As part of special tribute episode for Brodie Lee (Jon Huber), Chris Jericho had on many of Lee’s friends and acquaintances on Talk Is Jericho to talk about their memories with Lee. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson went on, and Uno talked about what it was like to reunite with their friend and be part of a faction with him.
“It was bittersweet in a sense,” Uno described. “We were really happy to have Jon come in because we’ve know Jon since 2007. We were friends in the Chikara and CZW days. Before his WWE stint, we were best friends, and a lot of times, what happens in wrestling, once you go to a different company, you don’t physically see each other.
“You’re not no longer friends, but you lose touch. With Jon, we hadn’t seen him in maybe six years, but the second we saw him, it felt like we had been all together. So when he came into AEW, and he was going to be The Exalted One, we were actually, genuinely excited because it was someone that we cared for dearly and personally who was going to be in a role that would benefit us.
“I knew that if he liked us personally, and we liked him personally, we were in a much better space. Unfortunately, we got excited about the principal of him coming in, and then the week we actually debuted him, we had to go back to Canada. We were never allowed to come back until end of June… Getting to become friends with Jon again and having Jon back in our life was like having a big brother come back into the family after so long. I don’t want to make this worse than it is, but I feel like half of my time with him had been robbed because we could not have been with him for the first three months.”
Uno also discussed the impact of Lee becoming “The Exalted One”. He talked about how Lee was motivated to make everyone in Dark Order better.
“He came in as a much bigger name than us, and so it brought us up a level, but it also brought us a level of cohesiveness because [John] Silver and [Alex] Reynolds were essentially feeders for us without having much personas,” Uno said. “Five and Ten were brought in without much persona, but by being with Jon and Jon being so generous and wanting people to do well, he made all of us extenuate our personalities. Had it not been for Jon leading us for half of this year, I don’t know if we would have been The Dark Order we are today.”
Lee brought legitmacy to The Dark Order, but it was BTE that helped everyone in the group get noticed and become fan favorites. Grayson talked about the impact of BTE especially during a time when many members of Dark Order were not being featured on Dynamite.
“We feel like BTE is the reason we were still in people’s minds,” Grayson admitted. “Not just for the fans but for AEW because in terms of in-ring matches, Dark Order was not very present on Dynamite. Starting in mid-July, there wasn’t any real Dark Order match on the show other than Brodie, who was TNT Champion, but us showing personality and telling our story on BTE kind of kept us afloat with the company I feel.
“It made people realize, ‘Okay, this is kind of what’s going on with them when they’re not in the ring,’ and since we were not in the ring, we needed to tell a story. I feel like BTE showed a lot of people, we give each other numbers, but we were not just random numbers. Everyone had a reason to be [in Dark Order], and Jon was the best example of it.
“We saw, ‘Hey, he has a personality. He’s not just a dude.’ Everyone can talk. Everyone can have fun. Everyone has comedic timing. Everyone has a purpose, and without BTE, I feel like we would have not reached a lot of people because they would’ve just thought of us as some minions or whatever.”
Many people have had ideas on how The Dark Order moves forward from here. Uno noted that he and Grayson have seen many changes with the group having been there since the beginning, but and he noted that there are many ideas to implement. However, he said the main focus is for everyone in The Dark Order to get better to honor Lee’s legacy.
“I don’t think it’s something impossible. Especially with myself and Stu since we were Dark Order since day one, we’ve been through many phases of Dark Order, Uno noted. “We had to adjust even when storylines were changing or things not working. Lockdowns, border crossings, people getting put in the group while not knowing who they were so I think we’ve always been good at adjusting. You have to right? You have to show that you’re multifaceted.
“This year has given us confidence in the sense of I think we can pull through this. What does Dark Order do from here? Genuinely, I wish I could tell you. I wish I knew. Today, right now, I don’t even want to think about what’s coming up. I’m mostly thinking about Jon. I think the most obvious thing is we need to stay as a group in his honor. This is kind of wild because our cult group thing was, ‘Hey, you join this group, we’ll make you better.’ But now it feels like we have to become better wrestlers, better people for Jon. We now encapsulate his legacy.
“His name is going to be attached to us forever, and anything from now on that is bad is not a bad thing just for us but also a bad thing to his legacy. So I feel like we have to produce the best content we have. The cult thing may not be the best approach next. Maybe we’re just a family. There’s a lot of ways we can go about this, but I think everything is going to be under a magnifying glass because everything we do now has to be as good as what Jon was.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.