WWE veteran referee Jimmy Korderas made his return to The Wrestling Inc. Daily today where he and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman discussed AEW’s Brodie Lee Celebration of Life. Korderas began by giving his thoughts on Lee’s passing.
“I have met him. I don’t want to pretend that I was really good friends with him like a lot of the boys were, but my limited interactions were always positive,” Korderas said. “He was always upbeat. He was always friendly and very respectful too, which was cool on my end, getting that from one of the boys.
“I didn’t have the pleasure to work with [him]. You don’t hear very often where someone is so universally loved like Brodie was, and it is really sad. Obviously, the industry lost someone special, but I think more about the family. I’m a family guy, and yes, the wrestling community is your extended family, but it’s tough. And I’m thinking of them right now.”
On the show itself, Korderas called it very emotional. He recalled a quote that said, “We don’t sell motion in this business, we sell emotion,” while also remembering the RAW after Owen Hart’s passing.
“It was very emotional,” Korderas noted. “I hate to put it this way, and I hate to put it in a business sense. I forget who the veteran was. I want to say it was either the late Danny Hodge or maybe even Rip Rogers. A quote way back when was, ‘We don’t sell motion in this business. We sell emotion,’ and last night for me, that’s what it was. It was emotion. I saw and felt from the boys, from everybody how much they felt about Brodie.
“I sensed that it was genuine. You can complain about this company did this and this company did that. I thought it was very nice. It was nice to take a break from your regular storylines and just pay tribute to someone. It was a little different. It’s nice. It almost reminded me of the RAW after the passing of Owen where everything was just put to the side for one night and let’s just remember the man.”
Hausman noted that casual fans seemed to have an interest in the show as well. Korderas gave his thoughts on how the tribute show could have played to that casual fanbase.
“That’s an interesting thought because obviously, to the hardcore fan, it hit home,” Korderas stated. “That’s the question, and that’s the challenge now industry-wide for AEW, WWE, for everybody is to try and bring back that casual fan that has been lost. So who knows? Maybe that helped a little bit. Maybe that said, ‘Hey, these people have something.'”
Lee was the leader of Dark Order, and throughout the show, The Dark Order were presented in a more positive light than before. Korderas discussed whether Dark Order should remain heels going forward.
“I hate to say this, but yeah, you can make them heels,” Korderas said. “I don’t want them to to put down the the legacy of Brodie, but at the same time, use that to fuel them into this nasty group and say, ‘Listen, our leader is gone’, just tie it in somehow, but it’s going to be hard to do tastefully, if that makes sense.”
One of the main threads throughout the show was Lee’s son, Brodie Lee Jr., who was named TNT Champion for life at the end of the night. Korderas talked about how emotional the Lee Jr. moments was for him.
“Very emotional, It touched me that they went through those lengths to do that for his son and for his family, and again, the wrestling community is a family to some extent, but your actual family being brought in as well, I wish I could put into words,” Korderas admitted. “It got me, really got me.”
Prior to the show, Lee Jr. signed a contract with AEW stating that he would join the roster once he becomes of age. Korderas threw in some ideas that could be implemented for Lee Jr. a decade from now.
“And if they are, does he come back and take it over?” Korderas pointed out. “‘You guys are ruining my father’s legacy or something along those lines. I don’t know. I’m just fantasy booking a decade ahead.”
One of other big moments of the show was Erick Redbeard, f.k.a. Erick Rowan, making his AEW debut. Korderas discussed whether or not there is a place for Redbeard in AEW or not.
“I’m sure there is a place for him in AEW,” Korderas stated. “Obviously, right now, it’s challenging because they don’t have the advantage of doing live events. They have one show currently. I know they have the YouTube show as well but just one national television show. If they can get that second show up and running on TV, I think it would benefit a lot of talents, not just Erick Rowan, but here’s a big guy, obviously close to Brodie as well. There’s a place for him there. Again, more storylines that you can tie in 10 years down the road.”
You can follow Jimmy on Twitter @JimmyKorderas. Korderas’ full interview aired as part of today’s episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.