Jon Huber (born December 16, 1979) is an American professional wrestler and actor signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Harper (shortened from his previous ring name Luke Harper).
Huber was previously known for his work on the independent circuit under his former ring name Brodie Lee, most notably in Chikara and Squared Circle Wrestling (2CW). On a national scale, he briefly wrestled in Ring of Honor (ROH), and internationally, he wrestled in Japan for Dragon Gate (DG).
In WWE, Huber is a former NXT Tag Team Champion with Wyatt Family teammate Erick Rowan, a one-time Intercontinental Champion, and a one-time SmackDown Tag Team Champion with Wyatt Family teammates Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton, with the three defending them under the Freebird Rule. He is the first wrestler to have won a tag team championship in both NXT and WWE's main roster.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (2002–2006)
Huber first got into professional wrestling as a backyard wrestler, performing under the ring name Huberboy #2 with the likes of Colin Delaney and his real-life brother, who worked as Huberboy #1. Huber was eventually formally trained by Kirby Marcos and Rik Matrix in Rochester, New York, and Tony Mamaluke in Schenectady, New York, and made his debut for Roc City Wrestling (RCW) in late 2002, working under a mask as Huberboy #2. He eventually unmasked while still using the Huberboy #2 name. During 2003, Huber began working as Brodie Lee for Rochester Pro Wrestling (RPW). He came up with the name Brodie Lee from the movie Mallrats by combining the names of actor Jason Lee and his character Brodie Bruce. Huber cites Rick Rude, Jake Roberts, and Big Show as his influences. Throughout his time in RPW, which was later renamed to NWA Upstate and then again to NWA New York, Lee went on to win multiple championships including the heavyweight championship on three separate occasions, the tag team championship once and the television championship once, which he also proceeded to unify with the Kayfabe Dojo Championship. Huber has described his original "The Right Stuff" gimmick as him "just having fun" and "being a cruiserweight".
Huber made his debut for Philadelphia-based Chikara on March 24, 2007, at Time Will Prove Everything, using "The Right Stuff" Brodie Lee gimmick and losing to Equinox. Lee originally was not scheduled to wrestle at the event, but was instead visiting backstage with friends. However, when Reckless Youth no-showed the event, Chikara booker Mike Quackenbush offered Lee the chance to get in the ring. Lee returned to the company two months later, defeating Equinox in a rematch and starting a streak of not being pinned or submitted that lasted for the rest of the year. In August, Lee aligned himself with the Olsen Twins (Colin and Jimmy) and adopted the nickname "Big Rig" and a more serious gimmick of a trucker. Lee and the Olsen Twins were scheduled to enter the 2008 King of Trios tournament as Team Dr. Keith, but after Colin signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the team was left one man short. A random draw picked Retail Dragon as his replacement, but after he dropped the deciding fall in their opening round match against Cheech, Cloudy and m.c.KZ, Lee turned on him while simultaneously ending his alliance with Jimmy Olsen in the process.
In April 2008, Lee's bullying of smaller wrestlers led to Claudio Castagnoli issuing a challenge to him. Their first match on April 20 ended in Castagnoli being disqualified for accidentally kicking the referee of the match. The second match on May 24 ended in similar fashion, this time Lee was disqualified for kicking the referee. This led to a no disqualification match on July 13, which Lee won after interference from Shayne Hawke and Mitch Ryder, both of whom had a grudge with Castagnoli for breaking up The Kings of Wrestling the previous year. Lee's and Castagnoli's feud ended on September 7, 2008, in Chikara's first-ever steel cage match, with Castagnoli coming out victorious.
