Brodie Lee joined Chris Jericho on his Talk is Jericho Podcast this week. Lee discussed his debut as The Exalted One of The Dark Order and how it was supposed to originally take place in his hometown of Rochester New York.
“The thing was, Rochester teased it for a few extra days (after Coronavirus coverage picked up) of not cancelling, and AEW was kind of waiting to make a move,” said Lee. “So I went to bed still having hope, but knowing deep down that it wasn’t going to happen and I was honestly very heartbroken.”
Even though Lee could not debut in his hometown, the double reveal on AEW Dynamite as him being The Exalted One and Matt Hardy also making his debut was still surreal in his mind.
“It just didn’t feel right all day,” said Lee. “I was very stressed out about it, more than I thought I would be and not as excited or pumped up as I should have been. Then it came on super fast. They were like the tag match is in the ring, you guys are next, and I was like holy s**t, it’s time to go.”
Lee also revealed that Tony Khan gave him the option of holding off on the debut since the show was changed at the last minute to an empty arena show.
“Tony specifically texted me and said, ‘hey man, if you don’t want to do this we won’t do this’,” said Lee. “I responded back and said no man I am all in for Wednesday, just let me know what you need me to do. I had a way out if I wanted it, but I had been cooped up so long and I just wanted to do something. I need to be creative.”
Sitting at home was something Lee had become accustomed to with WWE as he had multiple stints of time where creative had nothing for him which ultimately led to his release. During his time at home, though it was revealed that WWE still tried to get Lee to renew his contract even though they had nothing for him creatively at that time.
“I was offered contracts all the way up to the day they called to release me,” said Lee. “Their (WWE’s) M.O. was to keep everyone at that time. They knew that I was gonna be gone and I was going to go to AEW as soon as I can.”
Jericho noted that WWE tried to keep Rhyno, before he left to join Impact Wrestling.
“Rhyno told me that they offered him money basically saying we are never going to use you, here is a raise just to stay home,” said Jericho.
Lee replied, “It was ungodly money, like I could never even imagine making that amount of money in wrestling literally just to stay at home.”
One other thing Lee experienced during his AEW debut was the fact that he had creative freedom that he forgot existed in professional wrestling after being with WWE for 8 years.
“They were like go do this promo,” said Lee. “I was like, well what do you want me to talk about? They were like whatever you want, this is your promo. Well then that brought on an entirely different level of stress because it was like do I have what it takes to do that anymore?”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.