The Wyatt Family debuted in the summer of 2013 just before the SummerSlam PPV. They made an emphatic statement when they defeated Kane and would begin running through the midcarders on the roster. Their conquest would continue as the group began to pick up wins against some of the favorites on the main roster such as Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. They would go from feuding with individuals to feuding with factions as they had one of the best matches in WWE history at the Elimination Chamber against The Shield. Then, the group seemed like they were making a huge leap in star power when they attacked John Cena, the biggest name in wrestling today. Everything seemed to be going their way as the group looked like they were about to be pushed to the moon.
Then Bray Wyatt lost to John Cena twice, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper were unsuccessful in winning the tag team championships, they lost again to Chris Jericho, broke up, got back together, and have been losing a ton of matches ever since. It’s gotten so bad over these last three years that The Wyatt Family may not even have an advertised match at WrestleMania 32, a truly shameful turn of events. For a group that looked poised to dominate the WWE to become enhancement talents all within three years is just ridiculous. Even with the addition of new member in Braun Strowman, The Wyatt Family’s stock only plummeted further. If they were to continue this trend for the next few months, the only group less credible then them would be the Social Outcasts.
The WWE has made a lot of mistakes with The Wyatt Family and they’ve been so inconsistent with them that it’s hard to consider where they go from here. Do they turn face, stay the course, or just abandon the gimmick altogether? These are definitely some questions the WWE will have to answer after WrestleMania. But some questions that can be answered right now is where they went wrong with The Wyatt Family because although the loss at WrestleMania XXX was big, there were plenty of opportunities over the years to rectify it.
And with that being said, here are the fifteen biggest mistakes the WWE ever made with The Wyatt Family since their debut on the main roster.
15 Taking Orders from The Authority
When The Shield aligned with The Authority, it fit their characters perfectly as the group were a mercenary power for hire,who cared more about money than morals. When The Wyatt Family was shown acting under the orders of The Authority, all it did was show that their characters were inconsistent. A group like The Wyatt Family seem like they would be above the petty disputes within the WWE. They would feel more like a force of nature rather than wrestlers who are there to win titles. So to see Triple H and Mr. McMahon command them so often takes away the little subtleties that made the group unique. Not a major issue by any means, but definitely a noticeable one.
14 Attempting to Give Them "Mythical Powers"
After Bray Wyatt and the rest of The Wyatt Family attacked The Undertaker and Kane, the WWE attempted to act as if The Wyatt Family now possessed the same powers that The Brothers of Destruction once had. Long gone were the days of the cult-like family who were acting as a band of serial killers (without the killing), now the WWE was attempting to give birth to a new age version of a group of spooky individuals with powers over fire and electricity. Though the Kane and Undertaker attack was the most recent, this wouldn’t be the WWE’s first attempt at this. During the Hell in A Cell Match between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt attacked Ambrose after first distracting him with some weird hologram. These attempts at strange powers, in an age where kayfabe is dead, were just bad decisions that attempted to change what didn’t need changing.
13 Sister Abigail
When Bray Wyatt constantly referenced Sister Abigail as his guiding light and a figure that provides him meaning, it would stand to reason that the WWE would introduce such a character eventually. To this day, there has been no such character shown and it really has been a disappointment. The WWE commentary team has mentioned that Sister Abigail is Bray Wyatt’s sister who died, but that still doesn’t change the fact that we have no idea what this person looks like or how they died. The story could’ve been similar to May 19th with Kane or maybe he’s from a pagan family who sacrificed her or something; no one knows. It’s understandable that being in the era of little to no kayfabe wouldn’t warrant an actual Abigail character, but that could’ve been a clever twist if done correctly. Imagine seeing vignettes of Bray Wyatt taking advice from an unseen woman who directs him towards his next opponents. Then, after some time, she’s revealed to be an imposter whose been screwing with The Wyatt Family since day one or that she’s been alive this whole time. Elements for some great storytelling are there and the WWE doesn’t seem interested in it at all.
