Hey everyone this is Sam and let’s talk about AEW Family now. Yes, I know so many are talking about the legacy of Mr. Brodie Lee (Jon Huber), but I want to write about a different larger family. Maybe a family that the Huber family will one day write about because they are a part of it.
See, Tony Khan, Cody Rhodes, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson and Kenny Omega talked about creating a revolution and changing pro wrestling. Well, they sure did. But they did even more than that…they created a family. Some may say a family of misfits or family of wrestlers others didn’t want or think could get over. However, they created a family of passion who care about the fans and most of all, each other.
By taking people who LOVE giving their best to their fans who just happen to wrestle. Many of you reading this have said that AEW has taken too many throw away ex-WWE wrestlers. Maybe they have. You know why? Tony Khan believes by loving the AEW fans then you want to create the best product possible. He grew up a wrestling fan like I did by watching the wrestlers that create emotion in you…good or bad. I believe that how the AEW family formed. You ask what’s that?
The AEW Family
I’m not 100% sure since I’m not part of the core group. I am going to guess from the stories I’ve heard since I am an AEW fan which makes me part of their family. When you become All Elite, you don’t change. You just join others in coming home to a place (Daily’s Place now) that wants to create a bond of wrestlers, crew and Tony Khan that make others feel. You…the AEW fan. On Wednesday night, December 30th at 8pm on TNT, if you choose to watch for the first time or the 100th time or every time like me then they are going let you see their family pay tribute to one of their own who just happened to go down the road too soon.
Tony Schiavone’s Words
I heard Tony Schiavone’s podcast, “What Happened When,” with Conrad Thompson this week. I thought I should write about this. As I did I realized that Tony Schiavone being part of the family can say it way better than I can, so you are going to see a lot of quotes. This week’s podcast was covering the December 23, 1999 episode of WCW Thunder. However, he also had a lot to say about the tragic passing of the AEW and former WWE wrestler, Mr. Brodie Lee.
Tony Schiavone talked about what AEW did for Mr. Brodie Lee’s family and then said that Brodie Jr. signed a contract with AEW a couple of weeks ago when he was put over by Kenny Omega in a dark segment.
About Mr. Brodie Lee
Tony Schiavone said the following about Mr. Brodie Lee:
“First of all, he became with us one of our real leaders in the back. He didn’t lead by being noisy or talking. He led by example. People say this when people pass away that he was such a good guy, but for Brodie. It’s the truth. He and I really developed a very close bond when he won the AEW TV Championship and I was in the ring interviewing him. He did the classic, big guy, bend down to my microphone. When the show was over and he asked how the interview was, I said you made a mistake. I said you are so big and tall, never bend down to the microphone. I will put the microphone up to your mouth. Stand up tall and stand up straight. Stand up strong. He said that’s great, thank you for that.
So from that moment on, we didn’t see each other much longer after that, but from that moment on, he called me his mentor. The only thing I mentored him on was the microphone because for a guy his size, he can work. He can do a lot of stuff.
Unfortunately, the AEW Uncensored podcast that we do, the one we did with Brodie, we did it the day before he got sick. Then we heard he had been airlifted to the Mayo Clinic and Amanda, his wife, came and met with the entire group and told us how bad a shape he was in and please don’t say anything to anybody.”
Telling The AEW Family About His Passing
How do you tell someone else that someone they cared about even loved has passed away? Who do you tell first? What if others find out instead of from family, but through social media? I’m sure all this was going through Tony Khan’s mind. Maybe he had already decided before that day came, but here in Tony Schiavone’s Words is how Tony Khan told the AEW family:
“I think everybody did a great job keeping it close to the vest as the old cliche goes. We all knew it didn’t look good but we were all hoping he would kick out. The day that he passed away. We received an email that we were going to have a company wide Zoom call in 30 minutes and I knew that if we were going to have a zoom call that quickly, something was bad. So, they told us about that.”
