After getting released from WWE last December, Lee said thanks to him keeping in touch with multiple people he receive several calls about joining up with AEW.
"I've reached out to many people during the year-long process [that AEW had been in existence]," Lee said. "Even Cody, since he left WWE, we stayed in contact. And I would always message these people, like Cody or The Bucks, whenever they had a great match and say 'Hey, f---ing awesome job.'
"And we discussed [AEW matches] in the WWE locker room as well. And Chris Jericho is someone I always stayed in contact with too. As soon as the release came down, I got several calls from several people [Laughs]. It was heartwarming and refreshing and a monkey off my back."
Once plans were decided that Lee would become The Dark Order's Exalted One, he was then told the vision of the group would be his own. Lee found it both surprising and refreshing how much input he would have with the direction of his character.
"It was laid out to me to be whatever I want it to be," Lee said in regards to where The Dark Order was headed. "It's my vision now to make it what I want. It kind of got thrown for a loop when the pandemic started because we had some other things going on that we were going to get to. We weren't able to, but we will get to those.
"We have a group mentality to conquer things, but, like I said, not everybody is around so I had to do it on my own. In terms of brainstorming, it's more like 'Hey, what do you think? This is what I think' and we bounce off each other and get to a conclusion pretty quickly. It's pretty refreshing, I'll be honest with you.
"I'll put it this way — when I did my debut promo vignette, I kind of asked some people, 'Well, what do you want said?' And they said, 'This is your promo, your vignette, you say what you wanna say. You've been a caged animal for so long, go ahead and say what you want to say.' So I'm like, 'Okay!' I put a little promo together and it came off very well.
"And the same thing with last week; that was pretty much the first time I've spoken on a live mic for over 10 seconds in the last eight years because I was never given that opportunity to do that in WWE. It was kind of the same process. 'Hey, go say what you want to say, just make sure you lay out the challenge to him and make sure he accepts it.'"