Follow TV Tropes


Wrestling / Luke Harper

Go To

Jonathan Huber (December 16, 1979 - December 26, 2020) was an American professional wrestler hailing from Rochester, best known in WWE as Luke Harper and elsewhere (in particular AEW) as (Mr.) Brodie Lee.

He debuted in late 2002 as in the upstate New York independent scene where he competed until he arrived in CHIKARA in 2007. His original gimmick, "The Right Stuff" Brodie Lee, was based on the New Kids on the Block. This ended at the CHIKARA show Here Come the International Invaders: Attack of the Phantom Sith, August 17, 2007, when he introduced his new trucker gimmick, "The Big Rig" Brodie Lee, and allied himself with the Olsen Twins (Colin [Delaney] and Jimmy) against the Colony (Fire Ant, Soldier Ant and Worker Ant) and scored the win for his team by pinning Worker Ant. This was during a year-long streak where he did not get pinned or submitted.

As Brodie Lee, he also competed for Ring of Honor, Dragon Gate/Dragon Gate USA, CZW, the German westside Xtreme wrestling and a variety of independent promotions. Among his in-ring achievements, he is a former WWE NXT Tag Team Champion, a former JAPW Heavyweight Champion, a former JAPW Tag Team Champion and was the final JAPW New Jersey State Heavyweight Champion.

He debuted in WWE as a member of The Wyatt Family. On November 17, 2014, he won the Intercontinental Championship from Dolph Ziggler, ending Ziggler's 56-day reign. He also was a SmackDown Tag Team Champion, alongside Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. But after Randy's machinations led to Bray ousting Harper out of the Family, he turned on his former master and started a singles career. Later in 2017 he teamed up with Rowan again to form the Bludgeon Brothers. After an injury in August 2018 sidelined him for several months, Huber was planned to engage in a feud with Sami Zayn throughout 2019, but after a post-WrestleMania SmackDown dark match with EC3 was poorly received by Vince McMahon, the feud was scrapped. After a fallout with Vince led to him being off television for five months, he once more paired with Rowan to feud against Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan at a tag team match for that year's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, which the Bludgeon Brothers lost. Two months after that match, Huber was released by WWE on December 8.

As WWE owns the Luke Harper name, he reverted back to the Brodie Lee ring name, and on the March 18, 2020 episode of AEW's Dynamite, he revealed himself as the true identity of the 'Exalted One' of The Dark Order. On August 22, 2020, he defeated Cody Rhodes to become the second AEW TNT Champion. He would hold onto the TNT championship for 8 weeks, defeating Dustin Rhodes and Orange Cassidy, before Cody reclaimed the title in a dog collar match on the October 7 episode of Dynamite.

Sadly, that match was the final one for Jon Huber, as he passed away on December 26, 2020 due to lung issues not related to COVID-19 (later revealed by his widow to be idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), surrounded by his family and loved ones.

Exalted Tropes:

