Jack Baer·Writer-Sat, December 26, 2020, 9:37 PM EST
Jon Huber, the wrestling star known as Luke Harper to WWE fans and also as Brodie Lee, has died, AEW announced on Saturday. He was 41.
Huber’s wife Amanda later confirmed her husband’s death, revealing that he died surrounded by loved ones after a battle with a lung issue that was not COVID-19. She praised the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for its skilled care.
Huber was well-traveled in his career, going from independent and local circuits like Chikara, Squared Circle Wrestling and even Dragon Gate in Tokyo to WWE in 2012.
First fighting under the name Brodie Lee, Huber adopted the moniker Luke Harper with WWE and soon found success as a member of the Wyatt Family, winning titles like the NXT Tag Team Championship and the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship. He also won the WWE Intercontinental Championship in 2014.
His death was made public by All Elite Wrestling, with whom Huber had been signed since March.
“The All Elite Wrestling family is heartbroken. In an industry filled with good people, Jon Huber was exceptionally respected and beloved in every way — a fierce and captivating talent, a thoughtful mentor and simply a very kind soul that starkly contradicted his persona as Mr. Brodie Lee,” the organization said in a statement.
“Jon’s love for his wife Amanda, and children Brodie and Nolan, was evident to all of us who were fortunate to spend time with him, and we send our love and support to his beautiful family, today and always,” the statement continued. “Jon’s popularity among his peers and influence on the wrestling word was worldwide and transcended AEW, so this loss will be felt by many for a long time.”
While his cause of death has not been made public, Wrestling News reported Saturday that Huber’s wife said in a statement on Instagram that he had recently become ill.
Born in Rochester, New York, in 1979, Huber began his career as a backyard wrestler in the late 1990s. He was signed to Rochester Pro Wrestling in 2003, where he came up with his Brodie Lee ring name as a tribute to the character Brodie Bruce, played by Jason Lee in Kevin Smith’s 1995 movie “Mallrats.”
In 2007, Huber began wrestling for Philadelphia-based wrestling promotion Chikara and for Syracuse, New York-based Squared Circle Wrestling, and the next year added Jersey All Pro Wrestling and independent matches to his résumé.
Huber signed a development deal with WWE in 2012 and began using the new ring name Luke Harper that year. Primarily associated with the Wyatt Family stable, Huber remained with WWE until December 2019. Around that time, he registered a trademark for Brodie Lee, and in March of 2020 made his debut under that name with All Elite Wrestling.
Huber’s fans and professional wrestling peers paid tribute following the announcement. See a sample below:
I’m so deeply sorry for the loss of Jon Huber. We bonded over the love of our children. He was a true family man. #RIPBrodieLee
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) December 27, 2020
So much pain comes with losing someone like Jon. But everywhere I look, I see an entire industry paying respect and showing love to him. That alone shows what an incredible man he was.
Gutted to hear about Jon passing away. He saved me from a broken neck. He would get so mad when I pulled up a chair for him to sit in and referred to him as ‘Taker-sir.’
“You’re gonna get me heat, kid.”
Condolences to his family and peers that loved him dearly.
One of the Best Men I ever had the pleasure of working with as well as one Great Husband, Father and Friend. Words Can’t express my Hurt for his Family Please keep them all lifted in Prayer #RIPBrodieLee
#RIPBrodieLee absolutely heartbreaking. Sending prayers and love to his family ♥️
— Billie Kay (@BillieKayWWE) December 27, 2020
One of the first men I was able I train with after I was signed in 2016.
He was always a pleasure to be around, hear great stories from and was always a excellent human being
All of my love and respect to Jon Huber/Mr Brodie Lee and his family#RIPBrodieLee
A compilation of discuss clotheslines from Brodie Lee aka Luke Harper.
The guy made every move look impactful as hell. I’m gonna miss seeing these 😢#RIPBrodieLee