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Luke Harper, Future Monster Heel?

On Monday night’s Raw, the Wyatts performed in a tag team match, something that is fairly routine for the trio. Luke Harper carried the majority of the match, another occurrence that doesn’t deviate from the norm. On this night, however, this routine performance gave people an unexpected performance that opened eyes and impressed many. Luke Harper showed abilities that belie his role as a drone of Bray Wyatt, and may hint to what he could be in the future.

Some may say that this sample size (one match) is not enough to make the claim that Harper could be a singles’ star, but consider how the tag matches for the Wyatts are arranged. Harper is almost always the wrestler being featured from the Wyatt’s side, and in tag matches that exhibit new teams, the strongest wrestler on a team tends to be featured. With that in mind and seeing what Harper did with both Kingston and Miz Monday night, it’s safe to say that Harper has potential.

wyatt familyWhile Harper has borrowed hair cues from the Macho Man, (long black hair with a huge bald spot along with a beard) Harper is certainly an individual with his own style. In the Indies, he’s displayed agility that most wouldn’t expect from a man who’s billed at 6’5″ and 260+ lbs. Although listed at 6’5,” the same height as the Rock, Harper wrestles as if he’s 6’7″ or 6’8″ like his partner Erick Rowan–namely throwing opponents around with ease, working a slow and plodding style, and utilizing the clubbing blows that gigantic wrestlers have come to be notorious for in the WWE. Harper’s convincing portrayal of a brain-washed drone–punctuated by the “yeah-yeah-yeah” that he repeats relentlessly when he’s taking an opponent apart–demonstrates that he has little trouble portraying a character. The persuasive cold, deranged look that washes over his face when he wrestles is a sign that Harper may have what it takes to be a very good heel.

Beyond his commitment to character, what may make Harper special is his ability in the ring, and Monday night was an example of how formidable that ability really is. Harper was mean, punishing, powerful, and aggressive all while selling enough to make his opponents look credible. These are attributes that you seek in a monster heel or any heel for that matter. His work Monday night was a nice departure from how wrestlers his size are booked in the WWE. He used effective ring psychology to punish the Miz twice (boot to Miz pushing him out of the ring on the bottom rope into a nice slingshot), produced an impressive-looking sit out body-slam, sold Kofi’s hurricanrana very well, and ended the match with a nasty discus clothesline that was delivered with authority. Harper has the hard-hitting style and aggression to be a good heel in the future, and the fluidity to take a variety of moves and not look stiff in the ring.

Luke HarperHarper’s effectiveness in his role as second-in-command has been largely overlooked due to Bray’s Wyatt’s spellbinding promo ability and back-bending scare tactics. However, with Bray still on the shelf, Harper is stepping up nicely and demonstrating that he has much to offer to the creative and the WWE Universe going forward into the future. Harper blends what the more hardcore wrestling fan wants with what Vince likes; he can clearly wrestle well, and he has a large physique. The Wyatt family is designed to feature Bray and turn him into a star, but don’t be surprised if Bray is the not the only star that this trio produces.

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  • jcice13

    I could see him in a bruiser brody type of a role if they chose to go that way

    • Abudadein

      Huff! Huff! Huff!

      • jcice13

        you’ll have to do a little better because I heard a lot of nord the barbarian in your huffs LOL

    • The Devourer of Dimensions

      He looks so much like him too. lol

  • tt2000

    Harper is the one who wrestles because Rowan is average at best. He’s got the size and look for the part but not much else.

    • xXwindsofchangeXx

      To be absolutely fair, guys that are Rowan’s size and CAN wrestle extremely well are freaks of nature. He’s very nearly as big as Kane. Rowan may stick as somebody’s heavy – or as everybody’s heavy. But Harper is clearly the better wrestler and stronger personality of the two.

      • Sieg

        Harper sticks out as he’s supposed to be the number 2 guy where Wyatt is number 1. Rowan is the quiet enforcer though it’d be nice if they gave him some more personality. I do have a feeling his character evolution will be the most fun to watch since we don’t know much about him from a character standpoint.

  • Victor82

    I think the only one in the Wyatt Family that will have success, is Bray Wyatt.

    • xXwindsofchangeXx

      It depends on what you mean by ‘success’… I could see Harper making a nice midcard heel, maybe having an IC reign or three to his credit by the time everything’s said and done. Depending on how long he’s able/chooses to keep wrestling for WWE, there may be time enough to build him into an upper-midcard mainstay that can be booked as a permanent presence that’s always a big hurdle for an up-and-coming face to overcome, while taking the occasional tour of duty as an enforcer for a smaller (in size), more devious heel champion – maybe a bit like what Tyson Tomko was to Christian at one point? But Harper’s obviously more talented. Guys in his size range that can wrestle well don’t grow on trees.

  • Heelsean

    He’s a great wrestler, he had brilliant matches with Antonio Cesaro in the indies. Eric Rowan looks average at best and although I love Bray’s gimmick, Luke Harper seems the stand out wrestler of this stable. Kane hasn’t got many years left and if they need a monster I think Harper could be it.

  • xXwindsofchangeXx

    Is it just me, or does Luke Harper look like he’s about 50? Beard aside, he’s got a really aged-looking face.

    • Jordan

      he isnt in his 40’s? I always guessed he was an older guy. Regardless, he’s good (i think so anyway. I love the wyatt angle… even if I really have no idea what bray is talking about during his promos)

      • xXwindsofchangeXx

        Nah, he’s ‘only’ 33, which is on the older side for a guy just debuting in WWE this year, but not “OLD” old.

  • CatchWrestler1

    With Bray’s injury, he really is excelling in delivering good performances and carrying the weight for the Wyatt Family. It sounds odd, but he reminds me of JBL when he started as Bradshaw with Zeb Colter in the mid to late 90s.

  • Joseph_Rocha

    I wonder if Erik Rowan will be the sacrificial lamb, and turn into something like Bull Buchanan….

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