Keith Lee had been off WWE television since early August with reports stating he'd be undergoing some sort of repackaging to present him as a heel. That finally came to fruition on this week's Monday Night Raw when Lee arrived sporting new gear and a new nickname — Bearcat — before squashing Akira Tozawa in about 30 seconds. Lee was then interviewed backstage during Raw Talk and showed hints of being more heelish. He refused to say anything about squashing Tozawa then turned his attention to the WWE Draft.
"It doesn't matter who's across the ring, it doesn't matter what side they fall on, Raw or SmackDown," Lee said. "Whoever stands across the ring from me will realize the same thing that you are right now. The mission is the same. The person they thought they knew is ever so slightly different. And I don't think he (Kevin Patrick) has any more questions left."
Lee spent a good chunk of 2021 on the shelf while dealing with serious medical complications with his heart. Shortly after his return, Lee made a YouTube video explaining what he had to endure.
Some people might have experienced this thing where there's an inflammation in the heart or lungs, for me it was the heart," Lee said. "And that led to very scary times. I was basically forbidden or any training outside of a light walk. So there was a fear that doing more than that there was a chance that I could up and pass away. So, for three or four months this was kind of the case and I had several MRIs on my heart. By the way, I don't fit in those machines, it was terrible and my shoulders really struggled with that. But we had to do what we had to do, right? So this became a fight against death, so to speak. It took up until the company sent me up to Pittsburgh to get looked at. And it was up to the point where I was going to have to undergo genetic testing and all sorts of things, because it was thought that there was potential I could have a heart disease of sorts.
"Very fortunately, even though it took a long time we waited that amount of time, that allowed for the inflammation in my heart to eventually go down to normal," he continued. "Even though the first MRI was bad and the second MRI was worse, over time things got better here and there. Eventually, after that visit, I was cleared to try and get back into some sort of shape. That's where the real struggle is. But it took some time, and to be honest it wasn't even certain that I was going to show up in Dallas (where he returned and challenged Lashley to a non-title match) in terms of on TV."