Former WWE Wrestler Luke Harper to make AEW Debut in March

Luke Harper

The battle lines will be crossed as recently departed WWE grappler Luke Harper, aka Brodie Lee, will debut for AEW in March. Lee, which is the name it appears the grappler will use, will be the first high-profile ex-WWE star to leave the company after requesting his release to sign with the new upstart wrestling brand. Mixed martial arts and wrestling fans are preparing for UFC 249 and WrestleMania this spring. Fans can visit to get a bet bonus and tips before wagering on the top fights in combat sports in March and April. 

Lee is a former WWE Intercontinental and Tag Team champion and will make his first appearance as an AEW employee in March, according to the Wrestling Observer. The ex-Wyatt family member had requested his WWE release in April of 2019. However, the WWE did not grant him the release until December. Lee could be the first of a number of WWE wrestlers to request a release and jump ship to AEW. 

The current situation in wrestling is slowly beginning to mirror the 1990s when wrestlers left the WWE for WCW and its lucrative contracts. Now, wrestlers could leave the WWE for what is perceived as a more worker-friendly environment in AEW. 

Why is Harper’s signing significant?

Lee could open the floodgates of talent leaving the WWE for AEW. It was believed when AEW was announced that a number of WWE stars would not re-sign with the brand. However, many wrestlers with contracts expiring decided to remain with the established company. Now, as AEW continues to show it can outdraw WWE’s NXT in Wednesday night ratings, more grapplers could make a move. 

Since AEW debuted on TNT with Dynamite, the company’s small roster of wrestlers has been a major talking point. The company needs more veteran stars that have WWE experience to guide the green AEW talent. 

According to the Wrestling Observer, Lee will debut for AEW on the March 18th episode of Dynamite. That night’s episode of Dynamite will take place in Rochester, New York, which is Lee’s hometown. 

Will Luke Harper have an impact on AEW?

Harper should help AEW’s small roster and improve the overall quality thanks to his experience in the WWE. He doesn’t have the name value that some other WWE wrestlers would have if they made the jump to AEW. It is doubtful many – if any – WWE fans or casual wrestling fans will tune into the AEW product simply due to Harper. 

That said, Harper does have the look of a star wrestler compared to some of the smaller competitors in AEW. Harper stands 6ft 5in and weighs 275-pounds. He will look like a giant compared to other members of the company’s roster including rising stars Darby Allin and Joey Janela. Both of the competitors clock in at under 6ft. 

Although Harper won’t move the needle when it comes to ratings, he offers more ideas for the booking of the company’s matches and storylines. Outside of AEW’s main event wrestlers Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, Cody Rhodes, and MJF, things have been far more miss than hit. Harper could help change that and usher in more experienced talent. 

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