AEW’s newest recruit CM Punk has discussed the passing of former TNT Champion Brodie Lee and admits he was impressed by how Lee’s illness and death were handled by the company.
Brodie Lee, who worked in WWE for a number of years as Luke Harper, passed away on December 26th 2020. Lee signed with AEW in March 2020 quickly winning the TNT Championship from Cody Rhodes. ‘The Exalted One’ lost the championship back to Rhodes in October, in what would ultimately be his final match.
Lee’s untimely passing sent shockwaves around the wrestling world with wrestlers all over the globe mourning the loss of their beloved colleague.
While answering a question at the post-show media scrum which took place after his long-awaited return to wrestling on the August 20th edition of Rampage, Punk touched on AEW’s decision to keep Lee’s illness under wraps. The Voice of the Voiceless praised the company for keeping the news away from the internet, saying that it would have helped Lee’s wife during an already difficult time.
“So, again, now this kind of goes back to one of the appealing things about AEW for me, and it’s a bit of a bummer of a topic; Brodie Lee passes away. Right. Come to find out that he was sick, but nobody knew. Nobody said anything to anybody, because they knew Brodie, they loved Brodie. So, seeing that I was like, I mean there’s something about that, you know, like, if that was anywhere else, it’d be all over the internet. His poor wife would have to be dealing with that on top of already dealing with this tragic event.”
Punk was part of a brief but memorable feud with Brodie Lee, then known as Luke Harper, in WWE when he teamed with Daniel Bryan to help him in his battles with the Wyatt Family, of which Lee was a member, in 2013. They last met in the ring at the December 2013 Tribute to the Troops event, when Punk and Bryan defeated the Wyatt Family for the last time before Punk left WWE after the 2014 Royal Rumble only one month later.
After months of rumours and speculation, CM Punk made his long-hoped-for debut for AEW at Rampage: The First Dance on August 20th to one of the greatest ovations in the history of wrestling from his hometown Chicago crowd. He will have his first match in over seven years when he faces Darby Allin at All Out on September 5th.