On December 26th the wrestling world lost a towering figure.
Best known for his time in WWE as Luke Harper, a member of the Wyatt Family, multiple-time Tag-Team Champion, and a former Intercontinental Champion. He was on the current AEW roster as Mr. Brodie Lee the Exalted One, leader of the Dark Order, and former TNT Champion Jon Huber passed away after a hard-fought battle with a non-Covid related lung issue.
Beginning his career as a backyard wrestler in 2003, he continued to move onward and upward through the Philly based Chikara wrestling in 2007, into Squared Circle Wrestling and through the independent circuit of ROH, Evolve, Dragon Gate USA, then hitting Jersey All Pro Wrestling in 2009 before landing in the WWE as Luke Harper the “First Son” of the Wyatt Family.
With Bray Wyatt leading the way and the “Second Son” Erick Rowan as his partner, Harper and the Wyatt Family ran havoc over the WWE, including multiple Tag-Team Championships on both RAW and Smackdown.
In 2014, Bray Wyatt released Harper from the Wyatt Family, where he went on to win the Intercontinental Championship from Dolph Ziggler. After a short stint as the IC Champ, and dropping the title back to Ziggler, Harper returned to the Wyatt Family to battle against the likes of Brock Lesner, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns.
On the July 4th episode of Smackdown, Harper failed to win an Independence Day Battle Royal to determine the number one contender for the United States Championship, Harper then disappeared from WWE TV for several months.
In October 2017, Harper once again teamed with Erick Rowan, the duo was dubbed The Bludgeon Brothers, and at WrestleMania 34 the pair won the Smackdown Tag-Team Titles, it was their big moment on the “Biggest Stage of them All”!
After a 135 day run as SD Tag Champs, The Bludgeon Brothers lost the titles to the New Day. With Rowan suffering a bicep injury, Harper bounced around for several months, his final TV appearance was Crown Jewel in Oct. of 2019, and was released from WWE in Dec. of the same year.
In March 2020 on AEW Dynamite Huber made his surprising debut as Mr. Brodie Lee in an AEW ring, revealing himself as “The Exalted One”, the leader of The Dark Order, and quickly resuming his towering presence in professional wrestling.
Challenging Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship at the Double or Nothing PPV, Lee was defeated, ending his undefeated streak, but still showing him as a true powerhouse in AEW. Over the next few months, Lee was hard at work recruiting new members to The Dark Order and really cutting a fast path in AEW!
On August 22nd, Dynamite Lee quickly defeated Cody to win his first championship in the TNT Championship. 46 days later Lee lost the title to Cody in a brutal dog collar match in what would be his final match.
He was off TV, sidelined by an undisclosed injury. Although with his time away, The Dark Order continued to refer to Mr. Brodie Lee’s return. I had thoughts he would return and continue to run rough shot through AEW!
I was truly saddened by the news of his passing. I enjoyed him as a performer and a very athletic big man inside the ring and pretty good on the mic cutting demos. I feel WWE really underused him for his size, making him more of a jobber for much of his stint there. I was excited to see him in AEW, I like the direction they were going with him, and I felt the sky was the limit for him in the organization.
I have read many quotes about him from the other wrestlers, as he was so well-liked and respected across every organization he was in, for his presence in the ring and the locker room.
Join me in lifting his family, friends, fans, and co-workers in our thoughts and our hearts as we celebrate Jon Huber.
*Stats from WWE.com and Wikipedia