During his time in WWE as Luke Harper, recent AEW signee Brodie Lee rarely got any promo time as a wrestler whose main selling point was arguably his size. Ever since joining AEW, however, he has been featured in multiple vignettes as The Dark Order stable’s once-mysterious leader, “The Exalted One.” Much like the previous two clips that featured his character, the latest video saw Lee continue making references that were widely seen as shots fired against his former boss, WWE chairman Vince McMahon.
As seen in the video below, the third vignette featuring Lee in his Exalted One gimmick began with the former SmackDown Tag Team Champion addressing The Dark Order while wearing a suit and holding a presentation in what appeared to be a conference room. After introducing himself as “Mr. Brodie Lee,” he seemed to touch on the real-life coronavirus crisis by mentioning the “unprecedented, anxious times” people are currently dealing with.
One of the faction’s masked henchmen, or “Creepers,” then stood next to Lee and addressed him as both “Mr. Lee” and “Exalted One,” despite being informed twice that the correct way to address him is “Mr. Brodie.” Angered by this, Lee asked the Creeper to recite The Dark Order’s motto of “we are one,” then went further into a rage when the masked man didn’t say the words in a satisfactory manner.
Later on, Lee admonished a second Creeper for yawning, sitting next to the masked Dark Order member and asking him if there’s any reason why he’s tired. He then mentioned that “nothing in the world is open,” thus giving this henchman no excuse to yawn in his presence. Lee concluded his lecture by saying that yawning shows weakness, warning the Creeper not to make the same mistake again, and asking him to leave the room.
As explained by WrestlingNews.co, Lee’s anger over his follower’s inability to say “we are one” with the correct level of intensity and inflection was seemingly a jab at McMahon’s alleged insistence that wrestlers and announcers alike say certain words or phrases repeatedly, or with a specific cadence. Meanwhile, the Dark Order leader’s anger at seeing the second Creeper yawning was said to be a reference to how McMahon has been known to demand long and unreasonable working hours from his employees.
“Countless former WWE employees have talked about the long work hours,” the outlet continued. “Writers oftentimes will be up on conference calls late into the night and it’s not uncommon for them to be up at 4 am writing scripts for Raw or SmackDown.”
As of this writing, WWE has yet to comment on the latest Dark Order vignette. However, a previous report from The Inquisitr noted that there were certain people in the wrestling business who allegedly were upset by the stable’s second “Exalted One” clip, which featured Lee parodying one of McMahon’s perceived quirks by yelling at a faction member who sneezed in front of him.