Luke Harper was noticeably absent on Raw last night and in his place with The Wyatt Family was the returning Erick Rowan. This has led to speculation on social media that Harper is being punished for this photo which was posted, and later deleted, by Chris Jericho on Instagram.
But the reason he wasn’t booked on Raw last night, even being replaced without explanation by Erick Rowan for the main event six-man tag, was a “creative decision.”
“Luke Harper, however, is not out due to injury. PWInsider.com has confirmed that he was not at Raw last night and is not scheduled for tonight’s Smackdown taping. He did work the weekend tour of Mexico as he and Braun Strowman wrestled Undertaker and Kane. I was told a creative decision was made to replace him with Erick Rowan yesterday and nothing more has been said in regard to that decision that we have heard. Where that leaves Harper remains to be seen. There was a theory floating around this morning that since a photo featuring a number of WWE stars all wearing Harper t-shirts was Tweeted out and later deleted by Chris Jericho, that perhaps it ended up getting Harper some heat. That seems a little ridiculous to me personally, but one never knows. It’s a weird situation on the surface since he’s always been one of the performers who had good showings even when he wasn’t spotlighted.”
The conclusion most of us will jump to here is that Harper is being punished for the kayfabe-busting photo that showed rivals Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns united in their support of Harper. The other potential target for any alleged Vince McMahon retribution, Chris Jericho, is gone from the company for a while as his band Fozzy tours.
It should be noted, though, that other sources are sticking with the report F4WOnline.com mentioned in breaking the Orton shoulder injury news this morning — that Harper has a “personal issue” that kept him off television last night:
Getting ?'s & false rumors/stories. Luke Harper is still w/ Wyatt's but not there due to personal reasons. Don't believe anything else #RAW
— Justin LaBar (@JustinLaBar) October 20, 2015