    open/close all folders 

    In general 
  • Beard of Evil: Spent the majority of his career ever since achieving success being a Heel, and sporting a beard while at it. The Wyatt Family was a trio of evil bearded individuals. Brodie Lee wasn't much better, what with being the servant of a railroad spike wielding "zombie princess". In the early days of his trucker gimmick before his hair grew out, he sported a pair of muttonchops.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Appeared not to have cut his hair since the day he switched from his New Kids on the Block gimmick to his trucker gimmick. While working in CHIKARA he went from short haired to shaggy hair to a mullet to the style he wore as Luke Harper to a man bun after leaving the Family and becoming Brodie Lee again.
  • The Brute: For Age of the Fall in ROH and for Blood WARRIORS in Dragon Gate.
  • The Bully: Back in 2008, he would push around the smaller CHIKARA wrestlers, leading to Claudio Castagnoli standing up to him and a short feud, which Castagnoli won by defeating Lee in CHIKARA's first-ever cage match. He was also quite the bully as Mr. Brodie Lee as head of the Dark Order.
  • Catchphrase: Ever since he had a Twitter account, he took to tweeting "It's <day>. You know what that means." every day. What that really meant will probably never be known. This would take special importance after his passing, where virtually every tribute show to his memory would insert variations of the phrase in them, to the point that AEW, the promotion he was working on at the time of his death, would take "It's Wednesday, you know what that means" as a sort of unofficial tagline for their flagship TV show Dynamite.
  • Cult: A follower in The Wyatt Family, a leader in The Dark Order.
  • Eye Take: He had some good crazy eyes. His post-Wyatt Family vignettes and entrance videos seemed to place focus on how frightening they are.
  • Fingerpoke Of Doom: Subverted. In his "12 Large: Summit" Tournament Match with Vin Gerard at CHIKARA Aniversario: The Legendary Super Powers Show, May 22, 2011, Gerard tried it and Lee laid down, but then slapped Gerard when he tried for the pin. Gerard ultimately won the match, but with an inside cradle.
  • Finishing Move:
    • As Brodie Lee: Big Boot, Running Liger Bomb, Brodie Bomb, Truck Stop (spinning sit-out side slam)
    • As Luke Harper: Discus Clothesline. He continued using this finisher when he went back to his Brodie Lee ring name.
  • Hidden Depths: Both in the ring and on the mic. He went from speaking just as often as Erick Rowan (read: never) to being able to send creepy, unnerving messages to his opponents nearly as well as Wyatt himself. As far as between the ropes, he seemed to pull out a move you'd never expect from a man his size at least once a month, and executed them with the grace of a man 100 pounds lighter. Plus he continued to improve overall in the ring over time with no limit in sight... until his death from pulmonary fibrosis in late 2020.
  • Jerkass: One of his shticks in CHIKARA was refusing to play along with the normal tomfoolery.
    • For example when a spontaneous baseball game broke out during a Throwbacks match, instead of playing along he just decked the nearest opponent with an open hand slap. To say nothing of the way he treated Grizzly Redwood when they teamed.
    • There's also the way he always made a beeline for ring announcer Gavin Loudspeaker, who had to flee for his safety. No reason was ever given for his irrational hatred of him.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He was 6'5", 275 lbs. and could do dropkicks and hurricanranas. Hell, he could even dive between the ropes to get at someone!
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: A brutal career heel for almost his entire time in the ring, but one of the kindest, friendliest and most-beloved men you could ever hope to meet outside of it, as countless friends and coworkers testified after his passing.
  • The Pig-Pen: When he first switched from his New Kids on the Block gimmick to his Big Rig gimmick, he was clean cut. However, he continually got shaggier and grubbier the longer he worked as the Big Rig. It was most noticeable on his formerly white tank top. Sugar Dunkerton even got the fans to chant 'Wash your shirt!' at Brodie.
  • Power Stable:
    • (in Chikara): The Blue Jean Squad, w/Eddie Kingston & Grizzly Redwood
    • (in ROH): The Age of the Fall
    • (in EVOLVE): Akuma's Army
    • (in Dragon Gate): WARRIORS, Blood WARRIORS
      • (in Dragon Gate USA): WARRIORS International
    • The Dark Order in AEW.
  • Power Trio: Age Of The Fall was cut down to just him, Jimmy Jacobs and MsChif (not counting stragglers outside of ROH). The Wyatt Family was a trio for most of its existence too.
  • Punny Name: His double team finisher with Grizzly Redwood, The Truck Stops Here.
  • Put on a Bus: He was in the running to be CHIKARA's Big Bad of 2012 when he was abruptly signed by WWE. So he lost a title match against Eddie Kingston and vanished. He, of course, went on to become Luke Harper.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His New Kids on the Block gimmick. However, he said that he was trying to come off like "a homeboy".
  • Red Baron: "The Right Stuff," "Big Rig", "The Backwoods Brawler".
    • In AEW "the Exalted One".
  • Running Gag: His Twitter, where nearly every day he would post "It's [day of the week], you know what that means." What it was supposed to mean (if anything), he never revealed.
  • Signature Move:
    • As Brodie Lee: choke suplex, double underhook superplex, half nelson suplex
    • As Luke Harper: Gator Roll, sit-down powerbomb, thrust kick, big boot (downgraded from finisher)
  • Tag Team:
    • (in NWA Upstate): Big 'N Tasty, with Freddie Midnight
    • (in Alpha-1 Wrestling): The Convoy
    • CloudLee, with Cloudy
    • The Hillbilly Wrecking Crew, with Necro Butcher and Trevor Murdoch
    • The Roughnecks, with Eddie Kingston and Grizzly Redwood
    • The Miracle Ultraviolence Connection, with Cheech and Cloudy
    • The Bludgeon Brothers, with Erick Rowan
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Seems to constantly have this type of expression as Luke Harper.
  • Tuckerization: He took the name "Brodie Lee" from the movie Mallrats, by combining Jason Lee's last name with the first name of his character, Brodie Bruce.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: A wrestling trucker as Brodie Lee.
  • Wrestling Family: He married fellow wrestler Synndy Synn (his wife Amanda) and, while their two children are too young to wrestle, his older son Brodie Jr.note  was signed to an AEW contract and declared TNT Champion for life after his father's passing, with the understanding that he can begin performing for AEW as soon as he comes of age, and he has actually already made several appearances on AEW shows as -1 of the Dark Order, cutting short but sharp promos on other wrestlers. A few months later, Amanda was hired as AEW's community outreach officer.
  • Wrestling Monster: In the land of the giants he was right in the gray area, size wise - he had 'monster moments' and he might have been able to pull it off if he were booked to be formidable more consistantly. On the indies and particularly in CHIKARA though, where he was often twice the size of his opponents, he was the very definition of a monster.
    • He was back to definite monster status in AEW, but a frighteningly intelligent monster as the ruthless and calculating head of The Dark Order. Despite failing to unseat the manic Jon Moxley for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship in a brutal confrontation, when he got his hands on TNT Champion Cody he squashed him in less than 4 minutes.

