Keith Lee Not Cleared For AEW Worlds End, Replacement Announced

Tonight at AEW Worlds End, the long-awaited conclusion to Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland’s rivalry was expected to occur. The two former Swerve In Our Glory members were set to face off in a singles match for the very first time, almost a year after their tag team alliance dissolved at Full Gear 2022 when they failed to dethrone then-AEW World Tag Team Champions The Acclaimed.

Earlier today, Lee raised concern amongst fans regarding his condition heading into his showdown with Swerve. In a post to X, he revealed that he has been battling a long-term injury since mid-2022 and hinted that his status for tonight’s pay-per-view was uncertain.

“Today… I keep it very real with you guys,” Lee wrote. “I have been working through an injury since Arthur Ashe Stadium 2022. It has been mostly well taken care of. Things have been worse since Final Battle. I am trying to get through today for you guys, but I cannot promise anything.”

Unfortunately, it appears the worst-case scenario has come to pass. Just minutes before Zero Hour began, Tony Khan announced on X that Lee had been removed from the show as his injury had prevented AEW medical officials from clearing him to compete. Khan also revealed that Dustin Rhodes, whom Lee occasionally teams up with as Naturally Limitless, will take his place and face Swerve tonight at Worlds End instead.

This marks Rhodes’ first singles match on an AEW pay-per-view in over three years. His last took place back at Double Or Nothing 2020 where he handily defeated Shawn Spears in just over four minutes. His only other PPV singles matches came at Revolution earlier that year and Double or Nothing 2019 where he lost to Jake Hager and his brother Cody respectively.

Everyone here at Haus of Wrestling wishes Keith Lee well in his recovery.