Keith Lee
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Keith Lee of the USA fights Zack Sabre Jr of Great Britain during the Progress Wrestling Super Strong Style 16 at Alexandra Palace on May 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Keith Lee On How Dusty Rhodes And William Regal Motivated Him On His 14-Year Journey To WWE

Keith Lee was the second of two guests on Corey GravesAfter The Bell podcast. The “Limitless” one delves into the limitations of the pressure he initially put on himself as he had three unsuccessful tryouts with WWE from 2008 to 2013 almost led to him leaving pro wrestling altogether. That all changed after he spoke with William Regal and the late, great Dusty Rhodes.

“I really wasn’t sure if I was going to continue wrestling and then I had conversation with one Mr. William Regal and Dusty Rhodes—and a brief few words with also Mr. Jim Ross—and I think that without those first two I probably would not have continued wrestling to be completely honest. I pursued a different dream which was just making it on my own, on the indies and building a name out of sheer willpower and eventually, I did enough good deeds and turned enough heads and shocked enough people that eventually they came looking for me and it was completely different that time. It took almost fourteen years to get there so it’s a very long journey for me.”

What sparked Keith Lee to be so shocking with his athletic prowess? It was all about embracing who he was and Lee credits those aforementioned conversations as the catalysts that led him to doing just that.

“I think that that conversation with Dusty and Regal was the point where I decided to just be myself,” said Lee. “I spent a lot of time coming up in wrestling trying to be what everyone thought that I should be in terms of what an ‘air quote’ big guy is, but in my history from sports to martial arts, I’ve always been a very versatile type of athlete. I’ve never been stuck in one thing and that’s how I felt like I should be in wrestling. A lot of people didn’t think that, but after that talk I decided to just listen to myself and bet on myself and at the end of the day it was the greatest decision I had made.”

(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)

You can listen to Graves’ conversation with Lee (as well as Drew McIntyre) below:

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