WWE: What’s Next For Luke Harper / Brodie Lee? (Pre-AEW)

It was an open secret that Luke Harper had not been happy in WWE for a long time.

Since the beginning of the year, after haven’t a match with Dominic Dijakovic at the World’s Collide event at Wrestlemania Weekend, he has been waiting for his release. Many of us (including yours truly) didn’t think this would happen until the end of his contract. Low and behold though, the grappling gods granted his request last week and the soon to be reborn Brodie Lee is a free agent. For someone of his talent and size, there are options aplenty available. Let’s examine some of those options here.

The first stop off could be to show his face in some familiar places. Before signing with the WWE in 2012, Brodie Lee was prominent in promotions such as Chikara and Ring of Honor. Within Chikara, it would be great to see him run through some of the talent there, returning as an unstoppable monster. There are also matches against the likes of Rory Gulak that would be immense.

We then could move over to RoH. Even though the product is considered to be not that good right now, a wrestler such as Brodie Lee could act as the adrenaline shot the promotion needs. I would pay to see match-ups with Jonathan Gresham, Mark Haskins and Bandido, just to name a few. Let’s just hope those backstage politics get sorted out.

Another promotion that Lee has previous with is Dragon Gate. His work here could open the door for future work in Japan. He could revisit his past again in DragonGate or take his talents elsewhere in the Land of the Rising Sun. In my head, I could see him being a fantastic member of the Bullet Club, causing havoc to other members of the roster.

The physical battles he would get involved in with Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer, or the chance to show off his technical side with Zack Sabre Jr. and Kazuchika Okada. Maybe he wants to visit a more extreme side to the business, where promotions such as Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW), or after feeling as if he was kept in captivity for years, he’s gone a bit crazy or ‘dramatic’ after all this time and will find his way over to DDT. The possibilities are endless!

The last time Lee was a free agent, the European scene wasn’t what it is today. Many promotions (well the very few there were) relied on American talent to bring in crowds. The names that we adore in the UK and Europe were going just starting up or stuck on cards that drew about 20 people. These days, it’s a completely different beast.

Europe has a talent pool like it’s never seen before. If Lee were to come over for an extended period, he wouldn’t be coming in as the headlining former WWE guy as he would in the past but will be used to help enhance cards, much to the effect of Kassius Ohno at Progress’s 2018 Super Strong Style 16 event. Coming in and having matches with some of the best non-WWE signed talent available would create some intriguing bouts, such as Rampage Brown, Sha Samuels and Mike Bird.

This one is a short entry here, but one that has become a very viable option at the time of writing. For the past 2-3 months, NWA has risen from the dead and exploded onto our YouTube screens in the form of Powerrr. Since the first episode, the old-school feel of the whole product, the presentation, unscripted promos and showcasing of talents (racist comments by an old man aside) have taken the wrestling news by storm and stolen our hearts.

The opening episode of Season 2 has just over 130,000 views in two days at the time of writing. They have already attracted talent away from over promotions (Marty Scurll recently started a run there from RoH) so why would Lee say no to them? I could easily see him fitting in as an enforcer of The Dawsons. Let them go for the Tag Team Championships while Lee goes after singles gold.

We now get to the option that many of you would have thought would be top of the list, but I wanted to keep you all waiting. Cody Rhodes, talking to Talksport, recently said that ‘he would be great as part of AEW’ and it’s hard to disagree. On the top of everyone’s list would be a rematch with Jon Moxley. Let these guys rekindle the type of matches they had pre-WWE.

With the hard PG-14 rating AEW has, it would be amiss if they didn’t let these two go balls to the walls in a deathmatch scenario. There would then be the new matchups we want to see, such as Kenny Omega, Darby Allin or Jimmy Havoc. Behind door number three though, is The Dark Order. Yes, this would mean revisiting the type of character he played in his role in the Wyatt Family, but why move away from something he played so well in the past?

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