    As Luke Harper 
  • Badass Boast: During the Wyatt Family's feud with The Shield: "You reap what you sow. You three boys picked a beautiful hill to die on."
  • Bash Brothers: With Erick Rowan. They even called themselves the Bludgeon Brothers.
  • Big "YES!": Constantly shouted "YEAHYEAHYEAHYEAHYEAH" while wrestling in WWE. In NXT it was more of a subdued, cult-like chant, but was much louder on Raw and SmackDown!, possibly due to the size of the arenas.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Luke Harper's black handkerchief in his back left pocket marked him in the somewhat outdated handkerchief code as a BDSM top. It also has a touch of Depraved Homosexual as the code was pretty much entirely used by the gay community, though it's possible that WWE and Harper just didn't know about the subtext. He wore other color handkerchiefs in his pocket during his indy days.
  • The Bus Came Back: Vanished from TV in late 2018 and wouldn't be seen again for nearly a year, with nary a mention on-camera. Then Clash of Champions 2019 happened, and he made a surprise return helping Erick Rowan beat Roman Reigns.
  • Deep South: His gimmick as Luke Harper. Harper was billed from Lincoln, Nebraska in WWE, but it was implied that he and his "brothers/sisters," including Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan, lived in a shack near the swamps of Florida. In NXT he was billed from Butte, Montana. He was actually from upstate New York.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Harper could be seen in early vignettes promoting Bray Wyatt on NXT before Harper was officially introduced.
  • Enemy Mine: During John Cena's feud with Bray in 2017, Harper joined him in combat with Bray and Randy Orton, who Harper was feuding with as he blamed Randy for tearing his family apart.
  • Ghost Town: In NXT, The Wyatt Family was billed from Snake Bight, FL, which is a real place.
  • He's Back!: Returned to the WWE after a 5-month injury break at WWE No Mercy 2016, teleporting into the ring at the climax of Bray Wyatt's match against Randy Orton and distracting Randy long enough for Bray to hit him with Sister Abigail for the pin. He didn't even lay a finger on Randy (or do anything other than stare at him with those mad eyes) but the pop he got was huge!
  • Last-Name Basis: After re-debut as The Bludgeon Brothers.
  • Limited Wardrobe: In WWE, and even by WWE standards, which is saying a lot. Not only does he seem to favor the same type of shirt, it's often claimed (semi)jokingly on commentary that it's just the same shirt (the implication being that he never washes it)).
    • Averted after his exodus from the Family, as Harper took to wearing a black tank top and jeans, leading to jokes that he's been stealing Dean Ambrose's clothes.
  • Power Stable: The Wyatt Family
  • Properly Paranoid: When Randy Orton joined the Wyatt Family, Bray started trusting him wholly, while Harper was skeptical about his intentions. Eventually, Randy turned Bray on him and ousted him out of the Family. But Harper's paranoia was well-founded as Randy later turned on the Family and burned their compound down.
  • Undying Loyalty: Out of the three other members of the family, Harper was the one who always seemed to come back eventually. Not after Bray ousted him, though.
    • After leaving Bray, he and Erick Rowan seemed to have this to each other. They were a Tag Team three separate times after leaving the family, each with completely different gimmicks.

