The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Luke Harper
Craig: Luke Harper is an excellent call from Brian for the first ‘Book or Cook’ piece in quite a while.Last week in the dark match before Smackdown Live, Harper defeated Aiden English in the dark match. It seems these two are set for a programme, they have been having a war of words on social media, but it’s not deemed strong enough for TV just yet…
It seems an odd pairing, to me, quite a random throwing together as, as far as I’m aware, these two had no history prior to this but, I guess, least it’s something.
But does Harper deserve more? Should he be utilised more by the company or is it little surprise that creative has nothing for him? All that and more in this latest instalment of our ‘Book or Cook’ series.
Brian: Luke Harper deserves a lot more, in my opinion. He is the most underutilized wrestler on their entire roster. While Harper may not dazzle anyone on the mic, his ability in the ring should long make up for that. He is a big man who can obviously brawl and work a stiff match. At the same time though, he can also surprise you with his speed and agility.
Let’s face facts, Harper was absolutely wasted in the feud between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt. Luke Harper breaking away from the Wyatt family should have been a bigger deal than what it was. It was nothing more than a mere afterthought to the Orton/Wyatt feud. Now that Bray is on Raw and Randy Orton is feuding with Jinder Mahal, Harper is being wasted in dark matches or not appearing at all.
Craig: I wholeheartedly agree. I had high hopes for his feud with Erick Rowan as I thought that’d just be some hard-hitting brawls but instead, it quickly came to an end and everyone has moved on. But then, at the same time, Harper hasn’t moved on at all, has he?
He is vastly, vastly underrated and there are guys a lot worse than him that are getting a push. I thought that when he came back slightly less scruffy and with new attire that it was the beginning of something. Was it just a false dawn then?
Brian: He is definitely stuck in a rut after his break up with Bray Wyatt. I really feel creative doesn’t know what to do with him now. Sad considering the great matches you could have with Harper and any number of wrestlers like Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura and several others.
Earl: I am voting to Cook on this one. Hear me out. I LIKE LUKE HARPER!!! When he initially broke off from The Wyatt Family, I thought it was too early. I think he made it work for a while, but then something happened. I am not sure what it was, but something didn’t work. In due time, Wyatts eventually get back together and it seemed like it fit again. The tension with Randy was nice to see.
Then this past WM season happened. I just had a feeling the writing was on the wall. His appearances were sporadic. He was slotted into a holdover feud for Randy and almost teased getting into the ‘Mania main event. Once he was not going to be in, I said to myself “I am VERY interested in seeing if they follow up with him.” Thus far, I’d argue they have not. His face turn isn’t floundering, but there hasn’t been TV time for character development just yet and I can’t see a need to at this point if there isn’t a long term plan. He’s got a look (like Bray Wyatt) that I am not sure if they know what to do with it. Can he be marketed to kids? What’s his appeal? Right now, I’m just confused…I like to think he should have been in the MITB ladder match and KO should be defending the US title. Imagine if Cena comes back to SD, there’s only so much TV time and it’s given to the guys who connect.
Benjamin: I’m voting to book Luke Harper real strong! Ever since The Wyatt Family debuted I was drawn to him. Always thought he was the breakout star. His recent run against AJ Styles when he broke away from The Wyatts showed that fans are into him and he can go against anyone. He can talk, moves like a much smaller guy and has a such a cool look. You can keep him as a Wyatt defector but let him loose not lose! He could either go on his own and put into a feud with someone like Baron Corbin or Kevin Owens or just about anyone. Or you could always put him with Erick Rowan again and let him run wild on everyone. They had those great matches with The Usos or they could elevate someone like American Alpha who also aren’t doing anything either. How they can’t find anything for Harper is beyond me. Tell me you couldn’t have seen him as champion before Jinder F’n Mahal?!? So book him!
Brian: In the case of Luke Harper, I am voting for Cook. It’s not because I don’t think he can succeed on the WWE’s main roster. He has the ability, I just think he is better suited for elsewhere. I think someplace like New Japan might better suit Luke Harper at this time.
Imagine the amazing matches he could have with the likes of Okada, Omega, Naito, Elgin etc. I would love to see Harper get another run in the WWE, but for the betterment of his career, let him go.
Craig: I’m going with cook, too. Not that I dispute the talent he has but I just don’t see the WWE doing anything with him anytime soon, sadly.
What do you think, readers? Leave your comments below on whether you would ‘book’ or ‘cook’ Luke Harper.
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.