WWE’s Harland was released by the company earlier this year in a shocking move, but has quickly made the jump to AEW as part of the hottest new team in the promotion.
Harland was one of the many NXT stars released during WWE’s latest rounds of budget cuts despite the company announcing record profits in recent years, partly due to the income received from the controversial Saudi Arabia shows.
Despite great promise, Harland’s WWE career came to an abrupt end despite gaining comparisons to the legendary Brock Lesnar and the wrestling world was unsure where he would go to next. Luckily for him, Tony Khan seemed high on the star and quickly signed him to a new deal under the name Parker Boudreaux.
His release came as a huge shock as he was touted as a star of the future. WWE even released a press release when he was signed to the WWE Performance Centre in 2021, stating that “Parker Boudreaux of Winter Garden, Fla., stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 300 pounds. The big man was an offensive lineman for the University of Central Florida and has caught the eye of Paul Heyman on social media,”. He was soon given the name Harland to compete in WWE.
The mention of Paul Heyman immediately drew comparison to Brock Lesnar, both in his build, his look and his former career as a college football player. His in-ring skills were coming along well before his release and he looked set to be a future player in either a Vince McMahon or Triple H led WWE well into the future.
Why Did WWE Fire Harland?
Fightful Select reports that despite the hype surrounding Parker Boudreaux, coaches and trainers in NXT felt that the superstar had not shown enough progress in the ring to justify his stay in the promotion. This hardly seems fair given he was only signed for a year but that is the cutthroat nature of the new NXT 2.0.
However, he has since signed with AEW, alongside former WWE talent Ariya Daivari. Daivari signed a full-time contract with AEW this week and it would seem that the former Harland in WWE, now known by his real name of Parker Boudreaux.
He made his debut with the company in recent weeks as part of the new faction called The Trustbusters. The Trustbusters are led by Daivari, with his gimmick of a trust-fund supported wrestler bragging about his money and trying to recruit wrestlers to try and earn even more.
Harland is the muscle for The Trustbusters. He is the Batista of the group if comparing the group to the legendary Evolution. He is the silent but deadly big man who stands at the back and cracks skulls at the behest of his leader.
It is the perfect place for him to be. As we saw with Batista, his role in Evolution helped him learn to be a great wrestler and a great character in the business. If Harland can learn half as much as Batista did, then the name Parker Boudreaux in AEW will far outrank Harland in WWE once his career is done.
He has wrestled a few times so far in AEW. The most notable being a 1 minute defeat of Sonny Kiss on AEW Rampage, which led to Kiss joining the Trustbusters and adding to their ranks. Their goal to become the most dominant faction in AEW is coming along nicely, but will have to compete with the likes of The Dark Order, The Elite and The Blackpool Combat Club if they want to be the top, top stars in the division.
Time will tell if Parker Boudreaux will be a star in AEW. However, he has decades to improve on his current ability and become a star in the company. With a spate of injuries currently hitting both AEW and WWE hard, Parker Boudreaux is in the best spot possible to be a star to lead the company into the decade if he puts his head down and improves as Tony Khan thinks he can.
What did you think of Harland? Do you think Parker Boudreaux will be a big star in AEW? Tell us what you think in the comments or click below to keep reading
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.