In late 2008, Lee aligned himself with Eddie Kingston and Grizzly Redwood to form a stable called The Roughnecks. On February 21, 2009, The Roughnecks defeated UltraMantis Black, Crossbones and Sami Callihan to earn a spot in the 2009 King of Trios tournament. On March 27, The Roughnecks lost their King of Trios opening round match to Team Uppercut (Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli and Dave Taylor). When Kingston moved on to feuding with Castagnoli, Lee and Redwood began wrestling matches as a tag team. With victories over Los Ice Creams (El Hijo del Ice Cream and Ice Cream Jr.), Cheech Hernandez and K.C. Day, and the North Star Express (Darin Corbin and Ryan Cruz), Lee and Redwood earned their right to challenge for the Campeonatos de Parejas. On October 17, 2009, Lee and Redwood challenged The Colony (Fire Ant and Soldier Ant) for the championship, but were defeated in two straight falls. Lee opted to give Redwood one more chance, but when he dropped the fall on October 19 in a match against The Osirian Portal (Amasis and Ophidian), Lee kicked him in the face, effectively ending The Roughnecks. Redwood made his return six months later on April 24, 2010, as a surprise opponent of Lee's, but was easily defeated by him. Afterwards, Redwood stated that he was not done with Lee, but would prepare himself before their next match. On August 29, Lee entered the Countdown Showdown battle royal and was dominating the match, before being eliminated by Redwood. On October 23, Lee suffered an upset loss in a match against Dasher Hatfield, who was defeated by Redwood the following day. On November 20, Lee and Redwood, having earned each other's respect, re-united and attacked Hatfield after his match with Shayne "Buck" Hawke. On January 23, 2011, at the season ten premiere, The Roughnecks defeated The Throwbacks (Hatfield and Sugar Dunkerton) in a tag team match. The Roughnecks and The Throwbacks ended their feud on March 13 in a lumberjack match, where Hatfield and Dunkerton were victorious. In May 2011, Lee entered the 12 Large: Summit, set to determine the inaugural Chikara Grand Champion, but was forced to pull out of the tournament following his first match, after suffering a legitimate injury. Lee returned to Chikara on October 30. After signing a developmental contract with WWE, Lee made his farewell appearance for Chikara on March 25, 2012, when he unsuccessfully challenged Eddie Kingston for the Chikara Grand Championship.
Squared Circle Wrestling (2007–2012)
Lee made his debut for Syracuse, New York-based Squared Circle Wrestling (2CW) on August 20, 2007, teaming with Colin Olsen, as a replacement tag team partner for Jimmy Olsen, in a tag team match, where they were defeated by the Wyld Stallyns. Lee started off as a heel aligned with the rival promotion NWA Upstate. Lee started becoming popular after a July 26, 2008, post–match incident in Binghamton, New York that ended with him punching out a fan in the parking lot. Lee was in storyline suspended from 2CW over the incident. He returned on October 24 to a huge ovation, although he was still a heel, leading NWA Upstate to a victory in an eight-man tag team main event. He officially became a babyface starting April 2009 when the rivalry between 2CW and NWA Upstate had subsided. Lee then started a friendly rivalry with Slyck Wagner Brown that saw both men trade wins in singles matches on June 6 and September 19, 2009. Lee defeated Brown in a rubber match on February 19, 2010, and then again in a two-out-of-three falls match on April 3, 2010, to end the feud. Lee challenged Jason Axe for the 2CW Heavyweight Championship on June 20, 2010, but lost due to outside interference. Lee defeated Isys Ephex on July 10 in a number one contender match to earn another shot at the title and, on August 22 in Watertown, New York, defeated Jason Axe to win the 2CW Heavyweight Championship for the first time. Lee made a successful first defense of the title against the former champion, Jason Axe, in an "I Quit" match in Binghamton, New York, on September 24, 2010. Lee lost the title to Slyck Wagner Brown on November 19, 2010, in Elmira, New York. Lee regained the title on April 13, 2012, in a four-way match with Jay Freddie, Slyck Wagner Brown and Kevin Steen, who stole the championship belt after the match. The following night, with the title belt still in Steen's possession, Lee successfully defended the 2CW Heavyweight Championship in another four-way match against Jason Axe, Jay Freddie and Matt Milan and afterwards relinquished it, announcing that he had signed with WWE and would be contractually unable to defend it in the future.