    As Mr. Brodie Lee, The Exalted One 
  • Arch-Enemy: Mr. Brodie made himself the public enemy number one of Cody Rhodes and his Nightmare Family (his brother Dustin, his wife Brandi, his best friend Matt Cardona, etc.).
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Mr. Brodie wore sharp suits whenever he wasn't wrestling, and was even seen brutalizing some poor sap in it every now and then.
  • Bad Boss: As the leader of a cult-like organisation that promotes the loss of individuality in the pursuit of power, Brodie Lee had a very casual attitude towards the welfare of the lesser members of the Dark Order. When Jon Moxley responded to Lee's theft of the AEW Championship belt by beating up one of Lee's favoured acolytes, 10, in the ring and threatening to break his arm if Lee didn't come out and return the belt, Lee appeared on the screen and coldly stated "We all have to make sacrifices" before walking off, abandoning 10 to the tender mercies of Moxley who went on to prove he was not bluffing.
  • The Comically Serious: Mr. Brodie carried himself so seriously and with such intensity that he could be quite amusing, particularly in contrast to his more comical Dark Order cohorts. This was particularly seen in Being the Elite.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In his AEW debut, he teased the Sister Abigail before hitting his Discus Clothesline.
    • Matt Hardy indicated that the ABOMINATION he fought entered Brodie Lee's vessel.
  • The Don: His behind-the-scenes vignettes evoke the vibe of a cult leader blended with a wealthy mobster don and a ruthless corporate businessman.
  • Due to the Dead: Because of the enormous respect everyone in AEW had for Jon Huber, Mr. Brodie Lee is permanently listed as an active member of the AEW roster even after his death.
  • Evil Mentor / The Svengali: Lee acted as a wise mentor for the downtrodden in his Order, but he was obviously a sociopathic ruthless brute beneath his charisma, and his mentorship was either teaching people to be ruthless Heels like him or just using them to increase his own influence.
  • Fair-Weather Mentor: You could expect him to abandon his apprentices or outright attack them in supposed "lessons".
  • Faux Affably Evil: Mr. Brodie could sometimes come across a charismatic, bespoke gentleman preaching a message of self-improvement, but this never lasted as his ruthless brutality and cruelty shone through sooner or latter.
  • Genius Bruiser: A towering behemoth of a brutish man and also a very intelligent and cunning cult leader, both in and outside the ring.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Very easily angered for relatively minor things (like sneezing in his presence).
  • Irony: In WWE, Luke Harper was best-known as one of the followers of a creepy, charismatic cult leader. In AEW, Brodie Lee was a creepy, charismatic cult leader as the Exalted One of The Dark Order.
  • Large and in Charge: The biggest member of the Dark Order as well as its (late) leader.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's unclear whether Mr. Brodie was simply a highly charismatic cult leader or if he actually had some kind of supernatural connection (with his interactions with Broken Matt Hardy particularly hinting at a grander nature).
  • Mood-Swinger: Lee was liable to flip between his "gentleman Don" persona and the "unhinged brute" at the drop of a hat.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Subverted, his theme contains ominous English chanting ("He Is Exalted!").
  • Suddenly Shouting: Mr. Brodie flipped between being soft-spoken and a screaming tyrant with no warning.
  • Take That!: During his debut promo as the Exalted One, Brodie said to Christopher Daniels, "You are not the first out-of-touch old man to not believe in me, but I will make damn sure you are the last." an apparent dig at his former boss Vince McMahon. There was in fact a popular perception that the Exalted One character was a straight-up parody of Vince, since his vignettes showed him doing things many accounts about Vince recall him doing (getting angry at underlings who coughed or yawned in his presence, messily eating a meat wrap, etc.), with several people complaining that they were taking it too far and being petty and immature before it became apparent the character was more a mob boss-type character with only the occasional Vince in-joke. Some people have also suggested there's just as much Mike Quackenbush in there as there is Vince (particularly the "you WILL wear a mask and you WILL use the gimmick I give you" bit), which is supported by the fact that both Lee and several of his followers (Uno, Greyson, Reynolds and Silver) all worked in CHIKARA.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: He (and his minions) insisted on him being addressed as MR. Brodie Lee. In fact, on the AEW roster (where everyone is listed alphabetically by their first name) he was moved to be listed under "M" for "Mr." rather than "B" for "Brodie" (right next to his son, who's listed as "Mr. Brodie Lee Jr.").
  • Triumphant Reprise: His theme is a more orchestral, choir-like remix (complete with Ominous English Chanting) variation of the Dark Order's theme.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: Part of his gimmick with Rowan as the Bludgeon Brothers, who carried huge, heavy-looking mallets. They didn't use them against opponents, though- they were perfectly capable of "bludgeoning" them with their bare hands.

Alternative Title(s): Brodie Lee