Luke Harper hadn’t wrestled for WWE since April. That was back when he publicly requested his release from the company - hey, it worked for Tye Dillinger/Shawn Spears! It didn’t work for the former Intercontinental & SmackDown Tag champ, however. Reports were that not only wouldn’t Harper be let out of his deal, WWE was adding injury time to his contract and would pay him to stay home for as long as they could.
As recently last week, word was we would probably never see the 39 year old Rochester, New York native on a Vince McMahon-produced show ever again.
Then, last night (Sun., Sept. 15) at Clash of Champions, we did. Now, as is the case with these things, we’re getting reports from backstage about Harper’s surprise return to help Erick Rowan beat Roman Reigns in their No Disqualification match.
PWInsider says Harper was not listed on the format sheet for the PPV in Charlotte, North Carolina, and no one saw him backstage until the match between Rowan & Reigns started. The site claims the decision to use him last night was made late last week.
That’s backed up by Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, who’s taking flak from fans today as he was the loudest voice speculating that, based on what he knew at the time, Harper’s WWE career was over. Meltzer said on Observer Radio the former Brodie Lee got the call to come back on Friday.
Still no clear answers on why the decision to use him after all this time came now, or if it means Luke’s had a change of heart about staying with WWE any longer than he has to.
It seems obvious that Roman Reigns will continue to have an issue with the re-formed Bludgeon Brothers, so how that feud plays out will probably give us some clues as to Harper’s future.