AEW commentator Jim Ross has spoken on the impact of Brodie Lee’s untimely passing, his backstage reputation and his friendship with The Exalted One.
On the Grillin JR podcast, Jim Ross acknowledged the outpouring of love from Lee’s peers:
I didn’t have any clue, and it didn’t bother me to admit this, that Brodie Lee was as popular with his peers as he was. It’s absolutely phenomenal. It’s overwhelming, the outpouring of love for this guy who kind of stayed off the radar all those years. Then to find out he was universally loved by talents at every level.
Lee’s passing has become something of a seminal moment in modern professional wrestling, as wrestlers (and fans) of different companies united in their grief and love for the former Luke Harper.
The Wednesday Night Wars have become an increasingly tribal affair amongst the AEW/WWE fanbases and a moment of unity had been long overdue.
The Hall of Fame announcer later detailed his backstage experiences with Brodie Lee:
Here’s my biggest takeaway: he was so thankful to finally get this opportunity in AEW. To mold his own character and his own mindset. That’s the great thing about our company, Tony Khan listens to everyone’s ideas. If you’re a talent and you have an idea about how to get yourself over, then you go for it. [Brodie] was just so relieved that finally he was getting a chance to explore his own creative, steer his own ship.
He wasn’t bitter about the past, he was more looking forward to the future. I don’t think we ever had a conversation where he didn’t talk about his family in glowing terms. The most prominent family man I may have ever met in wrestling. He loved Bruiser Brody, that was his role model.
You can’t be this popular if you got a reputation for not being a good person. He was certainly a good person. I loved being around him, his positivity was great. He was 40 years old and he was starting over and excited about that. That match he had with Cody that dog collar match was one of the best we’ve ever had on the show. All good vibes with him, always smiling, funny guy, great sense of humor.
Good ol’ JR also noted how he would look to advise talents working through their grief, encouraging them to focus on the good times, celebrating Lee’s life in the same vein as the Dynamite tribute had done:
I’m going to work today and I’ll tell these young guys it doesn’t hurt to laugh. Laughter is a good medicine and he made you laugh didn’t he? Remember those times? Better than him not being able to kick out of his issues. Sad time for all of us, he impacted so many on our roster that kind of went off the radar. He’ll be very missed. I hope the folks that saw [AEW Dynamite] on Wednesday saw what we tried to do in his honor
With thanks to Wresling Inc. for the transcript