At SummerSlam, Rowan suffered a bicep injury that required The Bludgeon Brothers to drop the SmackDown Tag Team Championship titles to The New Day two days later. It’s expected that Rowan will be out of action for somewhere around 4-6 months.
In the meantime, Harper is still there, so what should WWE do with him?
Here are five potential directions of where he could go in the near future:
The cold, hard truth is that it’s certainly a possibility that WWE does absolutely nothing with Harper whatsoever.
On the positive side of things, that would give him a few months to explore some other hobbies, rest up any nagging injuries he may also be dealing with, and spend a lot of time with his family. If it’s a paid vacation, I’m sure that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, even if it’s bothersome that he wouldn’t get a chance to do what he surely loves to do.
Sometimes, taking time off is better for both sides of the equation, as that person gets missed and when they return, they mean significantly more than if they had just lingered around and jobbed on house shows.
WWE may feel like there isn’t much to either Harper or Rowan without the other and that the Bludgeon Brothers tag team was only really formed to give them something worthwhile to do, so without the other half of the equation, most of the value is gone. In a sense, these two could be in the same position as The Ascension, but on a bigger scale, as they get wins. However, the same concept applies: would anybody really care about Konnor on his own without Viktor, or vice versa?
I happen to think The Bludgeon Brothers tag team has fallen off quicker than it should have, and I’d like to see something different, but WWE might feel like they’re a packaged deal or they’re nothing, and be more willing to wait until Rowan is healed up to do anything with Harper at all.
I can’t see that “nothing” option being the case, at least as far as the live event circuit goes.
Instead, I’d imagine we’ll see Harper popping up on house shows all over the place, wrestling in singles matches against people who have nothing else better to do, like R-Truth, or being part of some multi-man matches just for the sake of having another person in the ring.
Then again, that may extend into the television spectrum, too, as Harper is good enough between the ropes that someone like Daniel Bryan may want to take on a feud with him, even if it’s a short one.
He could very easily slide into the midcard scene on SmackDown, fighting the likes of Rusev, Tye Dillinger, and Jeff Hardy if he remains a heel—somewhat taking over the Big Cass spot—or WWE could repackage him a bit and let him work with Andrade “Cien” Almas, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Miz and Randy Orton.
For that matter, if he’s retooled enough to be worth a push, it would be interesting to see a guy as big as Harper go up against a champion like Samoa Joe (assuming he wins the title from AJ Styles at Hell in a Cell or Super Show-Down), if not just for a quick placeholder feud to bide time.
If Rowan is out until Royal Rumble or maybe even WrestleMania, if not longer, it would be a shame to miss out on all the potential matches Harper could have, just because he isn’t in a tag team.
Who’s to say he doesn’t just shack up with SAnitY to make their numbers even bigger?
Your first reaction to this is probably the same as mine would be to this: a total groan and sigh of disapproval.
I’m not endorsing this at all, as I don’t think Harper would serve much of a purpose to the unit and would take away from Killian Dain, nor do I think it’s smart to kill off the Bludgeon Brothers / SAnitY feud that could happen down the line by incorporating them.
Of course, you could always do some kind of storyline about Harper being initiated into the fold so he can study them and learn their weaknesses so when Rowan is ready to go, The Bludgeon Brothers reunite and take down SAnitY, but that already happened with Randy Orton and The Wyatt Family, so I’m not super into the rehash.
But if you’re into going back to the well again and again…
Teaming with Bray Wyatt
The Deleters of Worlds was a dud. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt was an interesting concept at first, but it went downhill very quickly, the tag team gave it a momentary adrenaline boost, and right after that, it was obvious that it wasn’t working out.
If the reports are true that Hardy is pretty banged up and may not be wrestling anymore, or at least, not that much longer, it would be a shame for him to continue that team with Wyatt and potentially end his career on such a low note.
Since nothing of the sort has been indicated and Wyatt has been missing in action just the same as Hardy, I think it’s safe to assume that duo is over and WWE Creative is trying to figure out something else for Wyatt.
They may very well just go with the easy option of pairing Wyatt up with Harper once more to give SmackDown another tag team to play around with, as Wyatt might not have much of a purpose on Raw’s singles division over the next few months.
The downside to this is that we’ve seen it before, with them splitting and reuniting multiple times, so it’s doubtful the pairing would be anything different from anything that has already happened.
The positive, though, is that it at least allows the two to do something and they can keep up the tag division on Tuesday nights. Plus, when Rowan is healthy, we could have a proper 3-on-3 (on 3 if The New Day is also involved…on 3 if Carlito ever gets re-signed to join The Colons) situation with SAnitY and The Wyatt Family.
And no, I don’t think there’s any scenario where Harper and/or Wyatt link up with Strowman again. His character has gotten way past his association with The Wyatt Family at this point.
Down to NXT
I’m of the rare and controversial opinion that sometimes, it would be more beneficial for people to actually spend some time off the main roster and work the NXT shows instead of making one jump to Raw and SmackDown and staying there.