— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 27, 2020
This is the kind of news that makes you speechless. Mr Brodie Lee, “The Exalted One” and leader of the Dark Order stable, as he was known in AEW; Luke Harper, member of The Wyatt Family, as he was known in WWE, but mostly Jon Huber, husband and father of 2, as he was known in real life, passed away this Saturday. He just turned 41 on December 16. A few moments after AEW put their official statement online (see above), his wife announced he passed away from a non-COVID related lung issue.
It’s hard to explain to people, and I’m not certain he would want me to, that the biggest, scariest man you’ll ever see on your television is the kindest soul you’d ever meet. A model of a husband and father, and proof that some people are too good for this earth. ♥️ https://t.co/jm6YKlRNBu
— Charlotte Flair (@MsCharlotteWWE) December 27, 2020
The whole wrestling business is in shock and praised not only a great human being but also a very talented wrestler. His former Wyatt Family teammates Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt each reacted very differently, one losing his words, the other using all the words he could to say how much he loved him. From his former WWE partners to his AEW friends and bosses, everybody is in shock, speechless and praising a brother, a great human being, a friend, and of course a family man.
I’m devastated by the loss of Jon Huber, known to fans as Mr. Brodie Lee, formerly Luke Harper. Jon was a great man. His family came first, his loving wife Amanda & their sons Brodie + Nolan. He loved wrestling & was great at it, he loved you fans. Please keep him in your hearts.
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) December 27, 2020
WWE also paid tribute to their former wrestler.
WWE is saddened to learn that Jon Huber, known to WWE fans as Luke Harper, passed away today at age 41.
Known as both Luke Harper and Brodie Lee in the ring, Huber found success in every stop of his sports-entertainment career, as his soft-spoken yet imposing presence helped him create countless awe-inspiring moments in the ring. After a highly decorated run on the independent circuit, Harper debuted in NXT as a menacing enforcer for The Wyatt Family. Harper had a dominant tag team run with Rowan that would lay the groundwork for future championship success.
As a member of The Wyatt Family, he engaged in heated rivalries with the likes of Kane, Daniel Bryan, The Shield, John Cena and The Usos. After being set free from the family, Harper authored an impressive singles run that culminated with him defeating Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship. Harper & Rowan later comprised The Bludgeon Brothers and embarked on a path of destruction that was highlighted by a SmackDown Tag Team Title victory in a Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania 34.
WWE extends its condolences to Huber’s family, friends and fans.
It’s Saturday. You know what that means…
Backstage in Mexico in 2015. Brodie was annoyed that he didn’t have his own merch t-shirt, so one of the brothers got a bunch made in his honor. We all wore them in tribute to the dude, cause everybody loved him. Just a wonderful man! pic.twitter.com/6XXl8Kr6iW
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) December 27, 2020
Summing up Brodie Lee’s career to WWE and AEW would be a shame as in a 17-year career, he had worked in many promotions not only in the USA. From 2003 to 2012, Huber worked on the independent circuit under the Brodie Lee ring name, most notably in Chikara, Squared Circle Wrestling (2CW), Ring of Honor (ROH), Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA), and internationally for Dragon Gate in Japan or wXw in Germany. He signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2012 and soon became the “first son” of The Wyatt Family. During the 7 years that he spent with WWE, he would become NXT Tag Team Champion with Erik Rowan, Intercontinental Champion, and a 2-time SmackDown Tag Team Champion with his Wyatt Family brothers. He was released by WWE by the end of 2019.
One of the worst days of my life
— John Silver (@SilverNumber1) December 27, 2020
Huber made his surprise debut for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) under his Brodie Lee ring name on the March 18, 2020, episode of Dynamite, revealing himself as “The Exalted One”, the mysterious leader of The Dark Order faction, attacking SoCal Uncensored with the other members of the group. After staying undefeated for several weeks, he challenged AEW World Champion Jon Moxley to a championship match at the Double or Nothing pay-per-view. At the event on May 23, Lee was defeated by Moxley. Over the following months, Lee recruited new members into the Dark Order, including Colt Cabana and Anna Jay.
I don’t know how to feel. I’m so heartbroken. Thinking about his wife and children who he loved so much. He was such a great man and helped me more than I could’ve asked for. He will be missed terribly..
— Anna Jay (@annajay___) December 27, 2020
On the August 22 episode of Dynamite, Lee quickly defeated Cody to win the AEW TNT Championship. After the match, Lee would attack Cody’s allies QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes and Brandi Rhodes with the help of the Dark Order. When Cody returned, he was challenged by Lee to a dog collar match for the championship. On the October 7 episode of Dynamite, Lee lost the match, ending his reign at 55 days (46 days as recognized by AEW). Shortly after, Lee took time off due to an undisclosed injury. He would never appear again in AEW.
Thank You pic.twitter.com/gbBD49IwDH
— Cody (@CodyRhodes) December 27, 2020
You could love or hate the characters he was embodying, you could disagree with the way the industry sometimes treated him. But you couldn’t get away from him his absolute passion for the business who made of him a trusty wrestler to compete against, a friend to rely on, and a “brother in arms” to come to and talk to.
I remember meeting him in front of the hotel WWE roster was staying when they came to Lille in November 2019. I was struck by his eyes, sharp, beady, dark, to a point I couldn’t even say hi to him. He froze me up instantly. With time, I regret I didn’t welcome it the way I should have had. Because I know he would have loved it and he was definitely not the “monster” he was embodying in a ring. Thank you, Mr Jon Huber, and rest in peace.
All pics and videos courtesy of AEW