AEW presented a special episode of Dynamite on December 30 that paid tribute to the life and career of Jon Huber (Brodie Lee in AEW).
Huber tragically passed away on December 26 after battling a non-COVID lung illness.
The AEW tribute show to Brodie Lee featured a member of the Dark Order in every match, wrestlers sharing their memories of Brodie, and Brodie Jr being named AEW TNT Champion For Life.
Speaking to Renee Paquette on Oral Sessions, AEW President Tony Khan detailed everything that went into the show.
"I thought it was the best effort the crew has put together. I'm so proud of everyone that worked on the show and everyone in the company, how they handled the situation because people knew for a long time that Jon was sick. Amanda went out and told people that Jon was not doing well and needed prayers and thoughts, but also needed (everyone) to not tell anybody. A lot of us were worried. She told the entire crew at once, but everyone kept the secret and supported them. We did everything we could and when it came time, all the wrestlers wanted to do something nice for him. I knew the tributes would be genuine and from the heart. One of the greatest things you can say about Brodie, immediately when the news came out that he passed away, the first thing everyone said was, 'this is a great person who loves his family so much and loved wrestling.' It wasn't an orchestrated or choreographed thing at all, that's just the Jon everyone knew," he said.
Khan continued, "It was the hardest work thing we've ever been through and the worst. When we did the show, I had no idea what to do a couple days before the show. Saturday, the day Brodie passed, was the day after Christmas. Talking to Amanda that night, it was a shock to everyone. I felt we had to do a tribute that would be right for him and I didn't know what to do. I didn't sleep Saturday night. The next day, the Jaguars had a game. I went to the game very restless and late in the game, I went over to Amanda and spent a long time talking to her and Brodie (Jr). I told her, 'I promise, this will be the greatest tribute ever. I'd be lying if I knew exactly what we're going to do.' I asked her how comfortable little Brodie was in being involved and she said very comfortable. I can't say enough about how much people did to support her in this time. I wanted to make it really special. I got up from a long nap and talked with Dave Meltzer. After I got off the phone with him, I put pencil to paper and that's when I came up with the idea to put Dark Order in all the matches, teaming with babyface in every match to make it clear we were painting them in a brighter light and the story was Dark Order would get a clean sweep. We knew the tributes would be from the heart and there would be great videos. I got the rights to the song in advance, hoping Brodie was going to kick out, but knowing the doctor said it was not a high percentage chance. Then I came up with the idea to have Brodie Jr in the story and there were other things people came up with along the way."
Along with being named AEW TNT Champion, Brodie Jr smashed a kendo stick across the head of MJF during a multi-man tag team match.
The show featured multiple tributes to Brodie including Lance Archer dressing as Brodie from his Independent and WWE run, Erick Rowan making an appearance, Dark Order tossing papers, and plenty more.
"I said if we could put on the greatest show ever, then his name would live forever. Right now on cagematch, it's the number one rated show of all-time. The most important part of all is that Amanda, Brodie, and someday Nolan will be able to see this. People came up that day with a lot of touches to make the show more special. [Shawn Spears] the day before asked if I wanted to use Erick [Rowan] and I said I would, that's a great idea, I would probably have him come out in the middle of the show with Dark Order and have Amanda and Brodie Jr at the end," said Khan.
AEW has taken care of Brodie Jr. in many ways since the passing of his father. Along with getting him involved in the action, Brodie Jr. has booked matches and been given a contract that is valid when he is of age.
When asked about Brodie Jr's contract, Khan said, "Megha [Parekh, AEW Chief Legal Officer] has been so supportive of him and Cody has spent a lot of time with him and people on the roster have really enjoyed him and he loves wrestling so much. We're just trying to give him great stuff to help him develop his wrestling mind and occupy his wrestling mind at a difficult time. His birthday is [January 17] and we're going to have him there live to celebrate. Amanda is very excited about it and I always want to make sure it's something she wants to do. If [Brodie Jr] can get his homework done in the next week, he will be there live on Wednesday."
Brodie Jr. seemingly got his homework done as AEW announced his birthday celebration for Wednesday's episode of Dynamite.
You can check out the full lineup for Wednesday's Dynamite by clicking here. Fightful will have live coverage of AEW Dynamite beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
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