Brodie Lee made his AEW debut on the March 18 episode of AEW Dynamite when it was revealed that he was the Exalted One. The debut was supposed to happen in Rochester, NY, which is Lee's hometown. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the March 18 AEW Dynamite was moved to a closed Daily's Place in Jacksonville, FL with no live audience.
Lee was released by WWE on December 8, 2019, allowing the potential Rochester debut to take place following his no-compete clause expiring.
Speaking on Talk Is Jericho, Lee discussed his WWE release and how it should have set-up the hometown debut.
"WWE released me December 8, with the 90-day clause. My contract would have been up March 25. My 90 days would have been up March 8. When I got the letter in the mail, they moved the [90 days] to whatever the next Wednesday was. It was like a 94-day period. I think it was one little extra [jab] to me. But it gave me 9 days extra freedom, which made Rochester possible. If they didn't release me, my contract would have been up March 25, I wouldn't have been able to do Rochester. So, thank you, WWE. But then, of course, it didn't work out," he said.
When discussing his AEW debut, Lee revealed that Tony Khan was willing to delay things, but Lee didn't want to put it off any longer.
"It didn't feel right all day," he recalled. "I was very stressed out, more than I thought I would be, and not as excited or pumped up as I should have been. Then it came on super fast. When it got keyed up, that's when I got pumped up. Doing the promo, with the way it came out, I felt good about everything. I didn't see it until I was standing in the ring behind Christopher Daniels. It just didn't feel right. But when it was done, it did feel right. Tony texted me and said, 'If you don't want to do this, we don't have to do this.' I wrote back, 'I'm all in, whatever you need me to do.' I had a way out if I wanted it. But I've been cooped up for so long, I wanted to get out, be creative, and fly a little bit. If I said, 'I don't want to do this' when does it become okay to do again? It could be months. I didn't want to be locked up that much longer."
One week after it was revealed that he was The Exalted One, Lee wrestled his first match in AEW, easily dispatching of QT Marshall.
Elsewhere during the interview, Lee detailed his final months in WWE and when he knew he was ready to leave. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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