Bray Wyatt has been a major player on the WWE landscape for the last four years. His character is, in many ways, a new spin on an old school style gimmick. While most of the roster is playing realistic, as if they are, in fact, professional athletes, Wyatt is a throwback to the kind of supernatural heel who actually has designs on taking over the world via professional wrestling. In these ways, he’s more like Kevin Sullivan in his Dungeon of Doom, or The Undertaker in his Ministry of Darkness period.
For all of the character’s mystique, and how well Wyatt plays the part in promos and vignettes, it’s clear enough to hardcore fans that there is a real person underneath all of that. Wyatt has posted photos of himself out of character to social media, including photos with his two daughters and with his wife.
Wyatt’s personal life is changing, however, as his divorce recently went public. Suddenly, a performer who was a bit shrouded in mystery appears exceedingly human as things have gotten nasty with accusations going each way. In particular there have been insinuations that Wyatt was not faithful to his marriage.
So what was really going on in Wyatt’s marriage and what led them to this point? What might the marriage mean Wyatt and his soon to be ex-wife Samantha, and for their family? On top of all of that, what might the divorce mean for Wyatt as a person, a performer, and a character? This article looks at fifteen things you need to know about Bray Wyatt’s divorce.
15 The Couple Was Married For Five Years
Bray Wyatt and his wife Samantha got married in 2012, meaning they made it five years as a married couple. That may not seem like long, but it is a more impressive run than it might seem at first blush when you realize that the marriage predated the Bray Wyatt character altogether. With that, the marriage predates Wyatt’s ascension to become one of the most famous professional wrestlers in the world, let alone a champion and PPV main eventer.
It’s unfortunate that Wyatt’s fame, fortune, and perhaps most importantly time on the road seemed to take their toll on the marriage. Wyatt now leaves the relatively small ranks of happily married big time wrestlers, and joins the much longer list of top WWE stars who are also divorced.
14 Samantha Filed For Divorce In April
The news of Bray Wyatt and Samantha Rotunda getting a divorce grabbed major attention in June as things grew more confrontational, but according to a number of reports, Samantha actually filed for divorce in April. You have to imagine that made for one very rough month for the Eater of Worlds. He started the month WWE Champion, and not only lost the title to Randy Orton, but did so in a match that was widely panned as the worst at WrestleMania. Then he saw his personal life take a turn.
The series of events just goes to show that while fans are increasingly informed about backstage news from the wrestling world, there’s also a lot more going on in performers’ persona lives than we might ever guess.
13 Samantha Accused Wyatt Of Adultery
When the story of Samantha divorcing Wyatt broke to the public, the first most of us heard of it was an accusation of adultery. This is, of course, one of the ugliest ways for a break up to go down because it suggests far more than one relationship not working out, but that at least one party was dishonest in his dealings. Given Wyatt portrays a heel for the public, that might not be so problematic, but the development nonetheless cast a negative light on him as a man to his fans, friends, and colleagues.
Sadly, this development also puts Wyatt in alignment with a long line of stars to precede him. Wrestlers are a bit notorious for engaging in extramarital activities on the road, be it with other performers or so called “ring rats”—fans all too eager to get involved with a wrestler.
12 Samantha’s Attorney Leaked That Wyatt Was Involved With JoJo
According to a number of reports, both Samantha and Wyatt himself kept JoJo out of any public discussions about the divorce. Purportedly, it was Samantha’s attorney who leaked the news to the Daily Mail gossip site. This development drew even more attention to the news, given that the other woman was not some anonymous person fans had never heard of but, herself, another WWE personality.
The news that JoJo may have been involved with Wyatt has been a surprise to a number of fans who never would have thought to have linked them to one another. It will be interesting to see now if this results in any impact on JoJo’s career in WWE, or if she might remain a largely anonymous ring announcer indefinitely.
11 Wyatt Claims Samantha Is Trying To Ruin His Reputation
When Samantha first went public that her husband had cheated on her, Wyatt’s first reaction was to claim that she was trying to ruin his reputation. The implication was clear—that she was lying and perhaps trying to deflect responsibility for the break up or villainize Wyatt as a man in the eyes of the public.
Of course, there are always two sides to a story. At this point, fans can only speculate as to the legitimacy of Samantha’s claims. Is it possible Wyatt and JoJo are just friends and his wife has taken things the wrong way? Or maybe they didn’t get involved until after the marriage had already gone awry? Over time, we’ll probably all get more access to this story, but for now, the truth is unclear.
10 Wyatt’s Claims Have Put Samantha On The Attack
According to multiple reports, Samantha was inclined to keep the details of the divorce and the ways in which she felt Wyatt had wronged her quiet, until he went public to question her honesty and motives. Reportedly, it was Wyatt’s suggestion that she just wanted to ruin his reputation that pushed her over the edge. She went from wanting to privately resolve their differences to actively wanting to drag his name through the mud for real.
Now we’ve settled on an ugly divorce in which both sides are talking to the press, and neither have much of anything nice to say. Surely, Wyatt has the bigger audience, but based on his alleged infidelity, already comes across as the less sympathetic character in this real life drama.
9 Samantha Is Going After The House
Wyatt and Samantha were actually together since college, when Wyatt was a football player, before he decided to drop out of school to follow in his father and his grandfather’s footsteps and pursue professional wrestling. Most people don’t think of dropping out of college as a step toward success. Despite the unconventional route to the top, Wyatt built a nice life for himself, with money, a wife, and even their own house.
The house has turned into a point of contention in the divorce, as Samantha is reportedly gunning for it in the divorce settlement. Unlike the House of Horrors where Wyatt infamously did battle with Randy Orton, this is a nice piece of property in Brooksville, Florida that neither of the two are likely to part with easily.
