AEW: Five New Members That Can Help The Dark Order

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: WWE Superstars Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan ring The New York Stock Exchange Opening Bell in honor of WrestleMania 32 at New York Stock Exchange on March 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: WWE Superstars Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan ring The New York Stock Exchange Opening Bell in honor of WrestleMania 32 at New York Stock Exchange on March 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images) /

AEW had a touching moment at their recent show in Rochester, NY in honor of the memory of Brodie Lee. The remaining members of The Dark Order and his son kept Brodie’s memory alive and well as they said they were here to stay.

At one point in the early days of All Elite Wrestling, the villainous stable known as The Dark Order was a threat to the company. They continued to grow in members as they hyped up the arrival of the leader of the group: The Exalted One. The fans were all talking about The Dark Order and were trying to guess who would be the rumored “Exalted One” would turn out to be. There were a few names tossed around but ultimately fans believed they knew who it was going to be. It was revealed on the March 18th, 2020 episode of AEW Dynamite that The Exalted One was Mr. Brodie Lee. He made his debut by destroying Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian.

With Brodie Lee in control of the group, The Dark Order instantly became an even bigger deal. They looked like a true threat to anybody who would step in their way. Brodie Lee kept the members of his group in line by verbally and physically doing so if he had to. However, it was the over-the-top actions by Brodie that sent The Dark Order to super popularity. They were a must-see on AEW television and on the Being The Elite youtube channel. Unfortunately, a real-life tragedy would strike the group when the man behind Brodie Lee, Jon Huber suddenly passed away ten days after his 41st birthday in December 2020.

After Brodie’s passing, AEW held a celebration of his life and his son Brodie Lee Jr, who would take the moniker of Negative One, would be named the honorary leader of the group. Since then Negative One has made several appearances with the group but you can see how much the group is missing Mr. Brodie Lee. Since Brodie, other members have left the group and they’ve fallen from the spot they were once on the card. However, there is still plenty who support the group and they can still get back to where they once were. Perhaps it is just time to add a new member to the group. Here are five potential choices that would fit right in.

5. Erick Redbeard

When the idea for this list first came to my mind, Erick Redbeard was the first person that came to my mind. He has already been involved with The Dark Order during Brodie Lee’s memorial show. Redbeard came to the rescue of the group to run off Wardlow. He stood with the group with tears in his eyes to mourn the loss of a great friend. However, Redbeard wouldn’t appear in the company again for over a year. He would make a shocking appearance this past March to fill in for Rey Fenix and team with Death Triangle’s Pac and Penta Oscuro to face the House of Black in losing fashion. Since then, Redbeard hasn’t been seen back in the company.

However, there are many people that would surely love to have Redbeard sign a contract with AEW and become a permanent member of The Dark Order. There aren’t many other people that Brodie Lee would have probably wanted in the group besides Erick. The two were close friends and had traveled the world together as members of The Wyatt Family or just as a tag team together. Having Redbeard in The Dark Order would be like having another part of Brodie in the group and would certainly add the missing element of height that Brodie left. He would be a welcomed sight to help Negative One lead the group into the future.

4. Sting

After the most recent episode of Dynamite went off the air, Darby Allin and Sting came out to approach Brody King. They showed King respect before Darby looked to get a handshake from him and was ultimately denied when Malakai Black made his way out. Malakai and Darby exchanged looks that could mean that they are about to go into a feud with each other. However, the respect for Brody and the exchange with Malakai could mean something else. Darby Allin has been a fan favorite since day one of AEW but maybe it is time for him to join the House of Black. Let’s face it, he would fit in perfectly.

However, that would leave Sting without Darby and without direction in the company. Things could quickly get real bad for Sting as well if The House of Black target Darby’s old mentor as the first mission with him in the group. Sting will need strength in numbers to take down a version of The House of Black that has Darby Allin as well. It would be an amazing moment if The Dark Order raised up to Sting’s aid to help run off Malakai and his followers. Sting standing tall as a member of The Dark Order would solidify the group in the eyes of many and certainly wouldn’t be able to be overlooked anymore.

