Jonathan Hopper, an AEW wrestler who previously starred in WWE, wrote because of a lung problem unrelated to the coronavirus, his wife Amanda wrote on Saturday on Instagram. He was 41 years old.
Lee wrestled under the name Luke Harper in WWE and Brodie Lee in AEW. He hasn’t appeared on AEW TV since early October.
“No words can express the love I feel or how broken I am right now,” Amanda Hopper wrote. “He passed surrounded by love after an uphill battle with a lung problem unrelated to Covid. The mayoclinic is literally the best team of doctors and nurses in the world who have surrounded me with lasting love.”
In a statement, AEW wrote that Hopper “was exceptionally respected and liked in everything – a fierce and captivating talent, a thoughtful mentor and a very kind spirit.”
Hopper, from Rochester, New York, wrestled for WWE from 2012 to 2019. He has been a regular on WWE TV, particularly as a member of the White Family and in a long-running team with wrestler Eric Rowan. WWE granted him release, which he requested, last December. Hopper signed with AEW and made his debut there in March.
At AEW, Hopper was instantly pushed into a prominent position. He became the leader of a faction called The Dark Order and wrestled John Moxley for the AEW title at a Double or Nothing pay-per-view event in May. Huber’s last match was the Dog Collar match for the AEW TNT title against Cody Rhodes on October 7. The match was rated 4.5 (out of 5) stars by Wrestling Observer Newsletter, and tied for the highest star rating in Lee’s career.
Hopper survived his wife, Amanda, and children, Brody, and Nolan.