Chris Jericho brought on his long-time friend and AEW roster member Luther on Talk Is Jericho where the two shared stories from their early days in Calgary. They also talked about Luther’s signing with AEW that happened on the same day that the NBA cancelled the rest of the season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 and the rest of the world was affected by COVID-19.
“I signed the contract,” Luther stated. “It’s ironic that ‘The Original Death Dealer’ signs the contract right when the plague starts. It was crazy, but I wouldn’t expect anything less in everything that I’ve done in my life.”
Jericho explained that AEW was looking for a leader for The Dark Order and revealed that current Impact Wrestling talent James Mitchell was a name thrown in. However, Jericho pitched Luther into consideration and mentions that he and Impact co-executive vice president Don Callis had tried to get Luther on Impact, but he suffered a triceps injury before his potential debut.
“So The Dark Order was looking for a leader. They were thinking about using a couple different guys,” Jericho recalled. “I know Jim Mitchell was one of the guys mentioned. Our whole concept at AEW is trying to create new talent and new stars, and I said if you’re looking for a guy that can play a weird character because the word about you is your chameleon, you can play anything, I’ve got the guy.
“I never started at AEW thinking I’m gonna get my friends in here, but to me it’s like this is the perfect guy. Don and I had talked about you doing something for Impact for a while, but then you hurt your triceps. Don runs that company, and listen, I don’t run anything in AEW, but I’m like if you’re looking for a guy, I have this guy. Then they said, OK, we’ll send in some tapes, videos or whatever.”
Luther said he sent in three audition tapes to AEW where he would take the concept in his own image. He said he mixed his Dr. Luther character with his Father Dante character that he had used on The Wrestling Retribution Project.
“I recorded a bunch,” Luther said. “I remember I sent them one, and you said they liked it. I sent in another. They liked it. So I sent three audition tapes in. You sort of describe the group as best as you can. I was just thinking about what my angle would be on that.
“I watched and listened to a few different cult things online. I don’t like to copy one person. I like to pick different things from different people and make it my own. One of the audition tapes I did more of a Father Dante just yelling like preaching wise. You’re like, ‘let’s humble it down a little bit.’ Jake The Snake, that’s kind of a good role model in his delivery which is always spot on.”
Jericho said that he took one of the videos that Luther had produced and showed it to Tony Khan and Cody. However, Luther was brought on for Brandi Rhodes’ Nightmare Collective. Jericho reveals that Marty Scurll was considered for the leader of The Dark Order as was Matt Hardy before Brodie Lee was ultimately shown to be The Exalted One.
“The Dark Order was kind of Nick and Matt’s thing, and I was thinking more, well, let me just show it to Tony and Cody,” Jericho explained. “Tony’s the boss, right? Cody’s like, ‘I like his delivery. He’s got this cadence of Jake Roberts.’ Then they said, well, let’s bring him in for basically a screen test. This was before Christmas.
“I think what Cody was thinking was Brandi was gonna do the Nightmare Collective. I think the original plan was to have Marty Scurll as leader of The Dark Order. Then they wanted Matt Hardy, which then, of course, morphed into Luke Harper (Brodie Lee). So I think you were out of the equation because they had other guys in mind.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.