Ten Sentences: Luke Harper Gets It

Ten sentences on why Luke Harper is a a prime example of how the "little things" can make the biggest difference in professional wrestling.

What struck me during RAW last night while watching the very solid tag match between the Usos and the Wyatts was the attention to detail that continues to shine through the work and the mind of Luke Harper.

Harper is a nearly perfect illustration of how minute components of a performance can take a good worker to a completely different level and simultaneously greatly enhance the aura of a wrestling match and the story it tells.

Luke is excellent at understanding the nuances of his character, as he moves chaotically, attacks with force, but makes sure to throw in a few extremely quick cutoff spots or a few moves that allow him to check off the box next to the "out of nowhere" description.

He also gets the psyche of his role, has the best blank stare imaginable, and when he goes for the win and stares at the hard cam, it's easy to get lost in the idea that this guy is literally looking directly at the viewers, but in a way that feels individually eerie as if Harper is staring at you and only you.

Luke and Bray both grasp that their work is best when it comes without warning and with vicious suddenness, with the best examples being Luke's big boot and Bray's variation on the cross body.

In a different way than Harper, who does it more for character, Sami Zayn's attention to detail is what makes him an even stronger worker and both should absolutely be applauded for these facets of their work.

Zayn sells in gradual fashion, realizing that false finishes late in a match are much easier for fans to accept when they're preceded by one counts or quick two count kick-outs for the first half of any performance and in the end, because of that knowledge of his craft, Zayn is telling his audience that the assault he's enduring is actually wearing him down, which requires no cognitive dissonance to believe.

So many guys through the years on the Indies or on the periphery of WWE stardom think that false finishes should happen all the time, that big spots shouldn't be built to and earned, and that extras like facial expressions amidst a match or the way a Ric Flair would always fix his tights when he was in control were negligible or simply unnecessary.

The greatest ever at the "little things" may well have been Ricky Morton, who inspired the phrase "selling like Ricky Morton" that is still used today internally on every level, because Ricky could look at the front row and had the uncanny ability to always look like he was about to cry and as a result, the people were desperate to do anything to help this poor poor man being brutalized in front of them.

Luke Harper (and Sami Zayn as well) is a star and will become a much bigger star because in addition to being skilled for his size, his brain comprehends the nooks and crannies of the wrestling PERFORMANCE on such an advanced level that his value is impossible to deny and the rarity of his high comprehension subsequently makes him more than a guy on a roster...it makes him a commodity.

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