Ring of Honor (2008–2009)
Lee made his debut for Ring of Honor (ROH) on October 25, 2008, aligning himself with The Age of the Fall and helping the group's leader Jimmy Jacobs to defeat Austin Aries in an Anything Goes match. Lee then teamed with fellow Age of the Fall member Delirious and defeated Cheech and Cloudy in a tag team match, before ending the night by attacking Necro Butcher, with whom the stable was feuding, after his match with Go Shiozaki. On November 7, Lee's match with Necro Butcher ended in a disqualification, when the rest of The Age of the Fall attacked his opponent. Lee and Necro Butcher had a rematch under Anything Goes rules on February 27, 2009, which Necro won. In March, Delirious turned on The Age of the Fall and on May 30 he defeated Lee in his final ROH match.
Jersey All Pro Wrestling (2009–2011)
Lee made his debut for Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) on March 28, 2009, as a member of The Hillbilly Wrecking Crew, along with Necro Butcher and Trevor Murdoch. On August 1, Lee and Necro defeated the Garden State Gods (Corvis Fear and Myke Quest) to win the JAPW Tag Team Championship. On January 23, 2010 at JAPW's 12th Anniversary Show, Lee and Necro lost the title to Da Heavy Hitters (Havok and Monsta Mack) in a three-way tag team match, which also included The H8 Club (Nate Hatred and Nick Gage). On March 20, Lee got to challenge for the JAPW Heavyweight Championship, but was defeated by the defending champion Dan Maff and, after the match, Nick Gage attacked Maff and joined The Hillbilly Wrecking Crew, replacing Murdoch, who had left the company. On May 22, Lee and Necro faced Maff and the JAPW New Jersey State Champion Charlie Haas in a tag team match, where they put their JAPW careers on the line against the titles of their opponents. In the end, Lee managed to pin Haas, after Maff had turned on him, to become the new JAPW New Jersey State Champion. On October 23, 2010, Lee challenged Dan Maff for the JAPW Heavyweight Championship in a Champion vs. Champion match, but was defeated. On November 20, Lee first successfully defended the New Jersey State Championship against Eddie Kingston and then defeated Dan Maff, Nick Gage and Azrieal in a Championship Scramble to win the JAPW Heavyweight Championship for the first time, unifying the two titles. Lee made his first JAPW Heavyweight Championship defense on December 11, during the Anniversary weekend, defeating Rhino with help from Nick Gage. On December 30, 2011, JAPW announced that Lee, who had not made an appearance for the promotion in nine months, had been stripped of the JAPW Heavyweight Championship.
Lee debuted for Evolve on January 16, 2010, at the promotion's first ever show, teaming with Gran Akuma and Icarus in a six-man tag team match, where they were defeated by Team Frightning (Mike Quackenbush, Hallowicked and Frightmare). After losing a singles match to Gran Akuma on March 13, Lee picked up his first victory in the company by defeating Gran Akuma, Hallowicked and Chris Dickinson in a four-way match on May 1. At the fourth show on July 23, Lee wrestled Jon Moxley to a no contest. As Moxley was protesting the stoppage, Lee kicked a chair into his face, which led to Evolve suspending him for the show of September 11. Lee returned to Evolve on May 20, 2011, in a match where he was defeated by Sami Callihan via submission.
