Dijak monkey flipped me in one of our first matches in NXT—even before then, we can take this back to the independents—a match I had with Raymond Rowe. People would know him as Erik today. Guy tried to monkey flip me and I flipped to my feet. I had never trained to do that. I never worked on doing that. I just said, ‘I’m going to do this,’ and then I did it. The first time I ever dove out of the ring, I’ve never trained to dive out of a ring. I’ve never worked on diving out of a ring. I’ve never worked on moonsaults. If I choose to do a thing, I just go do it. That is not normal. I will tell you that right away. People hurt themselves trying to do these things on the regular. So in terms of what and physics itself I am, and I have learned this. I didn’t understand years ago, but I am an anomaly. I’m not the best person to ask, ‘What do I do to learn about this?’ ‘Cause I don’t know. I just go do it."
Elsewhere in the interview, Lee talked about Rick Ross and his appearances in AEW. To learn more, click here.
Fans can check out Grapsody's full interview with Keith Lee in the video linked above. After that, visit Fightful's YouTube channel to check out recent interviews with Chad Gable, Masha Slamovich, Ruby Soho, and the Street Profits.