Latest posts by Ciaran (see all)
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When the Randy Orton/Bray Wyatt dispute commenced all the way back in September few imagined that Luke Harper would have such a pivotal role, let alone the fact that it would be Smackdown’s main story heading into Wrestlemania. Randy & Bray’s first singles feud was met with apathy by the audience as their segments and match failed to sparkle, undeterred WWE kept faith and soon added the twist of Orton joining the Wyatt’s. This in turn actually made Orton more relevant than he has been in quite some time, although still respected hugely by the fans he had been blowing cold for months on the main roster. It also paid dividends for the Wyatt’s who since being drafted to SD had been lost in the shuffle, Bray most of all needed the proverbial kick start, after 18 months of going nowhere he was beginning to stale.
The Wyatt’s with Randy in their corner started to garner favour through association, even Harper who was sceptical at first about Orton’s alliance seemed to mellow. As WWE headed into Survivor Series Bray & Randy were added to team Smackdown, many speculated that Orton was preparing to split the Wyatt’s apart but it never happened, more so Orton & Bray were the sole survivors. The Wyatt’s then turned their dominance to the SD Tag Team division, they defeated Slater and Rhyno to capture the titles and defended them under the free-bird rule. Randy & Bray seemed inseparable, Harper meanwhile began to trust Orton further and even partnered with him to defend the titles, it was this alliance that would cause the breakdown. When it came to defending the belts against American Alpha and attempting to regain them Orton and Harper seemed to have a miscommunication that on both occasions cost them the tag team championship.
With tensions slowly simmering as we entered the New Year Bray tried to keep his brothers together, it would escalate further when Harper accidently Superkicked Wyatt after an altercation with Orton. This would lead to Bray demanding that Luke & Randy settle their differences before the Rumble, Orton would defeat Harper on SDLive, following the match Bray laid out his fallen brother with Sister Abigail. At the Royal Rumble Harper’s face turn became apparent as he attacked Bray during the match, he would then following the Rumble team with Cena against Orton & Wyatt. With Elimination Chamber only a mere two weeks away, Harper & Orton faced off once more in a very entertaining match at the event to attempt to settle their hostilities. Harper defeated at EC would not go quietly into the night, he resurfaced on Smackdown last night to attack Bray Wyatt before his scheduled WWE Title defence. Bray did retain, however many are now speculating that Luke Harper will be thrown into the championship scene as we head towards Wrestlemania.
Fuel was added to the fire after Daniel Bryan announced a Battle Royal to determine a new No1 contender, Randy Orton has refused to face Bray Wyatt for the Title. This automatically means the WWE Title match at Wrestlemania could yet be a Triple Threat or possibly a Fatal-4-Way, depending on what happens with AJ Styles. With people now talking about Harper being moved into the title scene one has to ask has he earned the spot? There is no denying Harper’s ability in the ring, he is easily one of the best big men working today and he could if given the proper booking have a great run. Just imagine if the WWE viewed Harper the way they do Braun Strowman, how different would his career be, but the problem is they don’t, Harper is getting a push because he’s part of the Wyatt’s not because he’s had a career year with amazing performances. Before being paired with Orton the Wyatt’s were going nowhere fast, there is no way Harper is ready to be plunged into the WWE title scene at Wrestlemania, plus is he really who the ardent fans at Mania want to see?
Depending on what happens at Wrestlemania there is no reason why Harper cannot make for a good face opponent come post WM, he against a heel Wyatt or Orton would make for good matches in the down season. I don’t see WWE going with Harper as the third man, he might make for a good pre Mania challenge for Wyatt but that’s it. If Harper is to be included then don’t expect to see him fighting for it much longer, with Orton partially a face and with the inevitable Styles face turn happening soon the spaces for tops faces are running short, unfortunately for Harper he could be out in the cold sooner than expected.