12 Losing His First Title Opportunity
Following Bray Wyatt’s loss to John Cena at Payback, the WWE announced a ladder match with various contenders for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The contenders for the title consisted of Randy Orton, Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio, Roman Reigns, John Cena, Sheamus, and Bray Wyatt. At the time, some of these entrants made sense because Cena’s been a world title contender for years, Del Rio was a former world champion without any interesting feuds at the time, Cesaro was rising in popularity, and Orton previously held the belt and didn’t get his rematch. The only contenders who made no sense were Sheamus, who was already the US Champion at the time, and Bray Wyatt who hadn’t done anything to deserve it. Aside from the fact that his character didn’t need the championship to be relevant, it seemed like such an odd decision to put a man who just lost a big match in another big match just for him to lose again. And to make matters worse, it would ultimately mean losing to Cena yet again.
11 Fighting The Shield before WrestleMania
Let’s be clear, no one is regretting that legendary match that occurred between The Wyatt Family and The Shield. That match was one of the greatest matches that year and made every wrestler look good. However, the problem with this match is that it was essentially wasted on a B-level transition PPV when it was a match worthy of WrestleMania. Putting their match on at WrestleMania XXX would’ve been big business and another great match for the PPV. This is a much better alternative to what actually occurred with The Shield fighting the representation of The Authority in Corporate Kane and The New Age Outlaws and Wyatt…
Well, we’ll get to that one later.
10 Feud with Roman Reigns
Excluding their Hell in a Cell Match and some of their encounters on Raw, Wyatt's feud with Roman Reigns had the potential to be great for both characters, but only ended up mattering to one. After defeating Ryback at Payback, The Eater of Worlds turned his attention to Reigns and cost him his chance at winning the Money in the Bank Match. From then on, Wyatt cut promos about wanting anyone but Reigns to succeed and the two seemed like a great rivalry in the making. In their first match, Bray Wyatt won via interference from Luke Harper, then Harper and Wyatt lost to Dean Ambrose and Reigns, then The Wyatts won at Night of Champions after Braun Strowman made his debut, and the feud ended when Wyatt lost against Reigns in a Hell in a Cell match. The fact that Bray Wyatt couldn’t beat Reigns on his own didn’t make him look any better and the string of tag team matches didn’t do much for Wyatt as it continued the notion that he can’t beat main event talents on his own. Thankfully, the loss at Hell in a Cell was somewhat justified when The Wyatt Family attacked The Undertaker to resume that feud. But, we all know how that turned out.
9 Bray Wyatt's In-ring Debut
Despite not having the same “mythical powers” as Kane and The Undertaker, it would’ve been an epic way to debut Bray Wyatt in the ring if his first match was against Kane inside the Hell in A Cell and have a semi-passing of the torch moment. Their first match was the Ring of Fire match (a watered-down inferno match) at SummerSlam 2013 and it was relatively boring. Imagine Kane having to go through both Erick Rowan and Luke Harper in matches before ultimately going against Bray Wyatt in his first ever match inside Hell in a Cell. That would’ve been a great start for a character with so much potential.
8 Random Feuding
In the beginning of their WWE run, The Wyatt Family seemed to care more about revealing the inner truth in wrestlers especially when he targeted Kane as his first opponent. Although the match was underwhelming, the character seemed to be unique from everyone else and felt like a group who only targeted big time opponents. Then, for some odd reason, he started attacking midcarders like The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler; people who weren’t doing anything important and weren’t that important in general. The Wyatt Family would get back on track around Survivor Series as they targeted more important wrestlers like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, but would once again feud with midcarders for no reason following their feud with John Cena. His most random feud to date would be his feud with Ryback prior to his new found obsession with crushing the WWE’s big men. Aside from constantly losing, the best way to make a character work in WWE is to have their character be consistent. The Wyatt Family have been nothing close to consistent over the years and their random feuds are proof of that.