8 Bray Wyatt Showed Up At Raw With JoJo After The Story Broke
The same day that the story broke to a mainstream audience about the divorce and Wyatt purportedly being involved with JoJo, photographs showed up on social media. The images captured Wyatt and JoJo getting out of a car, apparently arriving for Raw together. It’s a bit of a surreal image, given Wyatt was denying the allegations that he was cheating on his wife. Maybe he was taking a page out of his character’s book and playing mind games with a real life enemy.
On screen, Wyatt and JoJo aren’t affiliated with each other, but it’s generally unknown how much of their connection was known to other WWE Superstars. Perhaps showing up at Raw together was a bit of a coming out party for the couple, though it may have also just been the first time that anyone had a reason to pay attention to their routine.
7 Things Might Have Gotten Uglier Quicker Were It Not For WWE’s Control
Twitter and other social media outlets are an extremely interesting factor in the contemporary pro wrestling landscape. On one hand, WWE actively pushes its talent to have social media accounts and to be active on them. That’s understandable because social media provides a different avenue for fans to follow and connect with their favorite stars. On the other hand, though, there’s been more than one occasion when social media has caused a wrestler to put his foot in his mouth or do something WWE isn’t exactly proud of.
People close to the situation have speculated that this whole ordeal may have gotten even uglier even faster were the two not in the public eye and were Wyatt not under WWE contract. As it stands, Wyatt needs to remain not only within WWE’s guidelines for decent citizenship, but also protect his character in at least token ways by not fixating on his personal issues on social media.
6 Wyatt And JoJo Were In NXT Together
While the details remain sketchy about when Bray Wyatt and JoJo may have began whatever relationship they have, the two would have had the opportunity to meet years back. In 2013, both were in NXT. JoJo has been moved to developmental after getting a start appearing on Total Divas, and quickly proving she needed time to grow as a performer before she was ready for the limelight. Meanwhile, Wyatt was coming off of his Husky Harris run on the NXT TV show and as part of the main roster Nexus stable.
Back in developmental, he tried on different personas before settling on the cult-ish Bray Wyatt. He toyed with a few modifications of the character different kayfabe sidekicks before getting pushed back up to the main roster. Meanwhile, JoJo found her footing not as a wrestler, but rather as a ring announcer.
5 Wyatt And His Wife Have Two Kids
One of the sadder elements of the news that Bray Wyatt and his wife were splitting up was that it’s well known the two have two children—both daughters—together.
Critics have claimed that Wyatt posing with his family for photos has undermined the credibility of his more grave on screen character. While that may be true from a strict business sense, it nonetheless appears clear Wyatt loves his girls and they bring out a softer side of him. While divorce is often as not the healthiest option for two adults with irreconcilable differences, it’s nonetheless hard on kids and must be particularly so in the case of a marriage ending this poorly, with each of the parents speaking out against the other in public.
4 Samantha Is Seeking Custody Of The Children
As news of the divorce spread it came out that Samantha was not only seeking to keep the house, but was pursuing custody of the children. To be fair, Samantha is already surely the more consistent figure in the children’s lives, given the intense travel schedule Wyatt maintains as a WWE star.
Given that Wyatt is a third generation wrestler, one has to speculate if his daughters might have followed along the family lines and wound up in wrestling themselves. If Samantha does get custody, maybe that will steer them away form a wrestling centric life. It’s also possible that like other children of wrestlers—Dustin Rhodes, for example—aspiring to more of a relationship with their famous father might lead them all the more intensely to want to break into the business.
3 Wyatt Is Seven Years JoJo’s Senior
When JoJo appeared on the Total Divas reality series, her youth was a major point of focus for her, given she wasn’t yet even twenty one. While Wyatt isn’t exactly an old timer, he is a good bit older than his apparent new romantic partner. While JoJo is, today, just 23 years old, Wyatt is 30.
In the grand scheme of things, seven years isn’t necessarily a huge difference. Their places in life does raise some questions as to how the relationship might play out in the long term, though. JoJo will get older and presumably more mature. Meanwhile, Wyatt stands at the crossroads of perhaps becoming an even bigger WWE star, or perhaps receding into the background a bit as his career evolves. It will be interesting to see how these dynamics play out in their relationship.
2 Wyatt And JoJo Were Relocated Together On Raw
When WWE underwent its Superstar Shake Up this spring, through which wrestlers switched brands, one of the more surprising moves was for Bray Wyatt to move to Raw. On SmackDown he’d been the world champion and at the least had unfinished with Randy Orton, who took the title off of him. The Raw upper card was more crowded, with fewer obvious places for Wyatt to fit in.
Looking back now, some pundits have theorized that Wyatt’s move to Raw may have been more than a booking decision, but rather a subtle move keep the Eater of Worlds happy. Maybe he quite consciously wanted to be on the same brand as his girlfriend, JoJo, as she’d already transitioned to Raw and started ring announcing for the red brand.
1 Wyatt’s Pairing With JoJo Could Land Him On Total Divas
Bray Wyatt doesn’t exactly seem like the most likely cast member for Total Divas. Unlike someone like John Cena, Wyatt both plays a dark character on TV and comes from a serious, traditional wrestling family. Just the same, like Brie Bella bringing Daniel Bryan into the reality TV fold, or Renee Young bringing in Dean Ambrose, Wyatt’s exactly the sort of high profile wrestling boyfriend fans might be interested in were WWE and E! to reintroduce JoJo to the cast.
JoJo did appear on the original season of the show but has faded into the background as a less well established wrestler with less of a following from the WWE fans. Her increased visibility as Raw ring announcer, added to the intrigue of her coupling with Wyatt could be tailor made to place them both on reality TV.