3. Matt Hardy

For several weeks up to the debuts of Matt Hardy and Brodie Lee, both names were rumored as being The Exalted One of The Dark Order. While they would end up making their debuts on the same night, Brodie would ultimately be The Exalted One as Matt Hardy would debut and enter the ongoing feud between The Elite and The Inner Circle as a request from The Young Bucks. Since then Matt Hardy has been all over the place in AEW from initially bringing back his “Broken” Matt Hardy gimmick to bringing out parts of “Big Money” Matt Hardy with Private Party to going back to his roots and just being himself alongside his brother Jeff.

Unfortunately, personal issues have caused Matt Hardy to not have his brother Jeff with him anymore and now, he’s looking for something new to do. While he looks to be involved with Christian Cage and Jungle Boy’s feud, the best option for both parties would be for Matt Hardy to join The Dark Order. With the group losing multiple members, they are in need of somebody new to come in. While it would be obvious to choose Hangman Page, who has been associated with the group for a long time. Matt Hardy would bring shock value and big-name value to the group at the same time.

2. Dustin Rhodes

Ever since he joined All Elite Wrestling, Dustin Rhodes has completely been the good All-American son of the son of a plumber Dusty Rhodes. He hasn’t been anything like the other more bizarre characters he has portrayed beside still painting one side of his face. However, there is plenty of darkness and bizarre behavior inside of this man no matter how normal he can act. We have seen him for years push the limits as Goldust in the WWE. He has made the character work as both a face and a heel during the life of the gimmick. In other companies like WCW and Impact Wrestling, he has played even darker and more bizarre characters like Seven and Black Reign.

While at first glance, the blonde-haired American boy may seem quite normal, Rhodes is perfectly bizarre enough to fit in with a group like The Dark Order. When you look back at the initial calling of The Dark Order, Dustin Rhodes would be accepted for whatever version of himself that he wanted to be as a member of The Dark Order. He can be as bizarre as he pleases and still finds a place in the group. And if Dustin is content just being who he is right now, The Dark order has shown through “Hangman” Adam Page that they like good ole country boys as well.

1. Windham Rotunda

The best answer for somebody to take over the leadership role in The Dark Order is Windham Rotunda. However, he may also be the most farfetched choice to join The Dark Order. He is the only choice on this list that has had no involvement with the company in any form. Unlike everyone else that has at least appeared on AEW television, Rotunda never has but he is still the most deserving of taking over a group that Brodie Lee had been in charge of. In the story of Rotunda and Brodie Lee, Rotunda is responsible for teaching Brodie how to be a leader by leading him when he was the head of The Wyatt Family.

Windham Rotunda was one of the biggest stars in the industry in the WWE as Bray Wyatt no matter how much Vince McMahon didn’t want to see it. Rotunda struck gold as Wyatt and as The Fiend version of the character. He had no issue with the pressure that was put on his shoulders and shined in every opportunity given. As the head of The Wyatt Family, he helped mold Brodie then known as Luke Harper and Erick Rowan into stars. As big as Bray Wyatt would get, The Wyatt Family was right there with him. Once he broke away from The Wyatt Family, Harper became the first member of the group to win gold in the WWE by winning the Intercontinental Championship.

Unfortunately, as for Rotunda, he was never truly given his due in the company. Despite winning the world championship on three occasions, the reigns weren’t that memorable and he was used as a stepping stone for the likes of Randy Orton and Goldberg. Eventually, he was shown that the WWE had no clue what they had with him by releasing him. By joining AEW and joining The Dark Order, he would have a similar drive and mission as Brodie Lee had when he became The Exalted One. Rotunda could come in and take over the reins for a fallen comrade and finish his missions.

Related Story. Remembering Brodie Lee: A Career Retrospective. light