Luke Harper made a much-awaited return to WWE programming last night, when he helped his long-time tag team partner Erick Rowan defeat Roman Reigns. Luke Harper has been out of action since last year, and briefly returned during the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania.
Luke Harper’s return last night was apparently a surprise not just for the fans, but the backstage authorities as well. No one was aware of Harper’s return and there was nothing mentioned on the run sheet or the production sheet, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.
“The Harper thing was a big shock to everybody backstage. There were people in the company that we talked to on a semi-regular basis who confided that Harper was not listed on the production sheet. He was not on the run sheet. He was not on the line-up. No one in the company seemed to know he was even there.”
“He just appeared mysteriously right before he got involved in the match. Maybe five minutes before the match he popped up and they were like ‘What, who, where, what, when, why, how, what?’”
It seems like WWE’s top producers went out of their way to make sure Harper’s return is not spoiled. It is quite a refreshing thing to see in WWE, as many of their returns and match-ups are spoiled on a regular basis, which takes the fun out of programming.
Luke Harper was also given his first name back, similar to Erick Rowan. Both the individuals had their names shortened to ‘Harper’ and ‘Rowan’, during their time as the Bludgeon Brothers.
According to Dave Meltzer, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are definitely teaming up to face Roman Reigns and possibly Daniel Bryan. Bryan was attacked by Rowan a few weeks ago, which could’ve triggered a face turn for the former WWE Champion.
Considering the fact that his status in WWE was up in the air just days ago, it is quite a delight to see the highly talented Harper get featured in a high-profile feud with Roman Reigns.