Luke Harper's amazing talent didn't save him from getting buried

By: 
Joshua Waddles
Staff Writer

Luke Harper has not appeared on SMACKDOWN for about three weeks.

The “Brand shakeup” was a complete disaster. By moving SMACKDOWN’s main event talent to RAW and putting the World Title on Jinder Mahal, Vince McMahon hoped to accomplish the twin goals of making RAW more interesting and expanding the WWE brand in India. Both of these things have failed and McMahon completely wrecked the most interesting story arcs.

He moved Bray Wyatt to RAW and kept Luke Harper on SMACKDOWN. It should have been the other way around.

Bray Wyatt needs to be at the top of the roster for which ever brand he is on, at least for a little while. Wyatt has had a lot of momentum built up. His winning the World Title on WWE SMACKDOWN should have been the culmination, but it ended so anti climactically after only one month, dropping the belt to Randy Orton and preserving Wyatt’s 0-3 streak at WrestleMania.

Now I don’t deny that Wyatt can (and will) have some very good feuds on RAW. The problem with Wyatt right now is the problem fans see with RAW in general: he, and the show, just aren’t going anywhere. Wyatt can have great feuds with Seth Rollins and Finn Balor, but until the WWE gives us a satisfying title run, he’s pretty much just standing around at the one-yard line with the ball in his hand.

With Luke Harper, it’s the opposite problem. Although he’s undeniably ready if the WWE should choose to put him back in the main events, I don’t think he necessarily needs it at the moment. I would be happy as a clam to watch him put on a few great matches for the United States Title or battle with AJ Styles somewhere near the top of the first hour on SMACKDOWN.

But although SMACKDOWN has great (and I mean great) talent, even after RAW poached most of their main event guys, SMACKDOWN is hamstrung by being a two-hour show. SMACKDOWN acquired The New Day in the Brand Shakeup, a team sure to go down in history as one of the greatest factions of all time, and it was three weeks before they even found time to put The New Day in the show.

Luke Harper has not appeared on SMACKDOWN in about three weeks. This is an outrageous waste of talent. In the weeks leading up to WrestleMania, Harper has demonstrated incredible improvement in the ring. He’s not just good, he’s at the top level. He’s on the same level as AJ Styles or Daniel Bryan, but we don’t get to watch him.

I would love to see SMACKDOWN evolve into a three-hour show. This is unlikely to happen in the near future because the fans are getting fed up with Vince McMahon’’s marketing stunts. Since the post WrestleMania show on April 4 (followed immediately by the Brand shakeup), SMACKDOWN has lost over 800,000 viewers.

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