Keith Lee on Vince McMahon's Involvement in His New 'Bearcat' Gimmick
Keith Lee recently returned to WWE TV with a repackaged gimmick, now sporting the nickname "Bearcat" and showing a much more aggressive style in the ring. Lee appeared on Ryan Satin's Out of Character podcast this week and talked about the new persona, as well as Vince McMahon's direct involvement in its creation.
"Previously, if you're referring to anything in NXT or when I first came up to the main roster, I would say there wasn't really a character. It was just me being me, having fun, enjoying myself. That was just me turned up to a certain level that was above average," Lee said (h/t Fightful). "Bearcat has some relevance to who I am, but in a more competitive level, almost football related. Just a guy who wants to get business done. Bearcat is a guy who walks out there already ready to decimate whomever is in the ring. It's a real interesting switch, for sure.
"I would say he's (Vince McMahon) been quite hands-on, which is honestly something I need because I want to know what he wants as opposed to making a guess or estimation or hypothesis," he continued. "If I know what he wants directly, it makes it that much easier to give him what he's looking for. He's the man, he runs this, if he wants a specific thing out of his talent, then the talent is to give him what he wants."
Lee was away from the WWE for a sizable chunk of time earlier this year. He explained his absence in a YouTube video shortly after his return, divulging the serious heart inflammation problems he had been dealing with.
"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," Lee said. "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."