The death of Brodie Lee, and the subsequent celebration of his life - amazing as it’s been - has been emotional exhausting. And that’s for me, someone who’s multiple degrees removed from Brodie and the first hand business of making the art to which he dedicated his life. I can only imagine how wiped out his friends and current & former colleagues must be as they processed their lost while continuing to create wrestling shows.
For the crew at AEW, this speech Eddie Kingston delivered backstage after they produced Dynamite’s Brodie Lee tribute episode last Wednesday (Dec. 30, 2020) had to lift them up. I feel confident saying that, because even as a person who loves wrestling and is lucky enough to get paid to blog about it, it lifted me up.
The entire episode of Being The Elite this comes from (appropriately entitled “Tribute”) is worth watching, but I’ve queued it up here to Kingston’s message:
“We did that tonight. We made that man [points to the heavens] proud. So this doesn’t end tonight. This does not end tonight. As long as this company’s around, as long as I’m around, and all the rest of you will be here, we’re gonna do that every time. And we’re gonna make him proud, and we’re gonna make proud everyone we’ve ever fucking lost. Cause that’s our art. That’s what we do. Don’t forget tonight. Use this. Take this energy - yeah, it’s negative now. But make it positive.
“And tell everyone you love them. Don’t be like our fathers, took my old man 55 fucking years to say he loves me. I love each and everyone of you. You understand that? Because you put your bodies on the line. I love all of you. Stay, be with each other. God damnit, Brodie. What a... got me talking to everybody [laughs].
“But listen. We’re gonna get past this together. We’re gonna be stronger than anything. Tonight showed it. How strong we are. We fought through tears, we fought through everything. We put on probably the greatest tribute show I’ve ever seen in my life. And we’re gonna carry it. Let’s carry it. Let’s do it.”
You know it’s good when you’re got MJF breaking kayfabe. With his back to the camera, but still.
Obviously, much of that message is for the people in the trenches, as it were. But the spirit applies to a lot of different people in a lot of different situations.
Hell of a speech.