Hey everyone. Long time EWN readers may remember my articles from site redesigns past. I’m pleased to say I’m back and looking forward to contributing some fresh content. I’m new to using word press so it may take a post or three for me to get into the proper swing of things.
I wrote this article last week after first reaching out to Kyle D regarding the possibility of making a return. I thank him for taking the time to pass my name along and I thank Frank for helping me get situated. In the original opening to this piece (see below) I make mention that I had been battling a recent bout of depression. I’m happy to say I’m feeling much better and if anyone out there is struggling with his or her own worries or fears, know it doesn’t last forever.
Anyway, thanks again for checking out this and future articles.
Before I get going with this article, I wanted to say something real quick. Not trying to get uncomfortably personal, but over the past few months I’ve been fighting a battle against depression. It’s been hard at times to stay motivated or find meaning in my day-to-day life. Some days are better than others but…. It’s been tough.
Now I’m not a wrestling expert but I am a life long fan. Writing about wrestling and giving my opinion on this or that is not my profession; it’s a hobby and a creative outlet that helps keep my head up when I feel like burying it in my hands. I’d like to thank Kyle D and those behind the scenes at Ewrestlingnews for giving me the opportunity to post this and future articles on the site for your consumption.
…. Now on to the glorious rubbish that was the House of Horrors.
Part 1: Prelude
I can say in all honestly that there is no match I’ve dreaded more in recent memory than Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt in their return match from Wrestlemania. As far as world title matches go, it’s hard to think of many that will be less fondly remembered then their 10-minute disasterpiece. But what were you expecting? The match was literally par for the course with both these guys.
I tend to view Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt as mirror images of each other. Randy is an excellent pro wrestler that, when motivated, can look as crisp and sharp as anyone in the business. But when it comes to his character, it’s hard to find anyone as stale and lifeless. He is the epitome of “treading water.” Bray Wyatt, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. From a character standpoint, there is no one on the roster (maybe outside of Brock) who is more unique. In a company filled with a bunch of “dudes,” Bray is a truly eye catching figure. But then he wrestles…. And he becomes just another guy. After 4 years of being on the main roster, I can think of 2 notable (for the right reasons) Wyatt singles matches (vs Daniel Bryan at the Rumble and vs Cena at Payback). Every time he steps foot in the ring his mystique just washes away and we’re left with another slow, plodding, wacky match.
So now what? We have a great pro wrestler vs a great character in a match that absolutely no one is looking forward to. Not only that, but no one can make heads or tails of what the match is actually going to be. Even the company doesn’t know! What in the hell is a House of Horrors match!?
Part 2: The Match
As the audience found out the night of the show, a House of Horrors match is a two-part affair that would begin at the Wyatt household and end (an hour or so later) at the SAP Center arena in San Jose. The two sections of the match (including promos, intros, outros, etc) would add up to a total run time of roughly 27 minutes. All in all, it was a very un-WWE presentation.
The match unofficially begins with Randy Orton riding in a WWE limo. I marked out instantly when I saw Randy just kinda chillin’ in the back seat, shirtless, with long black pants. This is Orton’s “street fight” attire. The limo pulls up to a dingy house in the middle of the woods. The limo comes to a stop and the passenger door opens seemingly on its own. An apprehensive Orton slowly exits the vehicle and surveys the area. A light flickers in the dilapidated home. An unmanned tractor skims across the lawn in reverse. This is a place of darkness and corruption.
(I should note at this point the word “LIVE” is plastered across the top right of the screen. As in, “this is live.” As in, “this match is happening right now.” Never mind that it’s the dead of night outside the Wyatt home but still very much daytime on the west coast).
Orton peers through the blinders into the front entryway. I’m not sure if there was agreed upon start time for this encounter but Wyatt appears to have been expecting Orton. Maybe he could just sense him. Who knows? Either way, Bray steps out of the darkened hallway and into the light.
The next 7 or so minutes amount to what is essentially the greatest hide and go seek match in WWE history. Orton would wander into a room, Bray would jump him, get the upper hand, Orton would manage to ward him off, and Bray would disappear. Rinse and repeat. The big finish takes place in the kitchen when Wyatt drops a refrigerator onto Orton’s prone body. Satisfied with the damage he’s inflicted, Bray exits the compound and enters the WWE limo (which had taken off earlier but, apparently, had since returned). The limo pulls away with Orton seemingly left for dead and Bray singing “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”
…. 25 minutes later.
The limo pulls up to the SAP Center Arena and out steps Bray Wyatt, still selling the beating he suffered at the hands of Randy Orton. The arena goes black and Wyatt makes his way to the ring amidst the fireflies. He blows out his trademark lantern but there’s a slight delay and the stadium is caked in darkness for a beat longer than usual. The light finally returns and out of the darkness emerges Randy Orton, standing behind a distracted Wyatt.
…. And then, it’s a WWE match. Orton extracts a measure of revenge by inflicting a 3+ minute beat down. This all leads to interference spot one (by the Singh Brothers), interference spot two (by Jinder Mahal), and an eventual Bray Wyatt victory. And that, my friends, was the House of Horrors match.