While the world of pro wrestling has seen more than its fair share of shocking and saddening deaths over the years, it's a rare situation for an athlete to pass away while still at the top of their game. Unfortunately, former WWE superstar Brodie Lee – real name Jon Huber – died during the post-Christmas weekend as he was in the midst of quickly rising up the ladder (match) of success within All Elite Wrestling. It's a huge loss for the promotion, for wrestling as a whole, and especially for Huber's loving family.
Brodie Lee's death was reported by his wife Amanda Huber in the late hours on Saturday, December 26. In her Instagram post, she shared that he died due to some kind of a lung issue that was not related to COVID-19, and that it was apparently a "hard fought" bout for the fan-favorite wrestler. You can check out her heartfelt message below, which was one of many that celebrated Lee for being a family man and a great human being as much as a stellar athlete.
All Elite Wrestling, where Brodie Lee had been an attention-magnet since he first signed on back in March 2020, released an official statement on the superstar's death, which can be read below.
The All Elite Wrestling family is heartbroken. In an industry filled with good people, Jon Huber was exceptionally respected and beloved in every way – a fierce and captivating talent, a thoughtful mentor and simply a very kind soul that starkly contradicted his persona as Mr. Brodie Lee.
Jon's love for his wife Amanda, and children Brodie and Nolan, was evident to all of us who were fortunate to spend time with him, and we send our love and support to his beautiful family, today and always. Jon's popularity among his peers and influence on the wrestling world was worldwide and transcended AEW, so this loss will be felt by many for a long time.
We were privileged at AEW to call Jon Huber a brother, a friend, and one of our own.
Jon Huber first took on the Brodie Lee persona as an independent wrestler in 2003, deriving his ring name from Jason Lee's Brodie Bruce in Kevin Smith's Mallrats. After years of making his name in promotions such as Chikara, Squared Circle Wrestling, Ring of Honor, Jersey All Pro Wrestling and more, he eventually signed on with the WWE in 2012 under the name Luke Harper, which he fought as until he was released from the WWE in 2019. (That whole situation is a story for a different time, however.) The WWE's tribute on social focused a bit more on brevity, but that doesn't make the words any less true.
And here's how Stephanie McMahon reacted to the news on Twitter:
I’m so deeply sorry for the loss of Jon Huber. We bonded over the love of our children. He was a true family man. #RIPBrodieLee
Understandably, Brodie Lee also got a ton of love from his fellow AEW wrestlers after his explosive debut as "The Exalted One" at the head of the stable of heels known as The Dark Order. One of his team members, Stu Grayson, shared the following tribute:
Another Dark Order member, John Silver, shared the following tweet, with one of his images featuring a written tribute to his former teammate.
Brodie Lee got some love from future Hall of Famer Dustin Rhodes (Goldust), whose brother Cody Rhodes also shared a brief message.
Understandably, given Brodie Lee's tenacity inside and outside of the ring, and the long road he took to reach international stardom, it wasn't just current-day wrestlers sharing tributes for the late superstar. Retired big-timers like Ricky Morton shared love, and there's probably no better way to close out an article as sad as this than with a post from the legendary Iron Sheik.
We here at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to Jon Huber's family and friends during this sad time. It's time for a ten-bell salute.