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The Bludgeon Brothers is a tag team in WWE on the SmackDown brand consisting of Harper and Rowan. The duo debuted in WWE's developmental territory NXT in 2012, as founding members of the Wyatt Family stable, where they were followers of Bray Wyatt. During their time in NXT, Harper and Rowan won the NXT Tag Team Championship, before debuting alongside Wyatt on the main roster in July 2013, as a dominant villainous faction terrorizing other WWE wrestlers. The trio began to go their separate ways in September 2014, after Wyatt announced he was "setting Harper and Rowan free". As a result, Rowan would turn into a heroic character by joining John Cena's team at Survivor Series, while Harper would remain villainous and side with The Authority. Following a brief feud, Harper and Rowan would reunite in May 2015 and subsequently reconciled with Wyatt, reforming the Wyatt Family. After the Wyatt Family disbanded in 2017, with Harper betraying the group, and Rowan and Wyatt the only remaining members, Harper and Rowan briefly feuded once again, before the duo began teaming again as The Bludgeon Brothers.

History

Beginnings and NXT Tag Team Champions (2012–2013)

Main article: The Wyatt Family

Rowan signed a WWE contract in February 2011 and Harper in March 2012, with both wrestlers performing in NXT's predecessor Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). After FCW was rebranded]] to NXT Wrestling, Harper and Rowan debuted on NXT under the leadership of Bray Wyatt to form a faction known as The Wyatt Family in November, with the duo being referred to as Wyatt's "sons". On the January 23, 2013, episode of NXT, Harper and Rowan entered the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament to crown the inaugural champions, defeating the team of Percy Watson and Yoshi Tatsu in the first round. Following a win over Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty in the semi-finals with Wyatt's interference, Harper and Rowan went on to the finals of the tournament, but were defeated by Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey.

The Wyatt Family later assaulted Grey (who had suffered a legitimate injury) while Wyatt prevented Bo Dallas from winning a NXT Championship number one contender match due to Dallas refusal to join The Wyatt Family. On the May 2 episode of NXT, Harper and Rowan won a triple threat elimination tag team match by lastly pinning Neville to earn a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championship. On the May 8 episode of NXT, Harper and Rowan defeated Neville and Dallas, the latter of whom filling in for the injured Grey, to win the NXT Tag Team Championship. After Harper and Rowan won the titles, The Wyatt Family went on to feud with Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno. On the June 19 episode of NXT, The Wyatt Family defeated the team of Graves, Neville and Ohno. On the July 17 episode of NXT, Harper and Rowan lost the NXT Tag Team Championship to Neville and Graves.

Main roster debut and split (2013–2015)

From the May 27 episode of Raw, WWE aired vignettes promoting the upcoming main roster debut of The Wyatt Family. The vignettes showed the Wyatt Family's backwoods origins and Rowan wearing a sheep mask. On the July 8 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family made their debut by assaulting Kane. Harper and Rowan made their main roster in-ring debut on the July 26 episode of SmackDown, where they defeated Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Tensai) in a tag team match. Over the next few months, Harper and Rowan competed as a tag team and went on a winning streak over many teams, until Cody Rhodes and Goldust handed them their first loss on the October 11 episode of SmackDown. In early 2014, Harper and Rowan feuded with The Shield, while also supporting Bray Wyatt in his feud with John Cena. While Wyatt and Cena's feud continued, Harper and Rowan also started a feud with The Usos, unsuccessfully challenging for the WWE Tag Team Championship at Money in the Bank and Battleground.

On September 29, 2014, vignettes began to air of Bray Wyatt announcing he was setting Luke Harper and Erick Rowan "free". Rowan returned on the October 31 episode of SmackDown, while Harper returned on the November 10 episode of Raw, aligning himself with The Authority. On the November 17 episode of Raw, Rowan joined Team Cena for Survivor Series, opposing Luke Harper and turning into a heroic character. At the event, Rowan's team was victorious. During the match, Harper and Rowan attacked each other, with Rowan ultimately being eliminated from the match by his former partner (with assistance from Seth Rollins).

On the December 8 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan faced each other in singles competition, with Harper ultimately getting himself disqualified. On the January 5, 2015 episode of Raw, The Authority punished Rowan by putting him in a singles match against Harper, with Harper picking up the win after a discus clothesline and the help of J&J Security (Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury), who were the special guest referees for the match. On the January 22 episode of SmackDown, Harper and Rowan once again competed against each other, this time in a 2015 Royal Rumble qualifying match, with Harper winning and thus not allowing Rowan to participate in the Royal Rumble match. Despite this, Rowan appeared during the Royal Rumble match on January 25, ambushing the number six entrant Curtis Axel, to attack Harper and subsequently sparking a brief Wyatt Family reunion, along with Bray Wyatt, before all three men began to brawl.

