For the past several months, SmackDown Live‘s tag team scene has mostly centered on three teams — reigning champions The Bar, The New Day, and The Usos. However, a new report suggests that The Bludgeon Brothers, who had held the SmackDown Tag Team titles for over four months last year, are set to return from an extended absence wherein neither member was featured on the blue brand’s programming.
On Wednesday, PWInsider reported that Erick Rowan and Luke Harper of The Bludgeon Brothers have both been cleared to return to the ring for the first time since they lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championship to The New Day in August of 2018. The publication noted that the duo could be back in action next Tuesday, right on time for WWE’s next SmackDown Live taping.
As recalled by PWInsider, The Bludgeon Brothers went on hiatus after Rowan suffered a bicep tear during their match against The New Day at last year’s SummerSlam pay-per-view, forcing the team to drop the titles on the SmackDown Live episode that followed. Rowan was recently seen at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, reportedly working to get back into wrestling shape — and hoping to be cleared for a return to the ring.
While Harper had a few non-televised matches in the coming months, as shown on his ProFightDB wrestler page, PWInsider pointed out that he was spotted several months ago with a cast on his left hand.
— WrestleZone on Mandatory (@WRESTLEZONEcom) January 16, 2019
Prior to PWInsider‘s report that The Bludgeon Brothers are about to end their hiatus and return to SmackDown Live‘s tag team division, it was speculated that WWE had other creative plans for Luke Harper. According to a previous report from the Inquisitr, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter wrote in October that WWE was considering reuniting Harper with his ex-stablemate, Bray Wyatt, as part of the company’s plans to repackage the former WWE Champion. Wyatt, who previously teamed with Harper, Rowan, and Braun Strowman in The Wyatt Family, has yet to return to televised action since the breakup of his tag team with Matt Hardy in September.
At the moment, it’s not clear what WWE’s creative plans for The Bludgeon Brothers might be, or whether they will be returning as heels or making their first run as babyfaces. However, WrestlingNews.co had previously cited PWInsider‘s Mike Johnson, who said in August that the company had bigger things in mind for the duo — as Harper and Rowan were due for a “larger role” had it not been for the latter’s injury at SummerSlam.