Skip to main content

Keith Lee details what led to him signing with AEW, Adam Cole's influence

The 37-year-old debuted with the promotion in early-February.
Keith Lee | AEW

Keith Lee has revealed what led to him signing with AEW following his release from WWE.

Lee was a guest on this week's edition of AEW Unrestricted and spoke about his first meeting with Tony Khan.

“That release (from WWE) happened and within three days, Tony found a way to get in touch with me,” Lee said. “I was actually really impressed with that considering we had never spoken before. We had some really laid-back conversations and kind of got to know each other a little bit. I think that’s something that helped because I think that some of my trust is a little disgruntled.”

Lee said he was impressed with Khan and found him to be a stand-up guy. 

"I really enjoyed my time with him, getting to know him and what he’s about, talking football and all that good stuff, especially as a former player. Then eventually, that led into business. But in terms of getting to know him, yeah, I had a blast, a lot of laughs, and a lot of jokes. He’s a swell guy, to say the very least," he said.

Lee also said that Adam Cole played a role in bringing him to AEW. 

"There aren't a lot of people in this industry that you can just trust or get along with at certain levels but I really like Adam Cole as a person. His testimony for his happiness here is something that made it a little easier," he said.

Lee told a story of having three different tryout sessions with WWE. During one 2013 session, he was doubting if he made the right decision to leave football and pursue a career in wrestling. Then, Jim Ross said something to him that changed his perspective. 

"He pulled me aside and basically told me, 'Hey yo, regardless of what their decision is, I want you to know that I believe you are a million dollar talent.' That was something that touched me very deep and meant a lot to me coming from someone like him," he explained.

Lee also spoke about his battle with COVID-19 that kept him out of action for months in WWE. 

"For me and how I feel, it is so much more gratitude for life and even more for me being able to do what I do still because I was this close to losing professional wrestling," Lee said.