AEW commentator Tony Schiavone spoke about his relationship with superstar Brodie Lee on the latest edition of What Happened When, which includes when Schiavone and other members of the AEW roster found out about Lee’s illness. Highlights are below.
How Brodie Lee behaved backstage:
“First of all, he became, with us, one of our real leaders in the back. And he didn’t lead by being noisy or talking, he led by example. People say this about when people pass away, but he was such a great guy. But for Brodie it was the truth. It really, really is.”
Says he developed a close bond with Lee:
“He and I developed a really close bond. When he won the AEW [TNT] championship, and I was in the ring interviewing him, he did the classic big guy bend down to my microphone. So when it was over, when the show was over, in the back, he said, ‘How was the interview?’ I said, ‘Well, you made a mistake.’ And he said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘You’re so big and tall, never bend down to the microphone. I will put the microphone up to your mouth. Stand up tall. Stand up straight. Stand up strong.’ He went, ‘That’s great! Thank you for that.’ And so, basically, from that moment on, and of course we didn’t see much longer after that, from that moment on, he called me his mentor. And the only thing I really mentored him on was the microphone. Because for a guy his size, my God, he could work! He could do a lot of stuff.”
Finding out about Lee’s condition:
“Unfortunately, the AEW Unrestricted podcast that we do, the one we did with Brodie, we did it the day before he got sick. And then we heard he had been airlifted to the Mayo Clinic. Amanda, his wife, came and met with the entire group and told us how bad of shape he was in and ‘Please don’t say anything to anybody.’ So I think everybody did a great job of just keeping it close to the vest as the old cliche goes. We all knew that it didn’t look good, but we were all hoping that he would ‘kick out.’ The day he passed away, we received an email that we were going to have a company-wide Zoom call in 30 minutes. I knew if we were having a Zoom call that quick, something was bad. They told us about that.”