Jon Huber captured people’s attention. Whether he was performing as Brodie Lee or Luke Harper, he accomplished wrestling’s most difficult feat.
Huber made fans believe.
Wrestling’s most skilled performers find a way to suspend disbelief and make people believe in the magic of their work. That is the beauty of pro wrestling. Even more meaningful than raw athletic feats, making someone believe creates a lasting connection.
Huber spent his life harnessing and honing his craft, unrelentingly seeking the right look, style and character. The end result was forging a timeless piece in the pro wrestling realm, though one that, heartbreakingly, will not feature a next chapter.
Late Saturday night when it was announced that Huber—the indestructible, thick-bearded, unstoppable force in wrestling—had died due to a lung-related illness. At the age of only 41, when he was just hitting his prime as both a performer and a parent, Huber’s life was cruelly ripped away from him.
“It doesn’t feel real,” says Jon Good, who is best known as AEW star Jon Moxley, on Sunday evening. “It feels like I’m in a very vivid dream and I’m waiting to snap out of it. My brain hasn’t accepted it yet. Right now, I’m completely f—— numb.”
As news of the death circulated on Saturday night, memories of Huber’s work as Brodie Lee in AEW and Luke Harper in WWE immediately came flooding into the minds of those who relished watching him perform. Amid the sadness, people also reflected on the resilience and perseverance that defined Huber’s body of work in pro wrestling, an industry somehow as cutthroat as it is sublime.
Had Huber emerged in pro wrestling in the early 1980s, the mind does not have to wander too far before envisioning a dominant, awe-inspiring run through the territories as a hulking monster before landing in the World Wrestling Federation to battle Hulk Hogan. But the style of pro wrestling has evolved over the decades, presenting an even more difficult landscape for a larger-than-life big man. Yet Huber found a way to forge his own identity, developing a frightening persona, complete with a set of eyes that had the ability to peek into your soul. He built his reputation throughout the indies, working a believably violent style. His work with Moxley in CZW and EVOLVE, as well as with Eddie Kingston in Chikara, particularly resonated. It became evident to those viewing that this big man was a force, one that was willing to hit hard and ensure contact was nothing less than snug.
“The first night we wrestled each other, we shared a hotel room together later that night,” says Moxley. “That was over a decade ago. He was an incredible person. While so many of us would be all hot about some wrestling angle, he would find a way to turn negatives into a positive or an inside joke. He was the exact person you wanted in the locker room. I was so glad to be around him again in AEW.
“And we wrestled so many times. Whether it was on the indies, in The Shield–Wyatt war, six-mans on house shows and European tours, it felt like we were always together. When Tony Khan asked me about Brodie in AEW, I said, ‘Hell yeah, I want that…
Read More News: Jon Moxley Shares Memories of the Late Brodie Lee