Dragon Gate USA (2010–2011)
On May 8, 2010, Lee made his debut for Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA), defeating Cheech, Cloudy, Kyle O'Reilly, Phil Atlas, Xtremo, Brent B. and Anthony Fiasco in a dark eight-way fray elimination match, prior to the tapings of the Uprising pay-per-view. Later, on the pay-per-view section of the evening, Lee interrupted a match between Rip Impact and Johnny Wave and beat down both of the competitors, before announcing that next time he would be coming after a Japanese wrestler. At the following event on September 25, Lee defeated Da Soul Touchaz (Acid Jaz, Marshe Rockett and Willie Richardson) in a three-on-one handicap match, before repeating his threat of going after a Japanese competitor. Later in the night, Lee set his sights on Yamato and chased him away from ringside, when he tried to interfere in a match between his ally Jon Moxley and Jimmy Jacobs. The following day, Lee defeated Jimmy Jacobs, Kyle O'Reilly, Mike Quackenbush, Rich Swann and Silas Young in a six-way match. On October 29 at Dragon Gate USA's first live pay-per-view, Bushido: Code of the Warrior, Lee teamed with sumo legend Akebono in a tag team match, where they defeated The Osirian Portal. After the match, Lee and Akebono had to be separated from one another by the rest of Dragon Gate USA's locker room. Later in the night, Cima used his draft pick to name Lee the newest member of his Warriors International stable. At the following day's tapings of Freedom Fight 2010, Lee defeated Akebono in a singles match. On January 28, 2011, at United: NYC, Lee, now representing the heel group Blood Warriors, defeated Jimmy Jacobs in a singles match. The following day at United: Philly, Lee suffered his first loss in Dragon Gate USA, when he was defeated by Open the Freedom Gate Champion Yamato in a non-title match.
Dragon Gate (2010–2011)
On December 21, 2010, Lee made his debut for Japanese promotion Dragon Gate (DG) in Tokyo, where he, representing The Warriors stable, defeated Kzy. The Warriors stable turned heel on January 14, 2011, when they attacked Masato Yoshino and World-1, aligning themselves with Naruki Doi's group, though Lee himself was not present, as he was snowed in and could not make the show. The following day, Lee made his return to DG as a member of the new top heel group, in a match, where he, Gamma and Genki Horiguchi defeated Yamato, Kagetora and Diablo. On January 18, the new group was named Blood Warriors.
The Wyatt Family (2012–2014)
On March 12, 2012, it was reported that Huber had signed a developmental contract with WWE. Huber made his debut for WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) at a house show on May 18, working under the new ring name Luke Harper.
When FCW was rebranded as NXT Wrestling in August 2012, Harper made his television debut on the November 7 NXT as a follower of Bray Wyatt, who introduced Harper as the "first son" of The Wyatt Family. The Wyatt Family later also came to include Wyatt's "second son" Erick Rowan, with whom Harper formed a tag team. The two defeated Percy Watson and Yoshi Tatsu in their first match together on the January 9, 2013, NXT. On the January 23 NXT, Harper and Rowan again defeated Watson and Tatsu in the opening round of the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament. Following a win over Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty in the semi-finals with Wyatt's interference, Harper and Rowan were defeated in the finals of the tournament by Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey. Harper defeated Neville on the March 20 NXT. On the May 2 NXT, Harper and Rowan won a triple threat elimination tag match by last pinning Neville. On the May 8 NXT (taped May 2), Harper and Rowan defeated Neville and Bo Dallas, filling in for the injured Grey, to win the NXT Tag Team Championship. After retaining the title against Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno on the June 5 NXT, Harper and Rowan lost the NXT Tag Team Championship to Neville and Graves on the July 17 NXT (taped June 20).
From the May 27 Raw, WWE aired vignettes promoting the upcoming debut of the Wyatt Family. The vignettes showed the Wyatt Family's backwoods origins. On the July 8 Raw, the Wyatt Family made their debut by assaulting Kane. Harper made his WWE in-ring debut on the July 26 SmackDown, where he and Rowan defeated Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Tensai). Over the next few months, Harper and Rowan went on a winning streak over many teams, until Cody Rhodes and Goldust handed them their first loss on the October 11 SmackDown. After the Wyatt Family started feuding with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, Harper wrestled two singles matches, losing to Punk on the November 4 Raw and to Bryan via disqualification on the November 8 SmackDown. In early 2014, The Wyatt Family feuded with The Shield, defeating them at Elimination Chamber, while also supporting Bray Wyatt in his feud with John Cena through WrestleMania XXX. Through Wyatt's feud with Cena, Harper and Rowan also started their own feud with the WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso), who supported Cena in the feud. Harper and Rowan went on to unsuccessfully challenge the Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championship at Money in the Bank and in a two out of three falls match at Battleground.
