Brodie Lee was due to be revealed as The Exalted One on the March 18, 2020 of AEW Dynamite. Lee's 90-day non-compete clause is his previous WWE contract expired just in time for the former Luke Harper to make his debut on AEW Dynamite which was scheduled to emanate from Brodie Lee's hometown of Rochester, New York.
In fact, Brodie Lee recalled that the timing was "too perfect" during a recent interview with ESPN:
"It was serendipitous, It was literally too perfect to have this big reveal, big debut and reawakening, being born again."
However, Brodie Lee would not be able to achieve this dream of making his AEW debut in his hometown of Rochester, New York. The worldwide COVID-19 paralyzed the world, leading to global lockdown and quarantine. This meant that the March 18, 2020 edition of AEW Dynamite was moved from Rochester to an empty Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Dark Order's Evil Uno recalled the confusion about the situation regarding the change in venue and lack of a crowd for Dynamite. According to Uno, there was even discussion about pushing the debut back until there was a crowd present:
"Early on, we didn't know the severity of what was going on, we thought the best thing to do would be to push it back. Wait until there's a crowd, because this is supposed to be a very large moment, I think one thing that AEW did very different at the time was they didn't wait to debut their big things. They didn't act as if no crowd meant a lesser show. They went ahead and gave you the things you'd been wanting for."
However, the show continued and Brodie Lee was revealed as The Exalted One of The Dark Order. Brodie Lee's aim was to reboot his career, prove the WWE doubters wrong and elevate The Dark Order into a dominant faction in AEW. Brodie Lee admitted that he put a lot of pressure on himself ahead of his debut:
"It was like, now it's my almost duty to come in and to bring up the game of everybody involved,"
Brodie Lee's AEW success
After successfully making his AEW debut as The Exalted One and the leader of The Dark Order, Brodie Lee would go straight into the main event title picture in AEW.
Brodie Lee's first feud and pay per view match saw The Exalted One challenge for Jon Moxley's AEW World Championship at the Double or Nothing pay-per-view event in May. Despite Brodie Lee losing the match against Jon Moxley, AEW President Tony Khan was thoroughly impressed with Lee's performance, suggesting that there would be future successes for Brodie Lee and The Dark Order in the future:
"I think his most impressive performance as a main-event pro wrestler at that point was the match with Moxley, and I think that opened a lot of our eyes, we believed he could be the guy and he showed it's true, he could be the guy."
After his stellar performance against Jon Moxley at Double or Nothing, Brodie Lee recently defeated Cody to become the AEW TNT Champion on AEW Dynamite. After years of disappointment and rejection in WWE, Brodie Lee became very emotional discussing what the victory and The Dark Order meant to him:
"It was like a moment that had been worked on for so f---ing long for me, and I'm getting emotional right now, so I'm sorry. It's just been so much s--- over the last three years, and it feels so f---ing good to prove everybody wrong."