What’s the story?
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan fans might need to prepare themselves for disappointment. Cageside Seats has speculated that despite Harper’s initial push earlier in the year, WWE has no immediate plans for the former Intercontinental Champion.
The same is true for his former tag team partner Rowan, who recently returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
In case you didn’t know...
Just a few short months ago, it seemed entirely possible that Luke Harper was going to find himself competing for a world championship at WrestleMania. Harper had turned his back on The Wyatt Family just prior to the Royal Rumble when it became clear that Randy Orton’s intentions towards Bray Wyatt were less than noble.
Harper competed against AJ Styles in a number one contender’s match but came up short. Erick Rowan underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in October last year and returned to in-ring competition immediately following WrestleMania 33.
The heart of the matter
With SmackDown Live losing Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and The Miz as part of the Superstar shake-up, many observers felt that the time may well be right for Luke Harper to break out on the blue brand as a major singles star.
Harper did his part, presenting a leaner look in the build-up to WrestleMania, as well as bringing his in-ring work up a notch.
Harper’s push fizzled out at the Show of Shows, however, and both Harper and Rowan have been presented as afterthoughts in the weeks since. Both men were involved in the six-pack challenge that saw Jinder Mahal become the number one contender to Randy Orton’s WWE Championship, but those expecting either man to be featured heavily on SmackDown Live in the coming months may well be disappointed.
All speculation must be taken with a pinch of salt of course, but WWE’s history of booking either man outside of The Wyatt Family doesn’t fill one with much optimism.
It seems clear that neither man will have anything to do at the forthcoming Backlash pay-per-view, and whilst Harper may well find himself in the Money in the Bank ladder match in June, it could be a long year for Harper and Rowan.
It isn’t hugely surprising that WWE might not have plans for Erick Rowan. Big Red is a useful man to have on the roster, but the chances of him breaking out as a major star are slim to none.
Luke Harper is another story entirely. Harper is arguably the best big man on the WWE roster, a legitimately great worker with some of the best character chops in WWE today. It is a travesty that WWE continues to neglect such a talent.
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