Brodie Lee joined Chris Jericho this week on Talk Is Jericho and the former Luke Harper had a very open discussion with “Le Champion” about the frustrations he had sitting dormant in WWE. Before that however, “The Exhalted One” talked what his experience was like debuting in AEW in front of an empty arena two weeks ago on Dynamite.
“I was very stressed out about it, more than I thought I would be and not I think as excited or pumped up as I should’ve been and then it came on super fast. They’re like, ‘Well, the tag match is in the ring, you guys are next,’ and I was like, ‘Holy shit, it’s time to go,’ and that’s when it got keyed up and I was all pumped up and like doing the promo and that with the way it came out I felt really good about everything and I didn’t see it until I was standing in the ring behind Christopher Daniels so I’m there watching my work and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s pretty cool’ and like, ‘Oh, no I gotta do other work,’ but yeah it just didn’t feel right, but then when it was done it was like, ‘Man, it did feel right.'”
Lee did make note that Tony Khan did offer him the option to hold off on the debut, but Brodie was itching to get that creative buzzard flying once more.
“Tony very specifically text me and said, ‘Hey man, if you don’t want to do this, we won’t do this,’ and I wrote back, ‘No man, I’m all in for Wednesday. Just let me know what you need me to do,'” he said. “I’ve been cooped up for so long and I think I told you this last week, is I want to get out, I want to do something I need to be creative, I need to fly a little bit, so even that little bit last week was something.”
Brodie’s buzzard in WWE was indeed bounded as he found himself in the role of an imprisoned “Cool Hand” Luke Harper counting the days of non-creative opportunities under the eye of Vince McMahon.
“He saw a backwoods hillbilly who talked in a southern drawl and being from Rochester NY and being somewhat eloquent he just didn’t understand and just didn’t compute with him and Arn I think maybe to my detriment was one of my biggest supporters in meetings and Arn would even say, ‘Hey man, I’m just going to stop speaking up for you because I don’t think it’s doing you any favors.’
“Once I fell into a role, no matter what I pitched, no matter what I showed anybody, I wasn’t digging my way out of it – to the audience of one,” he said.
Lee was not for a lack of ideas. He would constantly have new ways to further construct his character, including one in particular that included an interest of his.
“I’m very much into serial killers and stuff like that so I wanted to collect something from each person I would beat and then the problem came that I just wasn’t beating anybody so it was hard to collect from people to do that.”
Lee then just wanted to keep his slovenly look as Harper, but me more of an intellectual, something that Jericho pointed out went to his partner, Rowan for a brief spell.
“Yup, exactly. So I just didn’t know if it’s just he didn’t know the difference between us or (laughs) and also, the other thing is me and Rowan constantly just always found each other somehow no matter what, like, I think Vince saw as we were a team and we’re always together and that’s what it was. He didn’t see us apart by any stretch so no matter what would happen he would always bring us back together.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
Brodie and Chris then share in the frustrations they had from a creative standpoint when they were under the WWE microscope. Plenty more from “The Exhalted Escape Of Brodie Lee” which you can hear in it’s entirety below: