From the WWE Rumor Mill: Original plans for Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
Harper and Rowan are now the Bludgeon Brothers, but was that always going to be the case?
What's the story?
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan made their long awaited return to SmackDown Live this past week, putting the blue brand's tag team division on notice ahead of their impending arrival as the Bludgeon Brothers. The former Wyatt Family duo had been rumoured to be returning for weeks - were they always going to be Bludgeon Brothers?
In case you didn't know...
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan first arrived on the WWE main roster way back in summer 2013, as the followers of Bray Wyatt. The Wyatt Family dominated WWE for those first six months, before Bray ran into John Cena. Since then the family has split up, reunited and split up once again.
Harper is widely regarded as one of the most under-utilised talents in the entire company, and was seemingly on the verge of a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania just six months ago.
Erick Rowan is less acclaimed than his partner, but Big Red has one of the most interesting YouTube accounts in all of professional wrestling. After months of rumours, Harper and Rowan are back together again.
The heart of the matter
Harper and Rowan introduced their Bludgeon Brothers gimmick this past week on SmackDown Live, but Mike Johnson of PWInsider has reported that the original plan for the duo was slightly different. Harper and Rowan were to be a tag team loosely based on iconic WWF duo Demolition. With Bludgeon Brothers yet to debut in the ring, this could still be the case.
Based on the limited information available to date, the Bludgeon Brothers gimmick looks closer to wilderness hunters than face-painted brutes, but the physical style of Harper and Rowan could well lead to an Ax and Smash-style turn in their characters' future.
Many expected Harper and Rowan to be revealed as the dastardly attackers of the Fashion Police, and this could still be the case. The '2B' that Fandango and Tyler Breeze have been struggling with over the past few weeks could easily turn out to be the Bludgeon Brothers.
It isn't clear when Harper and Rowan will return to the ring, but it would be no surprise if there are a few more weeks of vignettes to come. The Fashion Police storyline has been dragging on for a while now, and one can only hope that it will end with the TV arrival of the Bludgeon Brothers.
Whilst I want to be happy at Harper and Rowan being used in any fashion, it is still frustrating to see Luke Harper in a similar position to the one he started in in WWE. Harper undoubtedly tops the list of 'under-utilised' stars in the company. If this were the '90s, a WrestleMania match with The Undertaker would be a given.
I will reserve judgment until the gimmick has played out, but Harper's 2014 Intercontinental Championship run feels like it happened in another lifetime.