Reformation and Wyatt Family reunion (2015–2017)

On the May 7 episode of SmackDown, Rowan would come out after Harper defeated Fandango, seemingly to confront Harper, but would instead attack Fandango and thus turning into a villain in the process. On the May 11 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan would officially reunite when Harper accompanied Rowan to his match against Fandango which Rowan won after 30 seconds and the two proceeded to double team Fandango after the match. On the May 18 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan teamed up to take on Fandango and Zack Ryder, which Rowan and Harper won after a superkick and full nelson slam combination. On the June 4 episode of SmackDown, Harper and Rowan cut a promo about being ostracized and stated they were a family. On the June 5 episode of Superstars, Harper and Rowan defeated Los Matadores in a tag team match, and once again in a rematch the following week on Raw.

In late June, during a match at a live event, Rowan suffered a torn bicep, with reports saying he would be out of action for 4–6 months. On the June 23 episode of Main Event, Harper returned to singles competition when he defeated Cesaro, but not before cutting a promo where he said losing his tag team partner has only made him more dangerous. Harper eventually reunited with Bray Wyatt on July 19 at Battleground by helping him defeat Roman Reigns. After four months of inactivity, Rowan returned from injury on the October 19 episode of Raw, when he filled in for Harper (who was unable to show for personal reasons) to team with Wyatt and Wyatt Family newcomer Braun Strowman, against Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, which his team won by disqualification after Ambrose attacked Strowman with a kendo stick. During this time, The Wyatt Family feuded with several teams including The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane) and Team ECW (The Dudley Boyz, Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno). In March, Harper suffered a knee injury during a Raw dark match and it was reported that the injury would sideline him for five to six months.

On July 19, 2016, at the 2016 WWE draft, Wyatt and Rowan were drafted to SmackDown while Strowman was drafted to Raw, separating him from the group. After the draft, Wyatt and Rowan continued their alliance, and Harper returned at the close of the SmackDown brand's event No Mercy on October 9 in a match between Wyatt and Randy Orton, whom Harper distracted to help Wyatt win the match, thus realigning himself with the group. Prior to Harper's return, Rowan underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.

During Rowan's absence, Harper betrayed the group, attacking Wyatt and his new ally Randy Orton during the 2017 Royal Rumble. On the April 4 episode of SmackDown, Rowan returned from injury after nearly eight months of inactivity, sporting a new steampunk-style sheep mask, assisting Wyatt in attacking Orton (who had also betrayed Wyatt); Wyatt and Rowan later that went on to lose a tag team match against Orton and Harper. The Wyatt Family seemingly disbanded again when Wyatt was moved to the Raw brand during the 2017 WWE Superstar Shake-up, but despite this Wyatt and Rowan continued their alliance, with Wyatt distracting Orton during his match with Rowan on the April 11 episode of SmackDown. Harper and Rowan continued to rival each other until the feud seemingly ended at Backlash on May 21, where Harper defeated Rowan.

The Bludgeon Brothers (2017–present)

After months without appearing on WWE programming, on the October 10 episode of SmackDown, Harper and Rowan returned in a repackage vignette, with the duo wielding hammers and dubbing themselves "bludgeon brothers". During this time, both Luke Harper and Erick Rowan dropped their given names, officially being billed as "Harper" and "Rowan". After a month of promotion, Harper and Rowan wrestled their return match as The Bludgeon Brothers on the November 21 episode of SmackDown, defeating The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley). They faced the Hype Bros in a rematch the following week on SmackDown, where they once again emerged victorious. Over the following weeks they continued to squash jobbers on TV. It was announced that at Clash of Champions the pair would face off against Breezango. The duo would then go on to win against Breezango. Two nights later, the duo would face off against Breezango once again in a rematch, in which they were again successful after The Ascension attacked them, thus causing Breezango to be disqualified. It was then announced that The Bludgeon Brothers will face off against The Ascension the following week on the first SmackDown of 2018. Breezango challenged the Bludgeon Brothers in another rematch only for the Brothers to attack Breezango before the match began, leading to the Ascension saving them. The Bludgeon Brothers would still prevail despite the 2-on-4 numbers disadvantage. The following week, the Bludgeon Brothers defeated The Ascension with an aided sitout powerbomb to Viktor and proceeded to attack Konnor, thus starting their feud with Breezango and The Ascension.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • Ranked Harper No. 34 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2014
    • Ranked Rowan No. 57 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2014

See also

External links

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