In his first promo as WWE Champion on WWE Raw, Big E paid tribute to his friend Brodie Lee (Jon Huber).
Big E said in his promo, “I’m grateful for all of you below the heavens and one incredible friend above," looking up in reference to Brodie. The crowd immediately began chanting "Brodie" as Big E was overwhelmed with emotion.
Speaking to Renee Paquette on Oral Sessions, Big E recalled the moment and wanting to honor his friend in the promo.
"People chanting his name, I had the moment where I looked at Woods, and just kind of, I'm getting chills thinking about it and I had chills then, it was one of those lines where I didn't need anyone to react because sometimes you throw out a line and it's kind of for you and for people at home and I didn't know people would get it, but man, it was so heartwarming and almost overwhelming to hear those chants and to know that people knew who I was talking about and that his memory is still alive. I also love, it's a small thing, but I never called him Luke, maybe in promos, but it was always Brodie. You're not talking about this pro wrestling who died, when you're chanting 'Brodie,' that's my friend, that's my brother. I appreciated that so much. It meant a lot. I just wanted to continue to keep his memory alive that we continue to remember him. What helps, when I'm sad or down about him, he was just so damn funny. I have so many memories and pictures and videos, there's a lot to smile about with him and his beautiful and incredible family. Amanda and those two crazy boys are still here and still thriving. For me, I know Brodie was one of the first people to come up to Kofi and congratulate him when he won the title. I know he would have done the same for me. There are these footprints, all throughout my life, where Brodie's big ass feet are just markers of him," he said.
Big E referenced working out at the same gym as Brodie and thinking of him when he thinks of Notre Dame football and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He continued by saying, "How incredible of a human being he was and so giving. He had this crass layer of pretending to be a dick, but deep down he had such a massive heart and was such an incredible dude. In that moment, I know he would have been there for me, he would have had an incredible word for me and would have given me a big hug. I miss him all the time. One of the things that helps me is seeing the outpouring of love. Nine months after his passing, so many people speak so highly of him, so many people still love him and wear his shirts. It's cool to know that your friend wasn't just good to you, that they had this incredible impact on so many people's lives. It felt like the very least that I could and should do, just to mention him."
Brodie Lee tragically passed away on December 26, 2020.
Tony Khan has dedicated the September 29 episode, which will emanate from Lee's hometown of Rochester, to the memory of Brodie.
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