Intercontinental Champion (2014–2015)
Beginning on September 29, vignettes were shown of Harper and Rowan being "set free" by Wyatt, marking the dissolution of the Wyatt Family and the transition of its members into singles competition. After a further series of video vignettes aimed at Dolph Ziggler, Harper made his return to TV during the closing moments of the November 10 Raw, throwing an unconscious Ziggler at Triple H and Stephanie McMahon's feet and expressing his desire to join their team at Survivor Series. The following week on Raw, Harper officially joined Team Authority. Immediately after, Harper was awarded an impromptu match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler, which Harper won to capture his first title in WWE. At Survivor Series, Harper was eliminated by Ziggler. As punishment for his affiliation with The Authority, Harper was forced to defend the Intercontinental Championship against Dean Ambrose on the November 24 Raw and successfully retained the title after getting himself disqualified. Harper lost the title back to Ziggler in a ladder match at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, his reign ending at 27 days, and failed to regain the title in a rematch on the December 22 Raw. On January 25, 2015, Harper entered the Royal Rumble match at No. 4, and was eliminated by Bray Wyatt. Beginning in early March, Harper was involved into a storyline where he was one of many wrestlers stealing Bad News Barrett's Intercontinental Championship belt from Barrett and each other. This led to a seven-man ladder match for the title on March 29 at WrestleMania 31, which was won by Daniel Bryan. The match led to a new feud between Harper and Dean Ambrose, with Harper losing a Chicago Street Fight between the pair at Extreme Rules. On the April 27 Raw, Harper took part in the 2015 King of the Ring tournament, but eliminated by Neville in the first round.
Return of The Wyatt Family (2015–2017)
In early May, Harper revived his alliance with Erick Rowan. After Rowan suffered an injury, Harper reunited with Bray Wyatt on July 19 at Battleground by helping him defeat Roman Reigns. This led to a tag team match between Harper and Wyatt against Reigns and Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam, which The Wyatt Family lost after Reigns pinned Wyatt. The following night on Raw, Braun Strowman joined Harper and Wyatt as the new third member of the Wyatt Family. At Night of Champions The Wyatt Family defeated Reigns, Ambrose and Chris Jericho in a six-man tag team match. On the October 19 Raw, Erick Rowan returned to The Wyatt Family when he filled in for Harper (who was unable to show for personal reasons).
The Wyatt Family then got involved in a feud with Kane and The Undertaker, which built to a tag team match on November 22 at Survivor Series, where the two defeated Harper and Wyatt. The next night on Raw, Harper teamed with Wyatt again to defeat The Dudley Boyz, igniting a new feud. Over the next weeks, Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno joined The Dudley Boyz in the feud, leading to an eight-man tag team tables match at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs on December 13, where Harper, Wyatt, Rowan and Strowman were victorious. On January 24, 2016, Harper competed in the Royal Rumble with fellow Wyatt Family members and he was eliminated by Brock Lesnar, but returned to the ring later on with the Wyatts to eliminate Lesnar. On March 21, 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. After getting an MRI, it was revealed that he had dislocated his patella and tore his medial patellofemoral ligament. Because of his injury, Harper was not drafted to either Raw or SmackDown in the 2016 WWE draft.
