In a recent interview on Oral Sessions with Renee Young, Tony Khan discussed how the Brodie Lee tribute show came together, the idea to bring in Erick Redbeard, and much more. You can read his comments below.
Tony Khan on the Brodie Lee tribute show: “I thought it was the best the crew has put together. I was so proud of everyone that worked on the show and everyone in this company in how they handled the situation. People knew for a long time Jon was sick. We told every wrestler – Amanda went out and had told people that Jon isn’t doing well and we need your prayers and thoughts, but we also need you to not tell anybody that. A lot of us were worried because we told the entire crew at once, but everybody kept it a secret and supported them and we did everything we could. When it came time, all the wrestlers wanted to do something really nice for him. I knew the tribues were gonna be genuine and from the heart. One of the greatest things you can say about Brodie is that, when the news came out that Brodie had passed away, the first thing everybody said about him was that this is a great person who loved his family so much, and he loved wrestling. Those things just came out, and it wasn’t an orchestrated, choreographed thing at all. That’s just the Jon everyone knew.”
On how the show came together and the emotions surrounding it: “It was the hardest work thing we’ve ever been through. It was the worst. When we did the show, I had no idea what to do a couple of days before the show. It was the day after Christmas, and talking to Amanda that night, she decided to tell everybody for the first time that he’d been sick and that he had passed. It was a shock to a lot of people and some of his good friends even. I felt like we had to do a tribute that would be right for him. I didn’t sleep Saturday night. The next day, the Jaguars had a game, and I went to the game very restless. At the end of the game, I went over to Amanda and I spent a long time talking to Amanda and a little time talking to Brodie Jr. I told her, ‘I promise this is gonna be the greatest tribute ever. I’d be lying if I said knew exactly what we’re gonna do.’ I asked her how comfortable Brodie was gonna be involved, and she said very comfortable.
“I can’t say enough about how much people did to support her during this time……I wanted to make it very special. We came back from the game Sunday night and had to lay down for a little bit. I got up and had a missed call from Dave Meltzer. I called Dave back and he asked me what we’re gonna do. I told him I honestly don’t know. This was 2 or 3 in the morning. I got pencil and paper after I got off the phone with Dave, and that’s when I came up with the idea of the Dark Order represented in all the matches teaming with babyfaces in every match to make it clear we’re painting him in a brighter and heroic light. The story of the night would be can the Dark Order get the clean sweep.”
On the idea to bring in Erick Redbeard: “That was [Shawn] Spears’ idea. That was his idea. The day before, he asked if I wanted to use Erick Redbeard. I said I would like to use him and that’s a great idea. I would probably have him come out in the middle of the show and do the thing with the Dark Order and Hangman, and then have Amanda and Brodie at the end. That’s why we did it that way.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Oral Sessions with Renee Young with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.