Taking Care of Family
Tony Schiavone lets us in on the AEW family atmosphere. I know many AEW fans assume it is just “The Dark Order” taking care of Jon Huber’s family, but no, it’s all of them. Even the owner of the company who is there constantly caring about not his employees, but the family they created. Tony Schiavone continues on his podcast:
“I got to know his wife Amanda, his son Brodie has been backstage and we keep him backstage with us now. We take care of him. I do need to say this and I’m going to write something about this and post it somewhere. I think it would be worth the read because I’m really going to pour my heart out about this. Not only about Brodie and his family, but about our company and about Tony Khan, about how good they are. And how much they have taken care of the family and how much they have just made Brodie’s family a part of ours.
They did that because they care about people, but they also do that because of what type of person Brodie was. He was big. He was burly. Brodie was a hell of a character. They did some great stuff with The Exalted One. Not only did he leave us too soon. He left us too soon as far as only getting to know him for just a short period of time. I know the people in the WWE knew him as Luke Harper. I know he had a really good run there. They knew him a lot better than we did because of the time they had with him, but in the short period of time we had him. We got to know him really well. It’s a tragic story. It’s a heartbreaking story because it’s such a good person and such a good dad.”
Brodie Jr. Being Part of the AEW Family
How hard it must be to be 8 years old knowing your dad is at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida and how sick he is. I can’t imagine being him. At least he had some older “brothers and sisters” in his AEW family that cared about taking his mind off of it a minute. None of these wrestlers or crew were told to do any of this. They don’t get paid for this. But because they want to hang out and not run away right after a show or meeting or anything like that they got to make memories with a little boy. I’m a person who believes memories, time and experiences are worth more than any money. But let’s hear it from Tony Schiavone:
“Knowing that Brodie was very sick and knowing it was holiday time. And I guess knowing that for him to kick out, it was going to be, I don’t want to say a miracle, but it was going to be very difficult to kick out.
They had brought little Brodie to TV and wrestling is his life. He is 8 years old. He really is a great kid. They made him a member of The Dark Order. They put a mask on him. He came out with a kendo stick. He beat up a lot of people. This of course was at a TV taping with nobody in the audience. They signed him to a contract. AEW legitimately signed him to a contract and when he gets of age, he will be with AEW. They have taken care of him and he follows guys around all the time in the back and he becomes a part of us.
How strong of a wife, a mother and a person you must be to know your husband may not live much longer, but your children need their father’s love of wrestling to live inside of them. She did and she does. So she made sure that her children can continue to be part of the AEW family as Tony Schiavone tells us:
“Amanda is back there. When we do TV tapings now, we will have a live show or a taped show, Dynamite, and then we will have sometimes 13 dark matches. We are there until 2 am sometimes. I was sitting back there with Amanda when Dark was going on and she said, ‘I’m dead tired. I need to get back and get some sleep, but he (Brodie Jr) just loves this so much, I’m going to wait.’ So, she waits until it is all over and he gets involved with the guys and sits in the gorilla position. He sometimes comes out with a mask on and does some crazy things.
It just shows you how the roster loved Brodie and how we are family… When Brodie was hired, we all said, man that’s a great hire because we knew he could work. Then when we got to know him, we thought, not only is this a great hire talent-wise, but he is a great hire because he is a great person backstage. It was a tough day when we got the news and it still is.”
December 30th at 8pm on TNT
There is no doubt in my mind that the December 30th show will be tough on everyone from people wanting to check it out to AEW fans to crew to wrestlers to Tony Khan. But since Tony Khan let Brodie Jr. pick his favorite wrestlers to be on the teams he wanted and go against each other, I bet we see a lot that we may never have seen before. Hopefully, we see a lot of famously known moves of Mr. Brodie Lee. I also hope we see a lot we don’t even know about. I know I want to see someone…anyone hit John Silver with some papers and get bleeped.
Hopefully, all of you reading this take some time to watch this December 30th show either live or on DVR in the manner that you should. Forget about your problems for two hours. Join the AEW family (Yes, I’m a AEW mark), and please laugh and cry with all of us as they remember and pay tribute to their “brother.” Thank you Tony Khan, crew and most of all, the wrestlers who have the love and passion for doing this.
Feel free to leave any comments about Mr. Brodie Lee or AEW below. As always, see you down the road.