When Bray made his in-ring debut way back in 2013 his promos were widely regarded as one of the most exciting things to happen in the WWE for a long time. Wyatt’s acting skills set him apart from his contemporary’s and had fans everywhere salivating.
The Bray Wyatt character borrowed heavily from former wrestler Waylon Mercy and Max Cady, the psychotic character from the movie Cape Fear. He was a cult leader who led a group known as the Wyatt Family.
Initially, the character was popular with fans. It was quirky and different and Wyatt carried it with his trademark skills on the microphone. Unfortunately, Wyatt’s ring work didn’t quite live up to his entertainment skills and his matches weren’t always easy on the eye. He was also booked poorly, often ending up on the losing side of feuds which put a halt to his early momentum.
Following his initial hype, the buzz faded due to the way Wyatt had been booked. He seldom garnered any success on the main roster and when he was given title belts he didn’t hold them for very long. A brief run with Matt Hardy proved popular. But it still seemed like Wyatt was mired in the middle of a card that he really should be higher up on.
Last year Wyatt was removed from our screens. Initially, this was due to an injury but then the creative team decided to keep him off the TV in order to reinvent his character. It was a long absence and Wyatt’s fans missed him. So we all got a little excited when on the Raw after Wrestlemania vignettes started airing displaying eerie looking puppets that we all assumed would have something to do with Mr Wyatt.
The WWE made us wait a few weeks for our big reveal and as we had guessed it was Bray. But gone was the “eater of worlds”, gone was the rocking chair, the swamp all of the things that had made Bray so compelling. As a viewer, my stomach was in knots as I saw the bright colours and what looked like a children’s TV show setting. And then Bray entered adorned in chinos and a sweater. “What the heck are they trying to pull?” I thought.
And then he spoke…now it would be unfair to compare the acting in WWE to actual acting. I mean some guys to make that transition pretty well, take the Rock for instance. But the acting on a weekly broadcast of RAW is never going to win anybody an Emmy. That being said as soon as Wyatt spoke I was captivated.
As the promo played out it became clear that he was hosting this kids show. The set included a Momo-inspired witch dummy (aptly named Abbie) and buzzard puppet “Mercy”. But throughout he wrestles with the past version of Bray Wyatt. This was inspired and Wyatt really hit a home run with his acting. It was very self-aware too, making hints that what had come before was bad.
Wyatt ends the promo taking a chainsaw to a cardboard cut out of himself. This in itself could be seen as symbolic. I don’t think we have seen the last of this Wyatt persona, or at least parts of it. Straight from the off, it has to be said that this gimmick has masses of potential and Wyatt is probably the only worker on the roster with the skills to pull it off. Going forward it will be interesting to see how the gimmick affects his ring work. I’m hoping that he has a new move set to go alongside his new persona and much-improved physique. One thing is for sure, Bray Wyatt is back and once again has the whole world in his hands.