The uprising of NXT has given us, the WWE fans, so many fantastic Superstars over the past five years or so. You only need to scan up and down the Raw and SmackDown Live rosters to realize exactly how vital to the current WWE product NXT is and has been. Charlotte Flair, Finn Balor, the three former members of The Shield. All main event Superstars with a number of main roster title reigns to their names. One of the performers from NXT with maybe more promise than any of the guys and girls he shared a locker room with down at the Performance Center is Bray Wyatt.
Too many professional wrestling up and comers think the way forward, at least to begin with, is to slap on some trunks and boots and prove that you’re a great wrestler. That’s only half the battle. What you need is a fresh gimmick in a profession that has seemingly seen it all. Well Bray Wyatt has that. Yes many parallels can be drawn between him and The Undertaker and while that may mean Bray isn’t completely original, being compared to The Deadman is hardly a bad thing. The sad thing is WWE, while finally making Wyatt champion this year, has slipped up a number of times with Bray. While the mere presence of The New Face of Fear is meant to strike terror in to both his opponents and the fans, there are a number of instances that have very much watered down that intended feeling. These are 15 times WWE wishes they could wind back the clock and make us forget certain things about The Eater of Worlds.
15. The New Day Visit The Wyatt Compound
In 2016 Bray Wyatt and his loyal band of followers, well at the time they were loyal, were embroiled in a feud with The New Day. It felt like a rivalry that we had been anticipating for a while and it had a lot of potential, but it did not live up to it. It was teased that Xavier Woods may have been falling under Bray’s spell and there was no pay off to that, but that wasn’t the worst thing. New Day wound up going to The Wyatt Compound to confront Bray and his family and while that sounds intriguing on paper, it came mere weeks after The Hardy Boyz had done the exact same thing on TNA. Matt Hardy even took to Twitter and accused WWE and Bray of ripping off their idea. Let’s hope now that Matt and Jeff are with WWE they’ll eventually clash with Bray and whoever is following him come that time.
14. Posing With Stephanie And Renee
We’re all aware that the world is a very different place than it was 20 years ago. It’s also had a major affect on wrestling. Keeping your private life private is not easy which means fans know that most of the time who you are on screen isn’t who you are in real life. It’s not impossible to keep those two lives separate though and someone with a gimmick as unique as Bray Wyatt’s should be putting in the extra effort to do so. The Undertaker has wrestled in this modern era and he has managed to keep an aura and mystique to his character, so why can’t Bray? Admittedly he doesn’t let his guard slip too often but when he does, and to the extent of the photo above, it really stands out and is not quickly forgotten.
13. His Creepy Choir Of Children
The entire premise of Bray Wyatt is that he’s a pretty creepy guy. We get that, that’s fine. But back in 2014 while feuding with John Cena Bray took that creepiness to an entirely different level. He and Cena were on a collision course heading into Extreme Rules that year and the Raw before their showdown Wyatt revealed that he seemingly had an army of children at his beck and call. While Cena was in the ring the kids, all wearing sheep masks, surrounded the ring and sang at Wyatt’s opponent. One of them even showed up the following Sunday to prevent Cena escaping the cage he and Bray were battling in. As I mentioned, too creepy and it would appear that Bray no longer has any children under his employ.
12. He’s IRS’s Son
For those of you who didn’t know who Bray Wyatt’s father was or what he looked like before reading this, the man pictured above is probably not what you had in mind. Personally I would have been more inclined to believe WWE if they had told me that The Undertaker was Bray’s dad. But no, the man formerly known as Irwin R. Schyster, or IRS, is Papa Wyatt. Mike Rotunda, IRS’s real name, found himself in WWE at a time when Vince McMahon appeared to believe that the way forward in wrestling was for every Superstar to have a trade as their gimmick. That’s how he found himself playing a tax man. I’m sure Bray thanks his lucky stars every day that Vince didn’t want to make him IRS Jr.
11. His Long Wait For The WWE Championship
Bray Wyatt was never NXT Champion during his stay at the Performance Center, and that was fine. Bray’s time in developmental was all about establishing The Wyatt Family. His wait for any kind of singles gold when he arrived on Raw and SmackDown however was nothing short of unacceptable. Yes you could argue that, like The Undertaker, Bray’s character isn’t one who actively pursues titles, but even The Deadman held his first WWE Championship a year after his debut. Bray went almost four years on the main roster before finally clinching the company’s most coveted title, outlasting five other Superstars in the 2017 Elimination Chamber. You would think a feat that big would warrant the start of a long run on top but alas, it was not to be.
10. He Was Only Champion For Six Weeks
While many fans thought that the Elimination Chamber mentioned above would finally see Bray Wyatt earn the recognition he deserved, it was still a nice surprise when those beliefs actually materialized. Plus The Eater of Worlds defeated both AJ Styles and John Cena inside the structure, so a pretty big deal. All signs pointed to The Era of Wyatt being a long one. It was not. After WWE finally pulled the trigger with Bray and gave us the fans what we wanted to see, Wyatt as a top guy and WWE Champion, they’d pulled the rug right out from under us. Just six weeks later Wyatt lost the title to Randy Orton at WrestleMania 33. But wait, there’s more!
9. His WWE Championship ‘Rematch’
Pro wrestling laws almost as old as the business itself state that when a champion loses their title, they are owed a rematch for said championship. Only seems fair, right? Well following his WWE Championship loss at WrestleMania 33 Bray wasted no time in challenging the new champ to a House of Horrors match. Clever, take Randy out of his comfort zone and maximize your chances of winning back the gold. Except it wasn’t for the title, and WWE were very sneaky and reserved in not broadcasting that fact. So much so that right up to the match at the recent pay per view Payback most fans were still split over whether the title was on the line or not. Turns out it most definitely was not, making Bray look like more than just a bit of a fool for not requesting the rematch he was owed, especially after he won.
