"The Exalted One" and former AEW TNT Champion Brodie Lee joined Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone on the AEW Unrestricted podcast to celebrate AEW's one-year anniversary. At the time, Lee was still TNT Champion, and he discussed the original plans for him and the TNT Title, as well as his involvement in the creative process.
"I believe that the original plan was for me to not become TNT Champion," Lee revealed. "I'm kind of not privy to the ins and outs, the nuts and bolts of it all, probably because I don't want to be. Because if I get a thought in my head, I become quickly married to it, and then if something changes, I go insane. So, I try not to know too much about what's supposed to happen and kind of just live in the moment.
"I learned my lessons the hard way over many, many years. So, I try to stay pretty level-headed, and not get too much information, and take things on as they are presented to me, and the match itself was presented to me a week or two before it even happened. So, I just kind of wanted to train, look the part, and then do whatever was asked of me."
Lee became TNT Champion on the Aug. 22 episode of Dynamite after having made his debut as "The Exalted One" and leader of Dark Order months prior. Lee has opened up on The Wrestling Inc. Daily about picking up the pieces of Dark Order, but on AEW Unrestricted, he admitted that he wanted to be part of AEW in any capacity.
"I was excited to be a part of AEW in literally any capacity after leaving WWE," Lee admitted. "I had been watching it. I've watched since one year ago today. I was always at home on my couch, watching, excited. I had so many friends, so many people that had, in the same way, bet on themselves, and now, they have national wrestling company on a cable television network that is uber successful.
"So, just to be a part of it in any capacity was going to be awesome to me. Then to be asked to be a leader of this giant group with tons of talent already in it, and then to add talent to the group in the form 5, 10, and Anna Jay? I mean, now I'm slotted at the top and I have a crew behind me that's going to help me do the work. There was no doubt about it in my mind."
Lee's AEW debut was unexpected and a surprise for many, and Edwards noted that he was meant to debut at the Rochester Dynamite show. Edwards asked Lee if he was glad that his debut was largely a secret to many.
"Actually, yes. People knew kind of in a roundabout way, at least in the town of Rochester, that it was probably going to happen that way. But I think nationally, I don't think Rochester was recognized as a place that is labeled on me as a hometown," Lee said. "In WWE, I was never announced from Rochester.
"I wasn't allowed to be, so I don't think people associated it with me. But I think there was a scuttlebutt in Rochester and people were ready for it, and of course, [it was] serendipitous to a point. And I thought it was going to be probably the highlight of my career and was too good to be true, and of course, it was."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.