AEW Announces Special Event Honoring Late Brodie Lee In His Hometown
By Jason Hall
September 29, 2021
All Elite Wrestling president, CEO and general manager Tony Khan announced a special match honoring the late Jon Huber, better known to wrestling fans as [Mr.] Brodie Lee, during Wednesday's (September 29) live telecast of Dynamite in his hometown.
Khan, who had previously tweeted that the live Rochester, New York show would be dedicated to Huber's memory, revealed the late wrestler's former faction Dark Order would be teaming with Orange Cassidy under the leadership of Huber's son, Brodie Lee Jr. (aka -1) in a special 16-man tag-team match.
Additionally, Wednesday's event would feature a special match card including the TNT Championship, which Lee won in 2020 prior to his death.
In recognition of Mr. Brodie Lee, tonight Live on TNT on #AEWDynamite in Rochester I’ve asked the gentlemen of Dark Order to put differences aside & team with @orangecassidy under the leadership of Brodie Lee Jr. to take on their enemy Matt Hardy & the HFO in a 16 man tag match! https://t.co/H8ld4cr6E2— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) September 29, 2021
"In recognition of Mr. Brodie Lee, tonight Live on TNT on #AEWDynamite in Rochester I’ve asked the gentlemen of Dark Order to put differences aside & team with @orangecassidy under the leadership of Brodie Lee Jr. to take on their enemy Matt Hardy & the HFO in a 16 man tag match," Khan shared, quote-tweeting his initial reference to Dynamite being decidated in Huber's honor.
Additionally, Huber's widow, Amanda, and brother, Chris, announced the launch of the Jon Huber Legacy Foundation on Wednesday, which "will focus on providing support to people in creative fields who have not taken the next step in their career because of family obligations.
"Jon almost gave up on his dream of wrestling because of his family," Amanda Huber said in a news release shared by the foundation on Wednesday. "But he got the call to move up to WWE while we were in the hospital with our first child. I can't think of a better way of honoring his commitment to family and his career than to help other people who are facing the same dilemma."
The family & friends of Jon Huber announce the creation of the Jon Huber Legacy Foundation. The Foundation will focus on providing support to people in creative fields who have not taken the next step in their career due to family obligations.— Jon Huber Legacy Foundation (@JonHuberLegacy) September 29, 2021
Learn more - https://t.co/JyAcSjzMLQ pic.twitter.com/sfwjEAUuWE
AEW previously dedicated the December 30 episode of Dynamite to Huber, which was the company's first live telecast since his death on December 26.
The program opened with play-by-play man Jim Ross saying, "It's Wednesday, you know what that means," which Huber famously tweeted for each day of the week, prior to a 10-bell salute with Amanada and the couple's sons, Brodie and Nolan, joined on-stage with the entire AEW roster.
The tribute episode of Dynamite featured a full match card in which members of Lee's faction, "The Dark Order," faced and defeated villain wrestlers.
The show also included a run-in by Huber's former WWE tag-team partner Erick Rowan, now known as Erick Redbeard, who assisted Dark Order members John Silver and Alex Reynolds, as well as their tag-team partner for the night, "Hangman" Adam Page, from an outnumbered attack.
After the match, Redbeard returned to the ring and held up a sign that said, "Goodbye for now, my brother. 'See you down the road," while shedding tears.
The show ended with Amanda Huber and Brodie Jr. in the ring alongside AEW vice president Tony Khan and executive vice president Cody Rhodes, who Huber, 41, defeated to win the TNT Championship in August.
Brodie Jr., 8, placed his father's wrestling boots in the middle of the ring before Khan awarded him with the TNT Championship and dubbed him "champion for life." Earlier this week, AEW color commentator Tony Schiavone confirmed the company signed Brodie Jr., also known as "-1," to a legitimate contract on his What Happened When podcast.
WWE also honored Huber, who had previously wrestled for the company under the ring name "Luke Harper" for seven years, during its first episode of RAW after his death with a memorial graphic to start the show, as well as numerous friends and former colleagues making references to the late wrestler by using his moves and catchphrases.
AEW announced Huber's sudden passing in an official statement shared to its social media accounts on December 26.
"The All Elite Wrestling family is heartbroken. In an industry filled with good people, Jon Huber was exceptionally respected and beloved in every way -- a fierce and captivating talent, a thoughtful mentor and simply a very kind soul that starkly contradicted his persona as Mr. Brodie Lee," the statement read.
"Jon's love for his wife Amanda, and children Brodie and Nolan, was evident to all of us who were fortunate to spend time with him, and we send our love and support to his beutiul family, today and always. Jon's popularity among his peers and influence on the wrestling world was worldwide and transcended AEW, so this loss will be felt by many for a long time.
"We were privileged at AEW to call Jon Huber a brother, a friend and one of our own."
Huber's wife confirmed her husband "passed surrounded by loved ones" after battling a non-COVID-related "lung issue" in a heartbreaking tribute on her Instagram account.
"My heart is broken," Amanda Huber wrote. "The world saw him as the amazing @brodielee (fka Luke Harper) but he was my best friend, my husband, and the greatest father you would ever meet. No words can express the love I feel or how broken I am right now."
Huber debuted in AEW in March 2020 under the "Brodie Lee" ring name -- which he had previously used during the majority of his professional wrestling career prior to signing with WWE in 2012 -- and revealed himself as the "Exhalted One" and leader of the mysterious "Dark Order" faction. Huber went on to challenge AEW World Champion Jon Moxley at the Double of Nothing pay-per-view event in May, which ended his two-month long undefeated streak before later defeating Rhodes, then known simply as Cody, to win the AEW TNT Championship, becoming the second person to win the title in company history, which he held until November 7, 2020.
The Rochester native had previously wrestled for WWE from 2012-19, debuting as a member of the "Wyatt Family" faction in the NXT developmental brand in November 2012 and later as a member of WWE's main roster in July 2013. Huber was a former WWE Intercontinental champion, as well as a multiple time WWE SmackDown Tag Team champion and one-time NXT Tag Team champion during his tenure with the company.
"WWE is saddened to learn that Jon Huber, known to WWE fans as Luke Harper, passed away today at age 41," the company said in an official statement shared on its website. "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."
Many of Huber's former wrestling colleagues also shared personal tributes after news of his death, which can be found here.