Indie Watch: “-1” Brodie Lee Jr.

Indie Watch is our regular series that looks at all of the amazing talents working the independent circuits around the world. Some are veterans revitalizing their careers, some are indie prospects hitting their peaks, while others are names to be on the watch for! In this edition, we take a look at one of the fasting rising indie stars who recently left the independents and joined AEW, the mysterious masked and suited -1, better known as Brodie Lee Jr.

He was born with wrestling in his blood. A second-generation grappler on par with the likes of Bret “Hitman” Hart,  Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Terry FunkEddie Guerrero and Cody Rhodes, Brodie Lee Jr. is the son of one of pro wrestling’s most revered personalities, Brodie Lee (aka Luke Harper in WWE). Despite his young age, at only 8 years old, this diminutive future legend is wise beyond his years, and after careful mentoring from his father, has emerged as one of the most dominating wrestlers of 2020.

Born in 2012, Brodie Lee Jr. was born with wrestling in his blood. Fueled by the love and passion for the industry of his father, Brodie Lee Jr. became an instant wrestling fan for life and he frequently joined his father on his own journeys into the world of pro wrestling. Much like other second-generation wrestling sons, his first appearance was that of being at ringside supporting his father in his career. He was routinely in the audience when his father competed in WWE as Luke Harper, often getting a rub from his famous father before the bell rung. But once his father joined All Elite Wrestling (AEW), it was clear that this young man was destined for the same greatness that his father had inspired. Wearing the trademark Dark Order mask, he debuted on AEW television as the mysterious new member known only as -1.

But since his first appearance, he has become a dominant force on the wrestling scene, defeating some of wrestling’s biggest names. None more so than on December 17, 2020, when he challenged AEW World Champion Kenny Omega to an impromptu match at a taping for AEW Dynamite and AEW DARK. While the match remains in the vault as a “dark match”, Brodie Lee Jr. ended up defeating Omega for the AEW World title – but due to it not being sanctioned, AEW has refused to acknowledge the title victory in public, much like some of Ric Flair‘s NWA World’s Heavyweight title loses in other territories. But the world remembers.

But while AEW refuses to acknowledge the title win, they clearly saw the potential of the budding indie star, who has been trained and mentored by many wrestlers from both WWE and AEW as well as his father. AEW announcer Tony Schiavone revealed that around the same time as that match, that AEW founder Tony Khan signed Brodie Lee Jr. to an AEW contract, that will take effect when Lee Jr. hits the age of 18 and is allowed to begin wrestling on TV. Considering he defeated AEW World Champion Kenny Omega in his first match, it seems that Khan and company are afraid of what such an explosive force can do inside the ring and want to make sure Omega is long retired before Lee Jr. officially competes in an AEW ring.

But perhaps Brodie Lee Jr.’s most explosive performance came on December 30, 2020, when AEW presented a tribute to his father, who had recently passed away. What began as a night of love and affection towards the genuinely great person his father was, become a night where Brodie Lee Jr. made his statement clear – he could take down the world’s best at the age of 8. In 10 years, he will be unstoppable. After being unmasked and berated by MJF outside the ring during a match that saw MJF and his Inner Circle partners Santana & Ortiz facing “Hangman” Adam Page and Dark Order’s Evil Uno & Stu Grayson, Brodie Lee Jr. responded to the disrespect by taking a kendo stick to MJF’s head. His intentions were clear – the entire AEW locker room, outside of his father’s beloved Dark Order stable, were now on notice.

After the show went off the air, Brodie Lee Jr. continued his rampage, first by taking out one of the newer tag teams in the AEW stable, Top Flight.

He then showed that he feared no one in any company, by taking out former NXT Champion Adam Cole, using his father’s famous rolling lariat.

Brodie Lee Jr. also showed that he was ready to assume the mantle of leadership in Dark Order, by dishing out a level of discipline unseen since The Exalted One first revealed his existence, by taking his kendo stick to the entire Dark Order despite them winning all their matches. As Dark Order’s John Silver stated, Brodie Lee Jr. showed a no-mercy approach that transcended his father, and “beat us up worst (sic) than Mr. Brodie ever has”.

It’s clear that Brodie Lee Jr. has a solid career ahead of him, and once AEW is ready to unleash the youngest – and most dominant – member of the Dark Order, the world will be ready for dominance.

Check out our full list of previous Indie Watches, showcasing emerging talent from around the world!

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