Brodie Lee was revealed as The Exalted One and leader of The Dark Order during Wednesday's episode of AEW Dynamite on TNT.
Lee, who wrestled in WWE as Luke Harper, loudly announced his presence with The Dark Order by attacking SoCal Uncensored in the ring:
Dynamite was originally set to emanate from Rochester, New York, in front of a live crowd, but it was moved to Jacksonville, Florida, with no fans in attendance because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, Christopher Daniels of SCU released a video in which he taunted The Dark Order. He also vowed to wrestle both Evil Uno and Stu Grayson in an attempt to prove that there was no Exalted One.
The identity of The Exalted One has been a mystery for months, and several clues and red herrings were presented during that time.
The Dark Order attempted to recruit Daniels and tried to convince others that he was part of the group. Although Daniels continued to fight against The Dark Order, there was even a time when his SCU teammates, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky, were suspicious of his involvement.
Back in January, it was reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Daniel Yanofsky) that the original plan for The Exalted One was for it to be revealed as former Elite member "The Villain" Marty Scurll.
Instead of joining AEW like many expected, however, Scurll re-signed with Ring of Honor and was given the position of head booker in addition to his wrestling role.
With Scurll out of the question, the focus shifted toward a pair of performers who had recently left WWE in Brodie Lee and Matt Hardy.
Lee seemed like a natural fit for an ominous stable like The Dark Order after his success with The Wyatt Family in WWE.
Hardy also made sense because of the nature of his "broken" character. AEW also played up the idea that Hardy could be The Exalted One on social media, including this tweet about Dark Order in which the first letter of each line spelled out "Matt Hardy."
On March 1, Hardy revealed that his WWE contract was up and that he was weighing other options because of his unhappiness with the lack of creative freedom in the company.
Then, on the season finale of Hardy's Free The Delete YouTube show, Hardy interacted with The Young Bucks, which led to more talk that a move to AEW was inevitable.
Regardless of what AEW's original plans were for The Dark Order, the company did well to play up to the fact that several different people were potentially in the running, and it generated increased interest in a stable that was widely panned at first.
Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).