On Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite, AEW paid tribute to Brodie Lee by dedicating the entire show to the late wrestler, with his former WWE tag team partner, Erick Redbeard, making a surprise appearance and joining Lee’s faction, The Dark Order, in paying tribute to the group’s leader. However, a new report suggests that the erstwhile free agent has yet to sign a deal to wrestle for AEW.
Citing this week’s edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Ringside News wrote on Friday that Redbeard’s appearance was merely a “one-off surprise.” While neither side has come to terms on any sort of agreement, the publication suggested that there’s a possibility things might change in the coming weeks, especially since Redbeard was seemingly accepted by his late friend’s group “as [part of the] family” on this week’s Dynamite.
As recapped by Comic Book, Redbeard’s debut featured him running in during a six-man tag team match between “Hangman” Adam Page and Dark Order members Alex Reynolds and John Silver and MJF, Ortiz, and Santana of The Inner Circle. In the final minutes of the contest, the former WWE superstar attacked MJF’s bodyguard Wardlow, preventing him from interfering and leaving the ring soon after.
Redbeard later returned to join Reynolds, Silver, and Page in their victory celebration, notably holding up a sign that paid tribute to Lee’s memory.
During their time in WWE, Redbeard and Lee — then respectively known as Erick Rowan and Luke Harper — were best known for their time as part of The Wyatt Family. After breaking apart from faction leader Bray Wyatt, the duo teamed up as The Bludgeon Brothers, dropping their first names during their time working the gimmick and going on to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championships before disbanding.
After briefly serving as Daniel Bryan’s bodyguard during his heel run, Redbeard had a singles stint that didn’t yield much success. He and several other superstars were released in April 2020 due to coronavirus-related budget cuts.
The possibility of Redbeard joining AEW had been brought up multiple times following Lee’s debut as the “Exalted One” of The Dark Order in March of last year. Speaking to Chris Van Vliet in August (via WrestlingNews.co), he talked about how he and his former teammate have “always been joined at the hip” and that one should “never say never” when talking about the chance of a future reunion. However, he stressed that he wanted to give Lee an opportunity to shine as a singles performer and stable leader and didn’t “want to step on any toes” just yet.