Bray Wyatt, to me, is a great “what might have been” character in the modern landscape of WWE.
From the early days I always felt his character had my attention and appealed to my curiosity straight off the bat. Back in the summer 2013 when Bray Wyatt and his Family interrupted Monday Night Raw and made there presence known, I thought to myself “If this is done right, he can be huge”. Unfortunately, 2 years on, Bray Wyatt will be forever a missed opportunity for me.
When he debuted in WWE, it was an easily executed yet fairly mysterious debut, as Brays cult followers attacked and maimed the big red machine Kane. What I saw was some sort of creepy cult like gimmick and I was fairly intrigued at where WWE were going to go with this guy. With his character showing shades of Joe Carroll’s villainous cult leader character from Fox’s hit show The Following and even a hint of Robert DeNiro’s Max Caddy from Cape Fear, Bray Wyatt’s persona was one that grabbed you instantly. He had a unique look, he could move in the ring very well for a man of his physique and he was extremely articulate and charismatic when cutting promos.
WWE obviously knew this too, and judging by how hard they have pushed him over the last 2 years, they had high hopes for Wyatt as I once had. However in those 2 years Bray Wyatt has had a rough time and is in need of some drastic freshening up.
Straight after his inaugural feud with Kane, I slowly wondered if WWE were doing things right with Brays character. From what I’ve read, Brays character was mostly developed by him and when he came to the main roster, WWE creative had the foundations of a ready made TV persona. But how the developed him in my opinion was ultimately been his down fall.
Maybe I’m wrong and I’m open to debate, but with The Undertaker on his last legs the past 2 years; WWE has in a way tried to mould Bray Wyatt into that type of supernatural character. I don’t blame them for trying seeing at how successful Takers act has been since he arrived, but it clearly hasn’t worked for Wyatt. In an era where wrestling fans seem to crave more realism (take Kevin Owens for example), the direction of Bray Wyatt’s character, giving him for ghostly powers, has been detrimental to him.
When fans see him win matches via mysterious creepy child interference or show up in the middle of matches as a result of a ghostly hologram, modern day fans just don’t buy it. This isn’t what the modern day fan wants. His supernatural powers may have been more suited to the early nineties but it just makes me scratch my head and wonder “really, this is what you’re doing with him?” I always felt that his character, from the off, should have been rooted more to reality rather than of a WWE horror movie. Maybe the younger fans can relate to the character more, just as I did with The Undertaker many moons ago, but I sadly cringe at how cartoony Brays gimmick has become.
Bray’s character over the last 2 years may have evolved into a semi supernatural being; however his characters personality hasn’t progressed at all. From his early feud with Kane, to his overly long feud with Cena, Brays speeches and proclamations all sound the same. From when he first debuted, his promo’s were vague and mysterious, giving you a wonder of what was going to happen with his persona in the future and what might be in store as this Bray Wyatt guy becomes more prominent. I presumed he was being vague on purpose, giving us hints as to what may happen in as his feuds went forward, however this was not the case.
While his delivery is A+ and his articulation is superb, his promos soon began to sound all too similar week after week. Each week Bray would talk in mysterious vague riddles which were fine at first, but when they ultimately lead no where, they would lose purpose. His long winded promo’s all seem too similar to the last one, and thus his act became stale.
With all his promo’s coming off very similar, stale and monotonous, his feuds would then be viewed in similar vain and I would lose the will to care. From Dean Ambrose to Ryback to now Roman Reigns, all the build up to each of them appears too familiar thus why I don’t care so much. Why would I like to watch the same feud over and over again?
Bray interferes in a guys match, cuts vague promo explaining why, Bray interferes again and blurts out more vague promo’s and attacks opponent again prior to feud. Its rinse and repeat at this stage and I don’t want to see it again. Yet it will continue.
Another reason why I’ve lost the love of Bray is that WWE have a tendency to have him lose when he needs it most. His character is made look week when it should look strong and the past 2 Wrestlemania’s are prime examples of this. These are matches, which in my eyes, he should have gone over and thus making him solidifying his current claim as “The new face of fear”.
Back in 2014, at Wrestlemania 30, he should have gone over John Cena. It didn’t have to be clean, it didn’t have to be fair, but Cena could have taken the loss that night. It wouldn’t have hurt him much and he should have been booked to lose, yet it was Bray counting the lights that night. The loss that night set Bray back and losing the feud in the months that followed did even more damage.
The next year in a feud which Bray probably did his best work, albeit a feud which Bray should be praised for doing alone, he ultimately lost to an over the hill Taker at Wrestlemania 31. A win here would have given Bray a much needed shot in the arm and given him plenty of momentum going forward, yet WWE gave the win to The Deadman further setting Wyatt back. Taker had already lost the streak and didn’t need the win, and the younger full time talent was in more need of the win than the much past his prime veteran. Bray should have gone over yet he was buried yet again on the big stage.