“The Exalted One” Brodie Lee was on a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast where he discussed the Dog Collar Match he had with Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship. Lee revealed that his favorite match of all time is the iconic Roddy Piper vs. Greg Valentine Dog Collar Match, and he had pitched the match jokingly to AEW officials.
“In a very good, actually roundabout cool story, one of my favorite matches of all time is Piper vs. Valentine 1983 – the Dog Collar Match, which I’ve watched tons of millions of times,” Lee admitted. “So when discussion of what should the big match be that we do, I almost jokingly threw out, ‘let’s do a Dog Collar Match.’ And everyone goes, ‘yeah, that’s a great idea.’ And I was like, ‘oh my God,’ so then the day of, they say, ‘hey, Valentine’s coming and he wants to talk to you.’ It was unreal.
“After the match, he pulled us aside, put the match over, said how impressed he [was and] how much he loved it, and it was crazy. And they had that great shot of him at the end, of him just applauding. I haven’t watched the match back. I’ve only seen clips because I just want to leave it as is. It feels very special to me.”
Lee also went into detail on the chain that was used in the match. He said the decision came down to what would look good for TV. However, he revealed that it took him a while to recover from the physical toll of the match.
“Yeah, a couple weird things – we were presented a couple different chains and options, and we went with what you saw on TV mainly because it looked good on TV,” Lee revealed. “That was not beneficial to my neck to have that strapped around me, and then carrying it around for 20 minutes while another man is trying to kill me. [The chain is] bigger and makes better a sound, which in turn hurts more.
“So, I did this for the fans; I just want them to know that. But I talked to a few people a few days after the match. I ride Peloton a lot, and the day – I think Thursday. I don’t know if it’s Thursday or Friday – I quit a ride for the first time. I was about 20 minutes in, and I said, ‘I can’t do this’, and my body was just not proper. This is just two weeks out now. I’m slowly getting normal again. I worked out, but I think I left a piece of me in there. But I’m happy with it.”
Lee talked about the freedom he has with promos in AEW, and he was asked if there was a moment that things clicked for him. He recalled the promo where he challenged Rhodes to the Dog Collar Match and how it all came from his mind and was not scripted out.
“I think, honestly, the promo I cut on Cody challenging him for the match the week after where we did it in the hallway with [John] Silver and [Alex] Reynolds there,” Lee said. “I had some thoughts in my head, and I said, ‘you know what, I’m just going to go in.’ And it was Jess, of course, and she goes, ‘what do you have in mind?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, but this is kind of how I want to present it, and whatever comes out, comes out.’ And I think we did it twice, and she’s like, ‘are you happy?’ I was like, ‘yeah, are you happy?’ Because I trust Jess very much.
“And when it was shot and shown, I was like, man, that was so powerful, because it was stuff that I believed in. It was things that were real to me, and I had people tell me, ‘man, we could feel what you were saying. You are so into it,’ and I was like, ‘yeah, because it’s real.’ And so, that was kind of the turning point.
“I was like, ‘oh my God, I need to start understanding not to script out everything word for word because I’ll get lost,’ but [instead], have these ideas in my head that I want to say and then just go out and scream them. It’s intensity, and passion, and sometimes, it doesn’t matter what you say but how you say it and learning that was very important to me.”
Lee admitted that he now loves having time on Dynamite to cut promos. He also admitted that he was scared to a cut a promo in the past, but he now enjoys it.
“I crave TV time now,” Lee remarked. “There was a time I was terrified of it, where it was like, ‘you have a 20-minute match’, and then I knew. No problem. I’m good in the ring, but they’re like, ‘hey, you have a 10-minute promo.’ It’s like, ‘oh s–t. What do I do?’ Now it’s like, I want that 10-minute promo. I crave it. It hit and it feels good. I don’t know the exact moment, but I feel like that promo with Cody and then the BTE leading up to that was kind of the turning point to where we are now.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.