With the new entry in the WWE2K series dropping today it seems like as good a time as any to look at the current product it’s representing and in particular the (arguably) hottest thing on the show this year, Mr Bray Wyatt.
For those of you unfamiliar with the character, he came on to the main roster several years ago. Having been called up from the WWE’s development fed NXT. If you want to be pedantic, he had an earlier run on the main roster as part of the Nexus with his Husky Harris character, but honestly the less said about that the better.
When he debuted on the main roster it was as Bray Wyatt. Wyatt was a cult leader character who was always accompanied by the “Wyatt Family” his character was charismatic but with occult undertones and for a while he was one of the most entertaining characters on the show. That momentum was wasted though and the character soon became stale.
Reinvent and reinvigorate
Bray took almost a year out of the business following an injury. He was cleared to come back but the company decided to hold fire on bringing him back as they had big plans for him. The result was a new take on his character. Gone was the Fedora hat and the flowery shirt, or butchers smock, replaced with a look associated with a kids TV host. His new gimmick was exactly that! A creepy TV presenter in a show called the “Firefly Funhouse”.
Twist in the tale
It quickly became evident that not all was as it seemed in the Firefly funhouse. It became one of the highlights of the weekly show and eventually, it was revealed that Bray Wyatt had a new persona, “the fiend”. This is a ghoulish character with supernatural strength. It set the wrestling world abuzz. Surely there was no way they could ruin this momentum? And then came the first test, his first feud.
The fiend on top
The fiend versus Finn Balor seemed like a sensible route to go for an initial feud for Wyatt’s new character and so it proved. In their match Wyatt dominated the Irishman making his character appear invincible. This was extremely smart booking. So many fans had stated that the fiend character needed wins and lots of them to cement himself as a legitimate threat. A hallmark of Bray’s older character was that he lost, A LOT. It killed any momentum he had and fans, rightly sensed it was important that the WWE didn’t make that mistake again.
But then it happened, everybody’s biggest fear was recognised as they set up for a feud between Wyatt and the current WWE champ, Seth Rollins. Seth has had a hell of a year. A year that saw him take on and beat Brock Lesnar, a man who seldom loses. So here we had a wrestler that had been pushed to the moon for more than a year battling a man who needs wins to cement himself. Some genius decided to put them both in a match which features no disqualifications. How did the match end? With the ref calling for a DQ. Utter nonsense.
Can they rescue the character?
You would have thought that would have been the plan. Unfortunately, they have messed up big time. They have separated Rollins and Wyatt and put them on different shows. Unfortunately, they are set to clash in Saudi Arabia in a match where there can be no “false finish”. Rollins is on RAW and carrying the “exclusive to raw” universal title. There is no way that they will move that title to Smackdown. So in essence Bray is going to lose that match and with it his mystique and momentum. For WWE to blow something that hot is a travesty. And one at a time they really don’t need it, with AEW currently outperforming NXT in the Wednesday night rating war.