No plans for Luke Harper? Say it ain't so!

Joshua Waddles
Staff Writer

Cage Side Seats has reported that the WWE has “no future plans” for Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve been dropped. If the WWE did drop them, it would be inexcusable, at least in the case of Luke Harper, because Harper is spectacular in the ring.

Harper’s ring skills weren’t always at this level. He was always good, but he wasn’t that good. But he’s pushed himself to a point that he is now the equal of the best wrestlers the WWE has ever showcased, including Daniel Bryan and A.J. Styles.

But he may have trouble thriving on WWE SMACKDOWN due to its two-hour format. SMACKDOWN simply does not have enough time to properly showcase all of its deserving talent. The “Brand Shakeup” moved some of SMACKDOWN’s top wrestlers to RAW, which created a lot of room for SMACKDOWN wrestlers to advance, but they also took in Kevin Owens, several NXT wrestlers and pushed Jinder Mahal to the World Title picture.

I don’t expect Harper to be next in line for the title after this feud ends, mostly due to the hype around the new guy from NXT, Shinsuke Nakamura. I haven’t been able to see any of his NXT matches, but it’s clear that SMACKDOWN has huge plans for him. Nakamura is the center of all of SMACKDOWN’s promotions and he has yet to even wrestle in a single match on SMACKDOWN.

But Chris Jericho is likely going on tour with his band, meaning Kevin Owens has no one to feud with for the United States Title. I expect he’ll either be defending against AJ Styles or Luke Harper.

If Harper doesn’t go after the U.S. Title, a feud against Erick Rowan would make sense because of un-finished business with their Wyatt Family feud. This wouldn’t exactly be a feud for the ages, but it would keep them both on screen until the WWE is ready to move Harper back into a better feud.

The other possibility is that Luke Harper and Erick Rowan form a tag team again. I would have loved this idea six months ago, but Luke Harper has just gotten so good lately, I want to see him in singles competition.

In that case, I do worry about Erick Rowan, though. Rowan is simply not as good as Harper and he’ll almost certainly be buried if he’s not in a tag team or faction.