This week on “What Happened When,” Tony Schiavone and Conrad Thompson covered the 12/23/99 episode of WCW Thunder. Schiavone also had a lot to say about the tragic passing of AEW/former WWE star Brodie Lee. Schiavone talked about what AEW did for Lee’s family and said that Brodie Jr. signed a contract with AEW a couple of weeks ago when he was put over by Kenny Omega in a dark segment.
Schiavone said the following about Brodie Lee: “First of all, he became with us one of our real leaders in the back. He didn’t lead by being noisy or talking. He led by example. People say this when people pass away that he was such a good guy, but for Bordie, it’s the truth. He and I really developed a very close bond when he won the AEW TV Championship and I was in the ring interviewing him. He did the classic, big guy, bend down to my microphone. When the show was over and he asked how the interview was, I said you made a mistake. I said you are so big and tall, never bend down to the microphone. I will put the microphone up to your mouth. Stand up tall. Stand up straight. Stand up strong. He said that’s great, thank you for that. So from that moment on, we didn’t see each other much longer after that, but from that moment on, he called me his mentor. The only thing I mentored him on was the microphone because for a guy his size, he can work. He can do a lot of stuff. Unfortunately, the AEW Uncensored podcast that we do, the one we did with Brodie, we did it the day before he got sick. Then we heard he had been airlifted to the Mayo Clinic and Amanda, his wife, came and met with the entire group and told us how bad a shape he was in and please don’t say anything to anybody.
I think everybody did a great job keeping it close to the vest as the old cliche goes. We all knew it didn’t look good but we were all hoping he would kick out. The day that he passed away, we received an email that we were going to have a company wide zoom call in 30 minutes and I knew that if we were going to have a zoom call that quickly, something was bad. So, they told us about that. I got to know his wife Amanda, his son Brodie has been backstage and we keep him backstage with us now. We take care of him. I do need to say this and I’m going to write something about this and post it somewhere. I think it would be worth the read because I’m really going to pour my heart out about this. Not only about Brodie and his family, but about our company and about Tony Khan, about how good they are and how much they have taken care of the family and how much they have just made Brodie’s family a part of ours. They did that because they care about people but they also do that because of what type of person Brodie was. He was big. He was burly. He was a hell of a character. They did some great stuff with The Exalted One. Not only did he leave us too soon, he left us too soon as far as only getting to know him for just a short period of time. I know the people in the WWE knew him as Luke Harper. I know he had a really good run there. They knew him a lot better than we did because of the time they had with him, but in the short period of time we had him, we got to know him really well. It’s a tragic story. It’s a heartbreaking story because it’s such a good person and such a good dad.”
Schiavone continued, “Knowing that Brodie was very sick and knowing it was holiday time, and I guess knowing that for him to kick out, it was going to be, I don’t want to say a miracle, but it was going to be very difficult to kick out. They had brought little Brodie to TV and wrestling is his life. He is 8 years old. He really is a great kid. They made him a member of The Dark Order. They put a mask on him. He came out with a kendo stick. He beat up a lot of people. This of course was at a TV taping with nobody in the audience. They signed him to a contract. They legitimately signed him to a contract and when he gets of age, he will be with AEW. They have taken care of him and he follows guys around all the time in the back and he becomes a part of us. Amanda is back there. When we do TV tapings now, we will have a live show or a taped show, Dynamite, and then we will have sometimes 13 dark matches. We are there until 2 am sometimes. I was sitting back there with Amanda when Dark was going on and she said, ‘I’m dead tired. I need to get back and get some sleep but he (Brodie Jr) just loves this so much, I’m going to wait.’ So, she waits until it is all over and he gets involved with the guys and sits in the gorilla position. He sometimes comes out with a mask on and does some crazy things. It just shows you how the roster loved Brodie and how we are family… When Brodie was hired, we all said, man that’s a great hire because we knew he could work. Then when we got to know him, we thought, not only is this a great hire talent-wise, but he is a great hire because he is a great person backstage. It was a tough day when we got the news and it still is.”