SmackDown General Manager, Daniel Bryan recently sat down with Fox Sports for an interview. The dialogue covered what it was like to be a father, the James Ellsworth controversy, and John Cena's future free agency. Find the entire interview here.
The subject Bryan was most transparent with? Luke Harper.
When asked about the rise of Harper back in February, Bryan seemed remorseful about WWE missing an opportunity.
"I think that he's somebody that we can utilize better. When he left the Wyatt Family, I thought the fans were really starting to get behind him - and his match with Randy Orton, gosh, I loved his match with Randy Orton. It was the February pay-per-view… Elimination Chamber. His match with Randy Orton at that pay-per-view was outstanding, and every time you see him, he's dynamic. The crowd gets behind him, and then you just kind of lose him on TV to where we don't really see him much.
It didn't end there. Bryan went on to list names of WWE Superstars that haven't gotten their fair shake.
"I think we're really losing out on that, but I think that about several people. I think that specifically about Luke Harper, I'm a big Luke Harper proponent. But also of American Alpha, Sami Zayn, even The Colons. I think that we have a lot of good talent on SmackDown that we could utilize a little bit better."
Some of the wrestling's more dedicated fans would eagerly agree with Bryan on this. As far as Harper goes, his arch is an interesting one. Heading into WrestleMania 33, WWE seemed to be building towards a triple threat between Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and Harper for the WWE Championship. However, WWE trimmed Harper out of the match, cutting out a seemingly organic rise of a superstar.
Since missing out on 'Mania, Harper has been floundering - there just doesn't seem to be any creative plans for the guy. Even though he hasn't been a priority for WWE, the crowd, like Bryan mentioned, still audibly supports him.
For Daniel Bryan himself, the SmackDown GM has been making a lot of headlines. Aside from making heavy-handed teases about coming back to the ring, Bryan has been openly questioning WWE and their creative process. Last week, he publicly criticized the Women's MITB and the current way WWE is operating creatively.
Maybe him mentioning Harper in this light will result in something positive for the castaway Wyatt member. Stay tuned, folks.