All Elite Wrestling had its work cut out for them this past Wednesday. With the tragic passing of Jon Huber a.k.a. Brodie Lee, it set out to honor and showcase his career. It began the night with touching tributes from Darby Allin, Jon Moxley and more. They shared stories of how Jon had made a positive impact in their all their lives and how much he would truly be missed.
A unique touch to the tribute show saw Brodie Lee’s faction The Dark Order featured in every match. Private Party and Matt Hardy start us off against the tag champs Young Bucks and Dark Order member Colt Cabana. We learned Brodie Lee originally recruited Cabana from Ring of Honor, so the match was that much more emotionally charged.
Naturally, The Bucks and “Boom Boom” took home the victory. As the show progressed, we began to see a pattern with each victor.
Dark Order members Evil Uno and Stu Grayson teamed up with Lance Archer to take on Eddie Kingston and his new goon squad of Butcher and Blade. This was an especially high-flying match that gave Grayson and Uno the time to shine. Every superstar on All Elite’s roster is a world-class athlete that just needs the proper platform to be showcased.
Grayson and Uno were flying all around the ring, in tune with the match’s smash mouth style. Lance Archer is no stranger to this type of matchup. He is an ECW alumni that hasn’t lost a beat. Kingston succumbed to Archer’s deadly clothesline to allow The Dark Order another victory on Lee’s tribute program.
The third match paired Hangman Adam Page with his buddy John Silver and Alex Reynolds for a third consecutive week. Their opponents were none other than Inner Circle members MJF, Ortiz and Santana, who we haven’t seen action in weeks.
Perhaps the most shocking moment of the episode, former WWE tag-team champion and partner of Brodie Lee, Erick Rowan interfered in the match. We haven’t seen him on TV since he left WWE earlier last year. His interference gave the distraction needed for Silver to secure the pin. That marked yet another Dark Order win on the night.
The women of AEW have had a tough task proving themselves when always being compared to WWE’s fantastic women’s division. The spotlight was on Ana Jay and Tay Conti of Dark Order going head-to-head with the queen of AEW, Britt Baker and her teammate Penelope Ford.
As someone who has been watching since the inaugural episode of “Dynamite,” this was the best women’s match to date. It was fast-paced, well-organized and the women gave it all in honor of their fallen comrade. Conti said on social media, “this was my hardest match yet.” She added that every woman proved why they belong in this prestigious organization.
Conti and Jay picked up the victory over Ford and Baker after Thunder Rosa interfered. She continued her assault on Baker, leading ever-closer to a potential match at the next pay-per-view, Revolution, currently scheduled to take place on February 27.
The final match of the evening had the brute force of Team Taz challenging Cody Rhodes, Dark Member No. 10 and Orange Cassidy. Taz was never a man to play by the rules and his faction’s actions in recent weeks certainly prove that.
However, this week they lost to a clean pinfall in the middle of the ring. That greatly angered the “modern giants” who began another attempt at a beating on Rhodes and Cassidy. The lights then went out, interrupting the match. Before we knew it, the dream team of Sting and Darby Allin were standing in the ring. Alongside the challengers, they seemed ready to take on Team Taz. Team Taz reluctantly backed away, saving their anger for another week. This signifies that Allin and Sting are in fact on the same page and ready to take AEW by storm.
Our closing segment was one of sentiment and pure emotion: Lee’s son referred to as Negative One (-1) walked to the ring with his mother Amanda Huber. AEW President presented him with the TNT Championship in honor and memory of his father. This was an extraordinary moment. The promotion let Brodie know that his family is in good hands and they will be taken care of from here on out. We will all miss Lee and what he brought to the table. From all of us at The Challenge Sports, we thank him for his service and all that he has contributed to this great sport. Rest easy Brodie.