8. The Time He Joined Forces With Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt have occasionally been in the same ring together, but more often than not the two are on opposing sides. In 2016 however a recently returned Shane McMahon decided to force the long term foes to team and battle against Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio from The League of Nations. While many expected the odd couple’s dislike of each other to boil over, quite the opposite happened. Bray and Roman made a formidable pairing, laying waste to their opponents. The match seemingly began Bray on the path to becoming a baby face, however soon after he was sidelined through injury and the possible turn has long been forgotten despite the fans’ adoration of Wyatt, but more on that later.
7. He Used To Be Husky Harris
Who’s that handsome young chap pictured above I hear you ask? Well it’s Bray Wyatt of course! Okay technically it’s Husky Harris, Bray’s gimmick in developmental before he became The Eater of Worlds. As you can probably tell from the photo alone, Husky was a far cry from the fearless leader of The Wyatt Family that we know and love today. Harris actually appeared on the main roster as he was one of the original members of Nexus along with the liked of Daniel Bryan and Ryback, or Skip Sheffield as he was known at the time. Not only did Husky look worlds apart from Bray from the neck up, he also wrestled in trunks as opposed to the unique ensembles Wyatt dons today. Safe to say WWE won’t be reminding us of Bray’s humble beginnings in a hurry.
6. His WrestleMania Loss To John Cena
2013 saw the emergence of Bray Wyatt, along with his loyal band of followers, on to the main roster. That meant his first WrestleMania came the following year in New Orleans, and his first ever WrestleMania opponent was the not so small time John Cena. Wyatt vowed to defeat John Cena and along with him the legacy that the now sixteen time world champion had built. It was teased that Bray had gotten into Cena’s head to such an extent that he would turn his back on his legacy and his morals in an attempt to put away Bray. As fans we would have settled for that in lieu of a Wyatt win, but we didn’t even get that. Bray became the latest in a run of Superstars to fall foul of Big Match John on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
5. His WrestleMania Loss To The Undertaker
One year later at Bray’s second WrestleMania The Eater of Worlds found himself in yet another marquee match. First year he gets John Cena, second year a one on one bout with The Undertaker. Not bad at all. It was a modern day dream match, on paper, that we never thought we would get to see. At WrestleMania XXX ‘Taker was famously beaten by Brock Lesnar and saw his legendary streak come to an end. Many believed that would be it for The Phenom. However a relentless Bray managed to goad The Undertaker into another match at The Showcase of The Immortals. With The Streak in the rear view mirror it would have made sense for Wyatt to add insult to injury, defeat ‘Taker and truly send him packing but no such luck. Bray was beaten again and the torch was not passed.
4. His Losses In General
Let’s face it, it’s hard to think of a time when Bray Wyatt ever wins. Yes he wins the odd match but rarely dominates a feud or comes out of it better off than his opponent. John Cena, Randy Orton, The Undertaker, Roman Reigns. Bray always promises so much, hypnotizes us and his foes in the build up to his matches with his weird and wonderful promos, vows to send his opponents to hell or drive them crazy. Yet time and time again it clearly doesn’t seem to have much of an effect. It doesn’t seem to slow Bray down though as when he loses one feud, he regroups and threatens another random member of the roster. WWE obviously doesn’t want us to remember that Bray Wyatt is quickly becoming somewhat of a loser otherwise the threats he spouts will soon be seen as empty.
3. Honing In On Brock Lesnar
After landmark matches, that led to landmark losses, for Bray in back to back WrestleManias it appeared that The Eater of Worlds was on a collision course for a third at WrestleMania 32. During the Royal Rumble match in 2016 The Wyatt Family made it their mission to ruin Lesnar’s night by focusing all their attention on him and eliminating him from the 30 man match. Wyatt’s focus on The Beast continued on and off as the Road to WrestleMania continued but instead WWE hit us with a curve ball. Brock wound up facing Dean Ambrose at The Show of Shows instead in what was a very lackluster match. Admittedly it would appear that it was thanks to a Bray Wyatt injury as he didn’t have a match on the show at all but still, we’re still waiting for that Bray-Brock pay off over a year later.
2. Bo Dallas Is His Brother
I would love to be a guest at the Rotunda household for Christmas dinner. Not only do you have the vastly different wrestling personalities in Bray and his father IRS, but you can also throw Wyatt’s brother Bo Dallas into that mix. Both men are currently signed to Monday Night Raw but make no bones about it, in WWE that’s where the similarities end. While Bray effectively haunts the roster and is competing for major championships, his brother Bo is pretty much nowhere to be seen and probably longing for the times when he got on TV as one of the Social Outcasts. Aside from some time at the very beginning of their career, the fact that Bray and Bo are related has not even been alluded to, and you can understand why.
1. That We Love Him
We are wrestling fans in a time where being a fan is an extremely different experience to what it was in the past. During the days of Hulkamania there was a good guy you loved and a bad guy you loathed, it was as simple as that. Nowadays it’s not so straightforward and as WWE have demonstrated with Roman Reigns, you can’t always tell us who to like. Bray Wyatt to a lesser extent is also a bit of a problem when it comes to portrayal. Bray’s dastardly acts and heinous promises suggest that we should feel nothing but disdain for the former WWE Champion. Yet the way arenas light up around the world when he makes his way to the ring via us, his fireflies, demonstrate that we feel nothing but love for The New Face of Fear. You can be as creepy and down right strange as you like Bray, clearly nothing is going to stop us from being right behind you.
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