Dean “Mojo” Muhtadi (fka WWE’s Mojo Rawley) faced a scary bout with COVID-19 in 2021. In fact, he says there were times when he wondered if he would survive the disease.

“Probably the scariest part for a little bit of this was when the breathing was bad, it was scary to go to sleep because I was worried that I might not wake up,” Muhtadi told The Sessions with Renee Paquette. “You know, I might suffocate myself in my sleep. Especially with how tired I was getting at points because I literally wasn’t sleeping. You know, I worried I was just going to pass out and that might be it, you know? So there was that fear for a little bit.”

Dean Muhtadi said the first couple of days after he was infected were not that bad but the disease took a dramatic turn after that.

“It was just kind of like the on and off kind of spotty body fever kind of thing,” Muhtadi recalled. “Like the chills and whatnot, I think most people get it. And then, I’m not sure what happened from there. Myself, the doctors, we have a couple of hunches, but things kind of spun out of control, my fever spiked to 104°. I was overheating, it was so crazy.

“I remember taking an ice-cold shower trying to get my body temp down and like, the freezing cold water would touch the top of my head, and by the time it got down to my neck it was like, boiling hot. I was like, that’s crazy that this, just this amount of distance was causing water, freezing water to boil.

“So I went into the hospital,” Muhtadi continued. “They checked me out, they took my temperature. They really didn’t have anything for me to do but sit in a cold room by myself to bring my fever down. But after that, I just started developing this cough and these breathing issues. I was coughing so bad that the blood vessels in my eyes burst. So like, my eyes were bloodshot, looked insane.”

Dean Muhtadi was still employed by WWE at the time he got COVID-19. He says he was restless while recovering from the disease because he wanted to prove his worth to the company.

“We’re doing mass firings, you know, left and right,” Muhtadi said. “You know, there seems not necessarily to be a rhyme or reason for it. I gotta get my ass back to work or else I’ll be in the next group. You know? I gotta go back and prove my worth and show them why I should still have a contract and I just was not in a position to do that.

“And then part of me too, was like, ‘I don’t want to go back until I’m ready. Because if I go out there and my lungs give out in a match and I’m dragging it and my whole thing is I stayed hyped and I’m the hype man and I got all the energy and now I’m the guy that’s blown up’. Exactly, so I was like, I don’t know what’s better, to try and go back with them knowing that I’m recovering, or just to do something or to wait until I’m 100 and get back to business as usual.”

WWE released Dean Muhtadi last April. He has stated that he intends to return to pro wrestling. His last match was in June 2020. He has also been doing some work in film and television.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Sessions with Renee Paquette with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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