Conrad Thompson sat down with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on today’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast where they discussed the passing of Brodie Lee (Jon Huber). It was reported after Lee’s passing that he had been hospitalized since the end of October, and Thompson opened up on the podcast about knowing that information as well as his thoughts about Lee’s passing.
“I don’t know how tight I am anymore (with AEW). I used to promote events three or four times a year, and I would have to work really closely with all those guys, but this year, of course, being so different, it’s been a while,” Thompson noted. “I think I’ve only been to two shows this year. So it’s just it’s not the same, but I heard back in October that he was not feeling good and was going to be at the Mayo Clinic, and they were trying to figure it out. Then in November, I got the update that it wasn’t really looking much better, and they were still trying to figure it all out.
“And then I just sort of assumed that he was going to kick out, and when I got the heads-up that was not the case, I reached out to a friend to confirm. And they were like, ‘Yeah, we were we just found out.’ I don’t know man. It was weird on a lot of levels. I’ve lost a lot of people this year. Nine people that I knew really really well, I lost this year and that’s the first time I’ve had that many. None of them were COVID related and it turns out this one wasn’t either, and that’s a topic for another day I’m sure, but he’s 41. I’m 39. He just had way too much time, way too young.
“A couple of weeks ago, he was on TV entertaining us all, and now he’s gone. So it was really tough to process, especially since he was really one of our first podcast supporters. He was one of the first boys on the main roster, of the active roster, to follow the show and be DMing us and getting the swag and the merch and all that. Fast forward and now he’s having a whole new brand of success with AEW. I couldn’t have been happier for him. I would have never predicted that this would have been what we did in the last 10 days or so (of 2020).”
Thompson talked about what it was like to know that information and keep it a secret. He said that he was respectful to keep the privacy of Huber’s family, and he admitted that as an optimist, he never could have imagined Lee would pass away at such a young age.
“I have co-hosts with podcasts down there. As we’re catching up, once I found out, I would make it a point every week to say, ‘Hey man, how’s Brodie doing,’ but I understood very right up front, hey, they don’t want it out there,” Thompson said. “They’re playing this really close to the vest, and I get that. I totally respect their privacy and their decision, and it’s a shame that he’s gone.
“And I’m just very respectful of anyone’s wishes in that regard. Also too, maybe it’s just because I’m an optimist and maybe it’s just because he was so young and it didn’t feel like this was possible, I just assumed it’s not a life or death situation. He’ll pull out. He’ll pull through. Whatever this is, they’ll get to the bottom of it. They’ll fix it, and he’ll be fine. Didn’t happen.”
Thompson also discussed the tribute show AEW put on in honor of Lee, and he called it “the best tribute to a wrestler that’s ever been done.” He also said that the show made him “rethink his approach towards wrestling” noting that there are some things in wrestling that matter more than others.
“That’s exactly what it was. It’s the best tribute to a wrestler that’s ever been done,” Thompson stated. “Certainly there’s been shows that were positioned as tribute shows and certainly there’s been segments and 10 bell salutes and all that, but never did we get something like we got last night. That was was real. That was family. That was special and props to Tony Khan and Cody and the whole crew for putting that together because it was something else man. The moment where his son’s in there with the boots and bandana, it was powerful stuff.
“It makes me sort of rethink my approach towards wrestling, and I hope that a lot of other people take that as maybe an example of what this could be. I feel like sometimes we get so caught off on little stuff that really doesn’t matter. Seeing that little boy have so much fun, that’s what it’s about, and it brought a lot of perspective and clarity to me. So I appreciate everybody who participated in that.”
Thompson also gave his thoughts on Sting in AEW, who appeared alongside Darby Allin as part of AEW’s Brodie Lee Celebration of Life. He recalled his wife Megan comparing TNT Champion Darby Allin to Sting calling him AEW’s Sting, which ended up being true once Sting and Allin were paired together in AEW.
“He’s a great guy and super professional. I think the whole story was in 24 hours, they broke the all-time t-shirt record,” Thompson recalled. “So it worked, and I know that some people have been critical of the decision to bring him in because it’s like, ‘Oh, well, what can you do?’ What can you do? He can give you the rub, and he can sell some t-shirts. This is going to get some fans who might not be normally be watching and introduce some new characters and make some money selling some merchandise along the way.
“I was super excited to see Sting on the show. I’m glad he’s there. The pairing with Darby Allin makes all the sense in the world to me. I’ll never forget the first time I showed Megan AEW, and it may have been Fight For The Fallen, whenever he wrestled Cody, and they went to the time limit draw, that was the first time she saw Darby Allin in the ring. We had him before an event, I think, but it was the first time she saw his whole overall presentation, and Megan’s not a big wrestling fan, surprise. But she looked at me, and she said, ‘Oh, this is their Sting,’ and at the time, I thought, what a weird observation and takeaway that this is their Sting, but I didn’t say that.
“So I said, ‘How so,’ and she said, ‘Well, I mean, he’s young, and he paints his face. And he appeals to the kids. In the ’80s, it was all about neon colors. Now, it’s about tattoos and sort of the goth look for lack of a better word.’ I thought, okay, alright. She just nailed it that he is sort of AEW Sting, and I don’t know that I would have made that correlation had it not been for her. So, naturally, when Sting’s there, and they put him with Darby, I’m like, Megan knows more about wrestling than I do.”
Hausman joked about the fun fantasy booking brought out by fans in which Sting will one day reveal himself to be Allin’s father. Thompson admitted that he hopes that doesn’t happen and is just a BTE bit.
“No, I really hope that’s not the case, but it would be a hilarious spoof if they wanted to do something on Being The Elite with it one day maybe,” Thompson admitted. “I really hope that’s not the creative.”
For more content from Conrad Thompson please visit his new site AdFreeShows.com. Conrad’s 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.