Is Luke Harper out of The Wyatt Family?
It has been a long, strange ride for Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper, and it may have just come to an end on this past Tuesday’s SmackDown LIVE, when The Eater of Worlds administered Sister Abigail to Harper moments after the towering enforcer had lost a match to fellow Family member Randy Orton.
The move immediately had SmackDown LIVE’s commentary team scrambling to decipher whether Harper had been excommunicated from The First Family of Fear, or whether it was just tough love on the part of Wyatt for Harper’s missteps over the last several weeks. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest either option.
For one thing, Wyatt does not kindly suffer failure. Harper, as the longest-tenured and most faithful of Wyatt’s acolytes, has been afforded a longer leash than most, but he has carried Wyatt’s banner into losing efforts against Brock Lesnar, The Dudley Boyz and now Orton. Perhaps The Eater of Worlds has finally had his fill.
And yet, Wyatt would be playing with all kinds of fire if he kicked his most devoted follower to the curb right before entering the Royal Rumble Match — a contest that even he admitted to having the best chance of winning with the numbers on his side. Two teammates are greater than one, and even if Orton is the most decorated out of all three Family members, Harper — a former Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion — is no slouch, either. He’s also more of a force to be reckoned with than his record might suggest, and many believe that he’s primed for a breakout; all Wyatt could be doing by losing a brother is creating an enemy in his stead. It also wouldn’t make sense to punish Harper for a match that Wyatt demanded his followers have; it’s hard to imagine Orton suffering a similar fate, especially since The Viper is the one who cost the Wyatt Family the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
Of course, there’s the most likely possibility — that there is, truly, no friction, and Wyatt’s plan is proceeding exactly as he envisioned it, right down to the part where the WWE Universe is struggling to guess his next move. The New Face of Fear has always liked to play games with his enemies, but it’s the fireflies that he likes most to keep in the dark.