After going public with his release request in April 2019, Brodie Lee (formerly Luke Harper in WWE), continued to sit on the sidelines while riding out his contract.
But after making his release request known, he did have healthy conversations with Triple H that led him to believe he would be back in the ring.
"Hunter called me and was like, 'what do you want to do?' 'I want to wrestle' 'Do you want to go to New Japan?' 'Yes, 100% Can we make that happen?' 'Yeah, I think I can make that happen.' Of course, never happened and nothing ever came of it. We talked to going to NXT and that never happened," Lee said on Talk is Jericho.
WWE doesn't have any known working relationship with NJPW, though Jushin "Thunder" Liger did work NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in 2015. Lee never appeared on NXT television after his release request and wasn't used on WWE television for months following the request.
"Fast forward to, I think, October and [Cesaro] goes, 'Can [Daniel] Bryan call you?' 'Sure, of course.' Bryan calls me and goes, 'How are you feeling right now?' 'I'm waiting for my contract to end. I've got six more months. They're just not going to do anything with me so I'm waiting for it to end.' 'Do you wanna come back and work?' 'With who?' 'Me.' 'Yeah.' Bryan is one of the people in the business that I respect the most, one of the top guys in the business. They built this storyline of who attacked Roman and it ended up being Rowan. In my mind I'm like, 'Even if this doesn't work out for me, maybe I can kick off something for Rowan before I leave.' We go through the angle, they change the finish on us, we're supposed to beat them, they change it to them up. I did two months, three tours, they flipped the finish and did the draft a week after the Fox debut and they were like, 'You guys are staying together, go on a tag run.' I was like, 'Okay, cool. This will be a fun way to end my WWE run.' Then, the next day, Rowan gets drafted to Raw without them telling us and it all came to an end again and they sent me home," recalled Lee.
Lee worked live events and appeared in the battle royal at WWE Crown Jewel 2019, but was off weekly television following Hell in a Cell. He was released by WWE in December before debuting with AEW in March.
Elsewhere during the interview, Lee detailed what led him to ask for his release from WWE. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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