The world of professional wrestling is in mourning today following the tragic passing of Jonathan Huber. Known as both Brodie Lee in AEW and Luke Harper in WWE, Huber was just 41 years old.
The outpouring of grief from representatives of both promotions has been vast, with many taking to social media to pay tribute to their fallen colleague.
Huber most recently performed under his Brodie Lee persona in AEW as ‘The Exalted One’ of The Dark Order. The promotion itself issued a statement following the deeply sad news, calling it “heartbreaking.”
Brandi Rhodes, chief brand officer of AEW, paid her own respects to Huber shortly afterwards with some poignant words: “I love and miss you Jon. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and my family. We all love you so very much. You were such a great man. It’s been my pleasure and privilege to know and work with you. Your family is our family now. We will watch over them. Rest now friend. Broken heart.”
Huber’s fellow AEW performer Chris Jericho shared a memory of the pair’s time together in WWE, calling Huber a “wonderful man.”
“It’s Saturday. You know what that means… Backstage in Mexico in 2015. Brodie was annoyed that he didn’t have his own merch t-shirt, so one of the brothers got a bunch made in his honour. We all wore them in tribute to the dude, cause everybody loved him. Just a wonderful man!”
Before joining AEW earlier this year, Huber spent in excess of seven years with WWE under the name Luke Harper – and countless superstars have spoken glowingly about the former Wyatt Family member.
There are far too many to list here, but WWE’s official Twitter account has been retweeting messages of condolence all morning, so a more thorough rundown can be found there. Here is just a sample of some of the tributes paid.
WWE Hall of Famer Edge: “This is devastating. Jon was just… great. A great, funny, immensely talented, warm, family driven human being. All of our love, thoughts and warmth to his family.”
WWE executive Stephanie McMahon: “I’m so deeply sorry for the loss of Jon Huber. We bonded over the love of our children. He was a true family man. #RIPBrodieLee”
Harper’s former Wyatt Family partner Braun Strowman: “I’m at a loss for words!!!!! #restwellbrother.”
Randy Orton, who co-held the SmackDown Tag Team Championships with Harper in 2016: “I don’t have the words. #RIPBrodieLee. May God send his beautiful family as much strength as possible.”
Kofi Kingston: “I’m in shock. My mind’s being flooded with so many laughter-filled conversations we had about fatherhood. Getting our wives & kids together was always a top highlight of Wrestlemania. The world lost a wonderful husband, amazing father & tremendous human being today. #RIPJonHuber.”
Natalya also reflected on Huber’s qualities as a family man, posting a number of photos together with the caption: “I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of @ThisBrodieLee who was a dear friend to so many of us. He was an amazing husband and a devoted father. His love for his family was immeasurable. I am sending prayers and love to Amanda, Brodie, Nolan, and Jon Huber’s family.”
Daniel Bryan, who feuded extensively with Harper, said simply: “I love you and I miss you #RIPBrodieLee.”
In addition to the raft of posts on WWE’s Twitter, John Cena also posted a picture of himself and Harper in the ring together (without a caption, as is usual for his Instagram posts). Bray Wyatt also penned an emotional message to his former stablemate on the social media platform.
A sad day for everyone associated with professional wrestling. The huge wave of tributes that we have seen today, though, show just how loved Jonathan Huber was.