Luke Harper

Luke Harper Profile
Luke Harper Profile

Jon Huber was born on September 16, 1979 in Rochester, New York. Starting off as a backyard grappler, he eventually received formal training in New York and strated working the independent scene.

In his early years, Huber appeared in Roc City Wrestling and the Rochester Pro Wrestling (RPW). He some great success in RPW, winning the television championship once, heavyweight championship three times and tag team championship twice.

In 2007, he joined the roster of the independent promotion Chikara under the handle of Brodie “The Right Stuff” Lee, again to great success, going for several months without a pinfall loss or submission.

He would change gimmicks slightly and start to call himself “Big Rig”, a trucker character that was affiliated as a teammate with the Olson Twins.

Lee later hooked up with Eddie Kingston and Grizzly Redwood to form a faction called “The Roughnecks”. Kingston did not last long as a member, leaving Lee and Redwood to survive the group. The two did secure some victories against most of the tag talent in Chikara, but broke up briefly when a feuded developed between Lee and Redwood. The two patched up their differences after a series of bouts against each other and were back in action again as the Roughnecks.

During the same period, Lee was also appearing in another independent territory known as Squared Circle Wrestling (2CW). He had some success as a solo performer against local talent and eventually won the 2CW Heavyweight Championship which he defended for less than 2 months. He re-acquired the belt in 2012 but eventually vacated it as the WWE came calling.

Before his 2012 WWE debut, he played in several other independent promotion such as Evolve in 2010 without much success. He also appeared in Ring of Honour from 2008 – 2009 and in Jersey All-Pro Wrestling (JAPW) from 2009 – 2011.

In JAPW, Lee fared better than the others by joining a faction known as the Hillbilly Wrecking Crew including former WWE superstar Trevor Murdoch. The Hillbillies captured the JAPW Tag Team titles which they successfully defended for close to 6 months.

Lee also became the JAPW Heavyweight Champion after pinning former WWE superstar Charlie Haas. Lee was eventually stripped of the title without actually losing it due to an extended periods of non-appearances.

From 2010 – 2011, Lee appeared in both Japan and the US divisions of Dragon Gate. He had great success as a heel solo and tag team performer, however he did not secure any championships during his tenure.

He first appeared for the WWE in the Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) developmental territory as Luke Harper. He graduated to appear on NXT where he joined Bray Wyatt in his cultish family and formed a tag team with other member Erick Rowan. After initially losing a championship tournament, the two eventually did capture the NXT Tag Team championships by defeating Bo Dallas and Neville.

The Wyatt family appeared on Raw as backwoods country freaks and Rowan/Harper had tremendous success as a team, defeating all teams they faced for close to three months. Their undefeated streak came to a halt at the hands of Dustin “Golddust” Rhodes and brother Cody.

The duo would then feud with the likes of the Usos and the Shield as well as supporting Wyatt in his feud with John Cena. Rowan and Harper were never successful at acquiring the WWE Tag Team titles.

The Wyatt family temporality resolved as more effort was put to pushing the members in solo efforts. For Harper, the future was bright as he immediately affiliated himself with a different family of sorts, the Authority consisting of the McMahons and Triple H.

His push continued as he won his first championship in the WWE, that being the Intercontinental title from Dolph Ziggler. He would hold the title for just under one month before dropping it back to Ziggler in a ladder match on the TLC Pay-Per-View event.

He then entered a feud with Dean Ambrose with Harper on the losing end of things.

In May 2015, he re-kindled his teamwork with Rowan and reunited with Bray Wyatt and new Family member Braun Strowman. Rowan and Harper faced Kane & Undertaker, The Dudley Boyz and Tommy Dreamer/Rhyno with varied success. Harper later dislocated his kneecap and tore a ligament, sidelining him from action for a period.

After his return to in ring competition more than 6 months later, Wyatt teamed up with Randy Orton who had recently joined the Wyatt family. The two captured the SmackDown Tag Team Championship with Harper also allowed to defend under the Freebird rule.

Harper and Orton would lose the titles to American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable). They subsequently lost a rematch to gain the straps and Orton and Harper started to turn on one another. The two eventually faced each other on SmackDown with Orton winning, causing Wyatt to turn on Harper.

This series of events turned Harper face and he eventually started to team with John Cena against Wyatt and Orton. Harper then lost a number one contenders match against AJ Styles to face reigning champion Bray Wyatt.

With his newfound popularity, Harper will certainly not give up his attempts to wrest the gold from his former mentor Wyatt. His athleticism, in-ring experience and intimidating stare make Harper a force to be reckoned with as an opponent.

Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Balsky for contributing the above wrestler profile.

Dr. Stephen Balsky is a chiropractor currently in practice in his native Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been a wrestling fan since age 13 and is very passionate about the product, especially the “old-school” 80’s – 90’s era. He completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2015 and currently is also working part-time as a professor in both business and healthcare.

References:
1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Harper
2) http://www.wwe.com/superstars/luke-harper