Family Isn’t Always Blood Related: A Brodie Lee reflection
On December 26, 2020 late evening, seeing and reading the official statement by AEW about Jon Huber, known to wrestling fans as Brodie Lee and Luke Harper, passing away gutted me deeply. It was like a bad nightmare; like the Grinch stealing a piece of happiness from my soul and never returning. It was a moment of: What you mean Brodie Lee passed? Hours before I was having a conversation with my boyfriend about where and what happened to Brodie. And then...life. I held my boyfriend a little longer that night as I told him the news. We were both huge fans of Lee. Forgive me for calling him mainly by his ring name rather than his real name throughout this farewell article. Hopefully, this will be my closure.
On December 27, 2020, it still hurt. Today, December 28, 2020 I’m coping a little better. I would think he’ll want all our sadness turned into happiness and celebration of his life and lessons on family and friendships.
Brodie had all these qualities and more. The outpouring of love for this man is unmatched and I loved reading all the stories posted by fans and wrestlers alike. I never had a personal interaction with him. Never got to meet him. And now I wonder what our conversation would’ve been like if I told him about my trip to my WWE interview.
So, in the late summer of 2018, I traveled to Connecticut. My interview wasn’t at the WWE Stamford headquarters but somewhere else in Connecticut in a small production studio area. It was hot that day, and after getting off the Metro North, I walked the mile plus long walk to have this interview. I was determined to accomplish working for my dream job, WWE. I remember there were houses on both sides of the sidewalks and had a two way street with oncoming cars. There were barely any people out. I don’t remember what day of the week this interview was on. I was listening to music on my way there, a way to calm me down. The Bludgeon Brothers theme played in my headphones. It hyped me up. I walked to the beat. So I finally arrived at the production studio. I went through the entrance and into the parking lot and then the building. Talked with the security guard detailing my adventure to get there and have this interview. He was impressed. I would do anything for the wrestling business because I love it with all my heart. Travel from NYC to CT via the Metro North with no money to my name at the time with the only help from JD Alpha, to then walk from my stop in CT to the production studio to accomplish getting hired after that interview. I was determined to make anything work. I tried very hard to keep the mark in me down as I walked through the small production office that had tight cubicles with employees working on editing WWE footage and was greeted by a cutout board of John Cena hiding behind the door. So I would’ve loved to share that with him. I’m fortunate enough to get lucky in this business, and receive the opportunities I’ve had. I’m lucky to have told the Young Bucks about my days in WWE; having that cool conversation with them on how I brought The Elite book bag from Hot Topic to WWE for 3 months straight without them saying a word about it. But thinking back, they knew I wasn’t drinking the WWE Kool-Aid like the others, and my allegiance was probably to indie stars over them. I mean there was that time I defended the Young Bucks at WWE as we talked WCW days and a co-worker mentioned: Oh, so they (meaning the Bucks) stole it (the Two Sweet gesture). I jumped in and explained that Kevin Nash gave them the OK. Only for one of the bosses (there were like 3 different bosses...more about that another time.) to tell me: You can’t tell Marie anything; she’s a young bucks fan. Luckily my other co-worker jumped in so I bit my tongue.
But here’s the thing: I’m a fan for all pro wrestling. Not just WWE. Even when my dream was to work for WWE, I was still watching ROH, NJPW, PWG, CHIKARA, Pro Wrestling NOAH, Dragon Gate and anything else I could watch. Because I defended the competition, this was during the time The Elite with Cody were planning All In for September 2018, I’m dismissed.
So I think if I mentioned that to him, how that theme song calmed my anxiety, he would have smiled and said something witty. The whole wrestling world is hurting and grieving in their own ways. Writing helps me cope with a lot of things. The difficult part of this whole situation is the unexpected, untimely death of Jon Huber. I’m feeling the same way I felt a couple years ago when my mother-in-law, my boyfriend's mother, passed away unexpectedly and untimely. It took five heart attacks to finally take her. It was a dark day. I didn’t grieve well then but I accepted it finally.
Brodie carried himself with grace and an infectious personality. It shined through with his in-ring work and outside work with Being The Elite. You didn’t fear his character, well I didn’t, but for sure wanted to understand and know his character better.
When I named this article: Family Isn’t Blood Related, it’s true. From the outpouring love about Brodie being an amazing family man who dearly loves his wife and 2 children, Nolan and Brodie, he too invited everyone he touched to be a part of his family in every size possible. He saw you; he noticed you; he cared about you as a human being and nothing less. When he was part of The Wyatt Family, it told of an unbreakable bond of brotherhood. When Brodie teamed with Erik Rowan, their story was about having that deep sibling connection in a tag team such as The Young Bucks, Matt and Jeff Hardy, Edge and Christain, Bubba Ray and Devon to name a few. They felt like brothers, thus the name: Bludgeon Brothers. When Brodie was released by WWE and found his way to AEW as the Exalted One, it was amazing. Brodie changed wrestling, and according to Evil Uno via twitter, decided to help out The Dark Order. Brodie Lee gave The Dark Order purpose and shaped them into a huge family that will always have each other’s back. Brodie was the older brother, trying to shape up his siblings to fall in line but feel loved (even if it was tough love by paper throwing and yelling), feel and make other friendships, and understand that family will be there when you fall, when you gain victories, when you gain defeats, and anything else. I would like to compare it to Home Alone. The Dark Order accepts anyone, and if that’s not a powerful lesson from Brodie to then instill it in the members of The Dark Order then you miss the true point of The Dark Order underneath the surface layer. Brodie had powerful subtle messages through his artwork in professional wrestling. And these lessons are amazing to carry and act upon each day to make life a little bit awesome. Brodie lived his life to the fullest. And it’s time, we started doing the same. It’s unfortunate, and I wish he hadn’t passed.
I will forever Join The Dark Order.
It’s Monday. You Know What That Means.
Forever The Exalted One.