The sudden passing of Jonathan Huber, better known as Luke Harper to WWE fans, and Mr. Brodie Lee to AEW fans, has sent shockwaves through the international pro wrestling community. A distinguished performer still at the peak of his powers, Brodie Lee was enjoying a phase of career rejuvenation since joining AEW, asserting himself as the leader of The Dark Order.
At 41, Brodie Lee still had a lot to contribute to the world of professional wrestling, both as an in-ring competitor and a rich source of creative inspiration for younger talent. A seasoned veteran, Brodie Lee's 17-plus year career saw him excel in the athletic big-man role across multiple promotions and regions. His terribly tragic death caps a horrid year for wrestling deaths, following the passings of Pat Patterson, Howard Finkel, Shad Gaspard, Hana Kimura and Tracy Smothers to name a few.
As fans worldwide mourn the loss of Brodie Lee, we send our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and look to celebrate what was a decorated career, defined by unshakeable self-belief, tremendous work ethic, and a passion for performing.
1) Brodie Lee unveiled as The Exalted One
Since arriving on the scene in AEW as The Exalted One, Brodie Lee quickly made up for years of sub-par booking in WWE, delivering emboldened promos and putting on spectacular main event-level matches right out of the gate. As the leader of The Dark Order, Brodie Lee was able to exercise his frustrations stemming from his previous faction tenure in WWE, while elevating the group to new heights.
Under the leadership of Stu Grayson and Evil Uno, The Dark Order lacked direction and credibility. Brodie Lee managed to take the group and instill a sense of legitimacy and ruthlessness that had previously been lacking, helping The Dark Order expand in the process. Brodie Lee's presence and gravitas was a driving force in The Dark Order's recruitment efforts, and this role gave him the platform to demonstrate his range as a performer.