WWE News: Backstage Creative Changes Made For Luke Harper And Erick Rowan
The Wyatt Family was once considered one of the most frightening factions the WWE had ever seen. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan wreaked havoc over the entire roster, leading to several memorable feuds for the patriarch of the group. But a little over a year after their introduction, Harper and Rowan were set free as all three set out on singles paths of their own.
Less than a year after that, the family was reunited, adding Braun Strowman to the stable to present an even more intimidating front. Admirers of the Wyatt Family hoped that the realignment would result in a major push, but they continued to chase the carrot at every turn.
Any storyline of significance for WrestleMania 32 was nixed due to an injury to Harper, though Bray, Rowan and Strowman helped make The Rock’s segment more memorable in the end. Then, a proposed program with the League of Nations (and a face turn) was derailed when Bray got bit by the injury bug, removing Rowan and Strowman from television altogether.
Bray returned to lead the Wyatts against The New Day over the summer, but that faction v faction feud turned out to be the last for the Family, as WWE officials deemed that their run together had come to an end yet again. Though most of the tag teams were kept together, the Wyatts were split apart in light of the brand extension. Bray and Rowan were drafted to SmackDown, Strowman went on his own for the first time to RAW and Harper was ineligible for the draft because of his injury.
Injuries and start-and-stop pushes have been an overriding theme for the Wyatt Family since debuting on the main roster, but the brand split should offer more opportunities in the long run. Strowman’s current path of destruction over enhancement talent is expected to intensify over the next several weeks, while Harper has been slotted right back by the side of Bray Wyatt in the Eater of World’s feud with Randy Orton.
That spot was being occupied by Erick Rowan, but a torn rotator cuff will sideline him yet again. According to Wrestling Inc, Harper was slotted to compete on the RAW brand, but Rowan’s injury changed those plans. The indication that many got then, was that nothing major was being planned for Harper’s run on Monday nights, and this role would serve him and Wyatt better.
Rowan, who is now expected to miss anywhere from four to six months with the shoulder injury, has been known to post cryptic messages on his social media accounts. He continued in that vein recently, posting a video where he buries the sheep mask fans have come accustomed to see him wear on a weekly basis. You can see the video below and draw your own conclusions for what this might mean for his character when he returns in 2017.
— Joseph Ruud (@ErickRedBeard) October 9, 2016
It’s not yet clear how Bray Wyatt will fare coming out of his current program with Orton. It’s promising for the young superstar that he won the first battle, defeating Randy Sunday in the main event of No Mercy, thanks to the reintroduction of Luke Harper. It’s been speculated for months that Orton would follow-up a feud with Wyatt by challenging AJ Styles for the WWE World Championship.
The next time SmackDown is on pay-per-view is the dual-branded Survivor Series. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon have already challenged RAW to three inter-promotional Survivor Series matches, one of which will pit the five best superstars from each show against each other.
This certainly could mean that the WWE World Championship won’t be defended again on pay-per-view until December’s TLC event if the blue brand’s top stars (like Styles, Ambrose, Orton, Wyatt) are pinpointed for that match. Styles still appears mired in a feud with Dean Ambrose while things are far from over between Wyatt and Orton.
Erick Rowan has been totally removed from the equation for now, while Harper returns to his role as the right hand man of Bray Wyatt. We’ll just have to continue following the buzzards to see if anything bigger will ever be in the cards for either one.
[Featured Image By WWE]