Never let it be said that WWE isn’t capable of being petty. But you already knew that.
Former Wyatt family member Luke Harper has been a victim of the inconsistent mess that is WWE “creative” booking. With the lack of long term angles in favor of instant gratification, or swerving for the sake of doing so it is no wonder.
It is hard for a wrestler to truly get over in today’s corporate and feel-good climate. Harper’s character as well as the incredibly original and once popular Wyatt Family would have thrived even in the transitional ‘Ruthless Aggression’ era. Unfortunately we are in the ‘Image Conscious’ era.
Just hang with me because I’m about to clarify.
I will never let it go that Stephanie McMahon tweeted essentially that philanthropy is the new marketing. This means that presenting your organization as charity based can be used as good publicity and attracts sponsors easier than without. On the flip side you need a good looking, squeaky clean baby face . Now I am NOT saying that what they are doing isn’t great I’m just making a point. They did a 180 degree turn in programming so fast it gave fans whiplash.
We then had to suffer through the super John Cena “I’ll kick your butt” era and now the unrelenting and exhausting “Big Dog” era. Why do you think we are getting Roman Reigns shoved down our throats? Why they would rather mute fans than push someone else? It’s Cena 2.0 folks. Good looking and buff and looks appealing on a poster. The charity appearances and the coverage that garners with a Reigns as the face.
We’ll let Vince explain…
Guys like the Wyatt Family get a cup of coffee in the limelight and then are relegated back to the mid card and eventually the pre-show. Again, it’s not surprising that a Luke Harper type wrestler to want to leave. Without the all around good looks or squeaky image you don’t have a prayer in the world title scene for long.
The imaginary brass rings are also most likely not attainable unless you satisfy shareholder expectations. Since WWE went public they are no longer the sole voice of direction and it shows.
Harper did request his release and it was almost a lock that he was going to the fledgling much hyped promotion AEW.
Then this happened according Lordsofpain.net
WWE is adding another 6 months to Harper’s contract to make up for the time he missed for wrist surgery, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Harper’s contract was to end in November of this year, but WWE has added to it because it was “frozen” while he was on the shelf.
The warden is adding six months to an inmate’s sentence essentially. We kid but it was a good analogy.
This may be standard and if it is then a lot of people have been victims of having their future put on hold and being at the mercy of WWE booking. What’s to stop them from completely destroying your image by making you look weak to lessen your value once you leave?
By all accounts, this hasn’t been used for guys like Dean Ambrose which seems to make zero sense because Dean could really give credibility to someplace like AEW. He could be a franchise building star.
Keep in mind that this is probably in addition to the non compete clause wrestlers are rumored to have to sign. This means that they are unable to work for a competitor for a set amount of time. Still, adding time for injuries seems really petty.
Shame on you WWE.