This is Brodie Lee, the 2021 documentary about Jonathan Huber, known in AEW as Brodie Lee and in WWE as Luke Harper, has landed as a Vimeo streaming rental, a little more than a year after a limited theatrical release.
The film, directed and produced by Joe Bradt through Classy Wolf Media and Wrestlevision, is a touching, informative, in-depth look at his indie career and the friendships and achievements he made along the way. It follows Huber’s career from its infancy, starting in the AWF, a wrestling federation run out of a public park in Rochester by a group of local teens. Huber was brought into the group by his cousin, Lou Englert, and this is where he met future WWE co-worker Colin Delaney, who had discovered the group on an online message board.
It was here that Huber donned the name Huberboy #2, as he joined the AWF alongside his brother Chris, who was Huberboy #1, of course (his brother would later act as a referee on the indies). Jon used this name for a while on the indies, and wrestled using a very agile and aerial style for a man his size. His friends say this is because he was simply never trained to use the style a taller wrestler would normally use.
He eventually received training from Ian Decay and Sik Rik Matrix, and while he was learning serious wrestling, he still very much enjoyed having fun in the ring. His friends would describe him watching back every one of his matches in full, often the same night it took place.
The documentary’s style itself is visually enjoyable, taking on a very personal tone and using old footage and images supplied by Huber’s friends and family. Stories from Huber’s cousin, indie wrestling compatriots, and even a friend from his high school who tells a story about Huber defending him from bullies in school, very much contributed to the personal tone.
The thing that I found very interesting is that even when the documentary covered Huber’s time in the WWE, it still highlighted his indie connections. Colin Delaney tells a story about how he was surprised with a chance to return to the WWE and face Huber during his run with Erick Rowan as the Bludgeon Brothers, and Huber’s friends who participated in the AWF alongside him said that his work with the Dark Order on AEW’s YouTube show “Being the Elite” was very much reminiscent of his humor in the old AWF days.
Huber’s career achievements have been well documented, and nobody can mention AEW’s TNT title and not think of his impressive reign as champion. But I specifically enjoyed this documentary because it gave Huber’s less famous indie friends and even some family members a chance to tell stories that show us that he had been humble, kind, and incredibly hardworking even while working through the tough challenge of growing in fame in the indie circuit.
I would definitely recommend this documentary to any fan of Jon Huber, be it his early or later work, or any wrestling fan who simply enjoys a compelling and emotional story. I’m not afraid to admit that I cried as Huber’s friends spoke on what a genuinely kind and humble human being he was, and how much he is missed. This documentary functions both as a comprehensive timeline of Huber’s early career, a collection of personal stories you can’t hear anywhere else, and a touching tribute to an incredible performer, father, husband, and friend.
The film is available through Classy Wolf Media’s Vimeo page, and the rental also gives the viewer access to bonus features such as some of Huber’s notable indie matches and some more stories of him from his friends.
This is Brodie Lee (2021)
|Colin Delaney, Lou Englert, Tom Czarniak
|2 hours and 38 minutes.
- Dec 26, 2020: Jonathan Huber (Brodie Lee, Luke Harper) has died
- June 7, 2017: Luke Harper’s big night in Rochester
- Slam Wrestling’s Brodie Lee / Luke Harper Photo Gallery
- Classy Wolf Media’s Vimeo page
Slam Wrestling's Hollywood Headlock Rating Scale:
1: Unsafe Worker (Avoid!)
2: Pre-Show Performer
3: Mid-Card Material
4: Main Eventer
5: World Title Winner