A look back at this past Wednesday's incredible tribute show for Jon Huber aka Brodie Lee!
The December thirtieth edition of AEW Dynamite was an honorable tribute to John Huber (Mr. Brodie Lee) and his family. The show is being acclaimed as the best wrestling show of the year by some, including myself, and I wish I had been able to write up a review of the entire show as I watched, but there was simply too many tears to fight through to have written a credible review. However, I will do my best to highlight the meaningful moments and describe every tender, heartfelt instance.
Before moving forward, it should be noted that a lot of controversies has been stirred up due to the differences between WWE and AEW's handling of Huber's death. Though even wrestlers such as Brian Myers (FKA Curt Hawkins) voiced their anger with WWE's small tribute, the matter's point and heart had nothing to do with which company did it better but with the honoring of the memory. In those regards, the tribute show didn't feel like an AEW show. Sure it was on TNT, and all the regular people were there, and a minimum amount of storylines played out. Still, it felt like everything in the wrestling world was paused to respectfully honor a fallen brother and left up the family left behind.
The event started with a traditional toll of ten bells with everyone on the stage surrounding Huber's wife Amanda and two son's Nolan, who adorably held his hands to his ears as the bells rang wearing a replica outfit of one of Mr. Brodie Lee's attires, while Brodie -1 with a kendo stick in hand wore a Black Order mask and a suit reminiscent to the ones his father's character would. Throughout the night, video testimonials were played, which showed roster members sharing their stories and thoughts about Brodie Lee. Jon Moxley, Darby Allin, Eddie Kingston, and Chris Jericho all gave testimonials, but it was referee Bryce Remsburg who gave the most heartfelt testimony as he broke down and proclaimed Huber should be on the Mount Rushmore of wrestling dad's. Remsburg delivered another touching moment later on as Cody Rhodes had to console him before the main event. The night was filled with more tear-jerking moments throughout, but it did not take away from the in-ring action. In fact, it only made it better.
With -1 alongside number five watching ringside, every match was won by a member of the Dark Order in honor of the Exalted One. In the first match Colt Cabana, who to up to this point had not fully embraced being a Dark Order member, won alongside Nick & Matt against a game Hardy Party. Next, with a 99 on her cheek, Anna Jay picked up a win against Britt Baker & Penelope Ford for her team comprised of her friend Tay Conti. The formidable unlikely trio of Hangman and Reynolds 7 Silver, who wore duplicate Mr.Brodie Lee tights, also picked up a win beating MJF and Proud&Powerful. This match though still emotional due to Silver's emotion, played as a moment of comic relief. MJF, in his natural heel fashion, continuously bad-mouthed -1, going as far as to flip the little man off only to be later hit by Brodie jr with his kendo stick. However, the emotion soon picked back up in this match as Wardlow got involved only to be foiled by Eric Redbeard(FKA Rowan). Huber's longtime tag partner held up a sign saying, "Goodbye, for now, my Brother, "see you down the road." After that, Butcher&Blade with Kingston was beaten by Evil Uno & Stu Grayson with a Luke Harper inspired cosplay Lance Archer. Last but certainly not least was Brodie jr's dream match with his favorites Cody, Orange, and Ten facing Hobbs, Starks, and Cage of Team Taz, with Ten picking up his first main event win in AEW. After the match, Team Taz attacked the winners, to which Allin and Sting came down together from the crowd making it seem as if they are now aligned.
As if that wouldn't have been a satisfying end to the show Cody and Tony Khan had more emotional and fulfilling intentions for the ending. With his established favored member of Dark Order Ten and his mother, -1 came to the ring with his fathers' boots to lay them to rest in the center of the ring. Tony Khan then presented the young boy with the TNT title declaring him the TNT champion for life. It was stated on the AEW post-show that a new TNT title will be created so Brodies family can keep the now-retired one. There was still one last thing to present in the Mr. Brodie Lee Celebration of Life show as a video tribute was played showing moments of Huber's life, including pictures of him and his wife and sons as well as pictures with his peers panning throughout his wrestling career.
The video was the perfect way to end the program as it truly showcased the pausing of friction amongst the wrestling world to honor a man who is gone too soon. Seeing all the good reactions to the show on social media is the most heartwarming thing of the whole event. Regardless of status, the community of wrestling watched and mourned together. Superstars on the WWE roster even praised the show thanking the company for the loving celebration of the loving big rig. I hope when moments like these occur, the politics can be put aside for at least one night as they were for this show.