So, if you’ve been paying attention to the wrestling world over the past few days, you’ve probably heard about the untimely death of Jon Huber, aka, Mr. Brodie Lee /Luke Harper at the age of 41. You may also have heard about the simultaneous shitstorm over WWE and AEW’s respective reactions to the tragedy and the column put out by Bruce Mitchell of PW Torch.
First things first, while I feel that WWE and AEW BOTH reacted appropriately to the situation, I can also understand why people who actually knew Jon Huber might not feel the same, and that’s fine. However, WWE did quite a bit to honor Huber including posting superstar tributes on Thursday, December 31, after AEW put on their tribute show. It must also be remembered that Huber was NOT employed by WWE at the time of his death, so WWE probably didn’t feel that a big outpouring was necessary or appropriate, especially since AEW, Huber’s employer, had already announced that they would be airing a Celebration of Life show. Again, I understand why people felt that WWE’s reaction was lackluster, but, to me, it feels like WWE did more than would’ve been expected given the circumstances. What more do you want?
The Bruce Mitchell article was HORRIBLE. Never mind that Huber wanted to protect his privacy while he dealt with whatever this illness was, but to insinuate, IN PRINT, that AEW and the Huber family were engaged in a conspiracy to cover up a COVID-19 death and then demand that Amanda Huber tell the ‘truth’ about what happened to her husband not even a few days after his death. Even worse, when called out, first by fans, then by Amanda Huber, Mitchell doubled down on what he said, even after PW Torch fired him. I would say that it could’ve been avoided if he’d just apologized, but no apology, heartfelt or not, would’ve been sufficient. The only right thing to do would be to not put the damn thing out there.
Let’s unpack Michell’s nonsense, and I will preface this by saying I didn’t actually read the article, just got the highlights, but this doesn’t require reading it over and over. The Huber family doesn’t owe any of us a damn thing! They especially don’t owe it to us to violate Jon’s wish to keep his illness private just to satisfy some jackass’ ego. Also, AEW and the Huber family have nothing to gain by covering up a COVID-related death. Huber was last seen on Dynamite the night he dropped the TNT Title back to Cody Rhodes back in October. If he’d had COVID, we would’ve known well-before now because there would’ve been an outbreak. That didn’t happen.
His other, infamous, point was that he’d never heard of a man Huber’s size dying so quickly. Thank god he’d prefaced that with the disclaimer that he wasn’t a doctor because I’d be questioning where he’d gotten his medical degree. The human body is a complex mechanism and while it has the tools to fight off some pretty nasty bugs, it can also be very fragile.
Here’s what we ACTUALLY know about Huber’s death and what we can deduce from what has been said by Amanda Huber.
1. He was being treated at the Mayo Clinic. This says that it wasn’t a regular illness. You don’t go to the Mayo Clinic for a cold, you go to the Mayo Clinic when your doctor has run every test and still can’t find the source of your illness.
2. It was NOT COVID. According to Mrs. Huber, he was tested repeatedly for COVID and every test was negative.
3. They still don’t know what was wrong with him and his illness was sudden. According to one article, Huber started showing symptoms in October when he became too tired to finish a Peleton workout.
4. AEW was aware that Huber was ill but respected his desire to keep the illness private.
That’s it. That’s what we know, and to be quite honest, that’s really all we need to know. Brodie Lee/Luke Harper were two fairly successful characters in two wrestling promotions, Jon Huber was a husband, father, son, friend, and mentor. He wasn’t a cult-leader or a cult-follower; he was a real person with people who loved him. We have no right to demand anything of his family. They have the right to ask us to respect their privacy while they grieve and celebrate his life as best we can. WWE, AEW, the Huber family, Jon’s friends, and his fans are all doing this. This isn’t a competition, this isn’t a promotional thing, everyone grieves in their own way. Let’s celebrate Jon and his legacy as a performer and a person and leave it at that.