On the latest episode of the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross talked about Brodie Lee and his impact on the AEW locker room and the wrestling business. Last AEW’s Wednesday night Dynamite was dedicated to the life of Brodie Lee that started with a 10 bell salute with the entire roster and his family on the stage. Ross talked about not knowing the impact Lee had on the business until now and talked about a conversation he had with Lee’s son Brodie Jr.
“I didn’t have any clue, and it didn’t bother me to admit this, that Brodie Lee was as popular with his peers as he was,” Ross said. “It’s absolutely phenomenal. It’s overwhelming, the outpouring of love for this guy who kind of stayed off the radar all those years. Then to find out he was universally loved by talents at every level.
“His little boy, Brodie, has become quite the beloved figure back in the locker room. Everybody loves the little fart, his dad’s eyes and his eyes are the same. He’s a cute little kid and I was with him Sunday at the [Jacksonville Jaguars] game. I made him a deal that when he wrestles for his first title, I will announce the match. I wanted to make him happy and he thought that was the coolest deal, so fairly his dad had said nice things about me and the little boy remembered it.”
Ross went on to mention what he will remember most about Brodie. He said Lee was never bitter about his departure from WWE and was just looking to make the most of his chance at revitalizing his career.
“Here’s my biggest takeaway: he was so thankful to finally get this opportunity in AEW,” Ross said. “To mold his own character and his own mindset. That’s the great thing about our company, Tony Khan listens to everyone’s ideas. If you’re a talent and you have an idea about how to get yourself over, then you go for it. [Brodie] was just so relieved that finally he was getting a chance to explore his own creative, steer his own ship.
“He wasn’t bitter about the past, he was more looking forward to the future. I don’t think we ever had a conversation where he didn’t talk about his family in glowing terms. The most prominent family man I may have ever met in wrestling. He loved Bruiser Brody, that was his role model.”
Throughout Dynamite, AEW superstars shared stories about Lee and his impact on their lives. Jon Moxley shared an emotional tribute to his long time friend and talked about wrestling being a community. Ross talked about how much love has been shown towards Lee and his family and said he’s going to make sure everyone laughs and smiles and recognizes the good things about Brodie Lee.
“You can’t be this popular if you got a reputation for not being a good person,” Ross said. “He was certainly a good person. I loved being around him, his positivity was great. He was 40 years old and he was starting over and excited about that. That match he had with Cody that dog collar match was one of the best we’ve ever had on the show. All good vibes with him, always smiling, funny guy, great sense of humor.
“I’m going to work today and I’ll tell these young guys it doesn’t hurt to laugh. Laughter is a good medicine and he made you laugh didn’t he? Remember those times? Better than him not being able to kick out of his issues. Sad time for all of us, he impacted so many on our roster that kind of went off the radar. He’ll be very missed. I hope the folks that saw [AEW Dynamite] on Wednesday saw what we tried to do in his honor.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.