Harper returned to the ring on October 5, teaming with Kevin Owens against Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins at a Raw house show in Santiago, Chile. Four days later, Harper returned in the final match of the SmackDown brand pay-per-view No Mercy, helping Bray Wyatt defeat Randy Orton by distracting Orton, thus joining the SmackDown roster. On December 4 at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Wyatt and Orton, who had recently joined The Wyatt Family, captured the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, and three days later it was announced that Harper had been sanctioned as champion as well, making him eligible to defend the title under the "Freebird Rule". On the December 13 SmackDown Live, Harper failed to become the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship in a four-way elimination match, which was won by Dolph Ziggler and also included Dean Ambrose and The Miz. The Wyatt Family, represented by Harper and Orton, lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championship to American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) in a four-way elimination match on the December 27 SmackDown Live. After the match, Harper and Orton showed tension over the loss. After Orton and Wyatt unsuccessfully challenged American Alpha for the title on the January 10, 2017, SmackDown Live, Harper and Orton got into a shoving match, which led to Harper accidentally superkicking Wyatt. Harper and Orton continued having problems with each other, leading to a match between the two on the January 24 SmackDown Live, where Orton was victorious. After the match, Wyatt laid Harper out with the Sister Abigail.
Return to singles competition (2017)
During the 2017 Royal Rumble on January 29, Harper entered as number 25, attacking both Wyatt and Orton and eliminating Apollo Crews, before being eliminated by Goldberg. Over the next two weeks, Harper cemented his face turn by coming to WWE Champion John Cena's aid in his confrontations with Wyatt and Orton on SmackDown Live. At Elimination Chamber on February 12, Harper was defeated by Orton in a singles match. Due to Royal Rumble winner Orton refusing to face Wyatt for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 33, a battle royal was set up on the February 21 SmackDown Live to determine a new number one contender, which saw Harper and AJ Styles become the co-winners by eliminating each other at the same time, setting up a singles match between the two for the following week, where Styles was victorious. After a month of absence, Harper returned with a new look on the March 28 SmackDown Live, losing to Bray Wyatt. On April 2 on the WrestleMania 33 kickoff show, Harper took part in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, from which he was eliminated by Titus O'Neil. A couple days later on SmackDown Live, Harper would aid Orton to fight off Bray Wyatt and a returning Erick Rowan with the two defeating Wyatt and Rowan in a tag team match later on in the main event. The rivalry between Harper and Rowan was seemingly ended at Backlash on May 21, where Harper defeated Rowan.
The Bludgeon Brothers (2017–present)
Harper returned to television on the October 10 episode of SmackDown Live in a vignette where he was once again aligned with Rowan, dubbing themselves "Bludgeon Brothers". Under the new gimmick, Harper dropped the first name Luke from his ring name. The team wrestled their return match on the November 21 episode, defeating The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder).
|Damnation||Carnival wrestler||Guest role|||
- Finishing moves
- As Brodie Lee
- As Luke Harper/Harper
- Signature moves
- As Brodie Lee
- As Luke Harper/Harper
- Body avalanche
- Catapult hangman
- European uppercut
- Gator Roll (Rolling front chancery to a facedown opponent)
- Multiple kick variations
- Sitout powerbomb
- Sitout scoop slam piledriver
- Suicide dive
- With Erick Rowan/Rowan
- With Grizzly Redwood
- Entrance music
- "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" by New Kids on the Block (Independent circuit)
- "God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash (Independent circuit)
- "Live in Fear" by Mark Crozer (NXT/WWE; November 7, 2012 – November 11, 2014; July 19, 2015 – January 31, 2017; used as a part of The Wyatt Family)
- "Swamp Gas" by Jim Johnston (WWE; June 29, 2014 – November 21, 2017)
Championships and accomplishments
- Alpha-1 Wrestling
- A1 Zero Gravity Championship (1 time)
- Jersey All Pro Wrestling
- Next Era Wrestling
- NWA Empire
- NWA Mississippi
- NWA Southern Television Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Rochester Pro Wrestling/NWA Upstate/NWA New York
- Squared Circle Wrestling
- World of Hurt Wrestling
- WOHW United States Championship (3 times)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- WWE NXT
1Harper, Wyatt, and Orton defended the title under the Freebird Rule.