Brodie Lee: A Fan’s Perspective

I never knew Jon Huber, WWE’s Luke Harper, and AEW’s Brodie Lee. I was never fortunate enough to have that honour. Yet, when I woke up yesterday morning to the news that he had passed away, it felt as if I’d lost a friend. It seriously knocked me through a loop and it took me the best part of the day to get my act together enough to ask myself “Why”? What was it about a man who was a complete stranger to me, leaving the world so suddenly, that left me with such an empty feeling?

The most obvious answer to this question is that he wasn’t a complete stranger. For eight years he’d been a regular staple of my weekly wrestling diet. Starting out with NXT way back in 2012, through his tenure with The Wyatt Family, to his single runs on the main roster and his stint as half of The Bludgeon Brothers, Luke Harper, as he was then, was always a welcome sight on any WWE programming.

Sure, he may have sat some time out due to injury or creative not really having anything for him to do, but he was on TV far more than he was off of it, and when you spend as much time as I do watching wrestling, then you grow attached to certain performers, as I did with him.

This was down to the fact that he was a monster in the ring. A man of his size, being able to do what he did, put him on par with The Undertaker, in my opinion, as an in-ring worker. He was deceptively fast, as agile as a cruiser-weight, and had the kind of strength that just blew me away, and if that wasn’t enough to convince me of how awesome a wrestler this man could be, then the time he power-bombed Dean Ambrose through a ladder at Wrestlemania 31 sure as hell was.

For whatever reason though, it always felt that he was never truly allowed to grow within WWE, and it wasn’t just his fans that grew frustrated with this; he gambled on himself and took off for the greener pastures of AEW. It was here that another facet of his personality was allowed to surface; his sense of humour.

Yes, The Exalted One was a rib on Vince McMahon, but it was a damn funny one. Picking up on his traits, such as hating sneezing, and ramping them up to ten, Brodie Lee, as he was once again known, became an instant favourite in my household and among AEW fans in general. But it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Anyone who ever watched any of his interviews knew that he had a wicked sense of humour and they also knew just how much warmth lived inside Jon Huber.

He was a devoted family man, and I and all of Sports Obsessive send our condolences to them during this very difficult time. He proved that you could have a wife and have children and still make it in the business, without sacrificing those you adored.

And he was loved by so many. The outpouring of grief from his fellow wrestlers and his friends has been on par with nothing else I’ve ever known. It seems that everybody has a Brodie Lee story and they have shared them on social media in their hundreds. Each one has told of what a great man Jon Huber was and how much of a heart he had; whether it was from someone who met him just the once or it was a person who was a close ally, everybody is grief-stricken at this unexpected loss.

As am I and as every wrestling fan should be.

Jon Huber was taken from this life far, far too soon and even though I’m not a religious man (I’ve seen far too much in my lifetime to believe in a divine plan), I like to think that somewhere out there both Brodies, Bruiser and Lee, are standing across a ring from each other, waiting for the bell to ring, so they can finally lock up for the dream match he always wanted.

Rest in Peace, Big Rig, you’ll be greatly missed.

Written by Neil Gray

SPOBS very own Mouth Of The South (West).

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