7 Breaking Up The Wyatt Family
Following the feud with Chris Jericho, the WWE took The Wyatt Family off of TV for an extended period of time and decided to break up the group. Luke Harper stayed a heel, Erick Rowan became a face, and Bray Wyatt remained a heel on a main event level as he faced The Undertaker later that year at WrestleMania. Harper also went on to become a solid hand in the midcard by winning the Intercontinental title and having some good matches. Rowan got the short end of the stick as he lost a feud against Big Show and would remain a jobber for the rest of his face run. While this wasn’t the worst decision, it only really helped Luke Harper. Perhaps if they went on to become great superstars like what happened with The Shield, then maybe the split could’ve worked, but in the end the decision didn’t help anyone.
6 Reuniting The Wyatt Family...In Parts
Breaking up The Wyatt Family was never that good of an idea in the first place. The only person who really benefited from the divide was Luke Harper since he went on to become the Intercontinental Champion and had some memorable matches and moments in the WWE. Bray Wyatt was about the same following the breakup and Erick Rowan looked a lot worse than he looked when he was with the group. Seeing that the breakup didn’t do much good, the WWE decided to reunite The Wyatt Family starting at Battleground when Harper cost Roman Reigns his match against Wyatt. Unfortunately, Rowan wasn’t physically ready to come back and as a result, The Wyatt Family slowly started coming together again. And while this could’ve work if there was another faction of equal size feuding with them, it ultimately didn’t work as the feud was initially between Reigns and Bray Wyatt. So adding members never really amounted to anything. Reigns was able to get The Usos and Dean Ambrose to join him, but by the time it happened most people were tired of the feud.
5 Losing to Chris Jericho
The worst thing that can happen to a promising wrestler is to sustain loss after loss. This has occurred with Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow, Cesaro, and now Bray Wyatt. After losing to Cena at WrestleMania, needing a child’s help to win at Extreme Rules, literally being buried in a last man standing match, and losing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder match, Bray Wyatt and his followers entered a somewhat random feud with Chris Jericho. And at the end of their first match, Chris Jericho won. This was a terrible follow-up decision that ultimately made The Wyatt Family look even worse. How could The Wyatt Family be perceived as a serious threat when the head of their faction can’t defeat someone who loss to Fandango?
4 Losing at Fastlane
It’s one thing to take a loss against a pre-established group of wrestlers who have been teaming up together for years and have taken on some of the biggest names in WWE history, in the case of The Brothers of Destruction. But taking a loss against a rag-tag team of midcarders in Big Show, Kane and Ryback with no momentum and very little history of working together was just pitiful. Luckily, Bray Wyatt himself didn’t partake in the match but the fact remains that The Wyatt Family as a whole looked like jobbers after losing this match. This loss also came in the middle of what seemed to be a build-up to a WrestleMania match between Wyatt and Brock Lesnar, so this loss made The Wyatt Family look even less like viable competition for The Beast Incarnate. The only thing this match led to was a rematch the next night where The Wyatts would win only after Ryback left the team. What a waste of time.
3 Losing to The Brothers of Destruction
All the potential the WWE had to rehab The Wyatt Family’s characters and credibility was once again wasted as The Wyatt Family lost soundly to Kane and The Undertaker in a match that lasted about ten minutes. Many fans were hoping for the match to become a traditional Survivor Series elimination match with Kane and Undertaker finding two more teammates such as The Dudley Boyz, Finn Balor, The Boogeyman, or some people of interest to make their match more exciting. Instead, the match was short, boring, and underwhelming with yet another major loss to big superstars. It’s doubtful that the WWE can ever make The Wyatt Family as big as they had the chance to be back during WrestleMania XXX, but this felt like it could’ve made them a bigger threat in future feuds. But as we learned at FastLane 2016, that’ll probably never happen again.
2 Losing to John Cena
Despite all the mistakes that were made in the last three years with this faction, this is easily one of the biggest mistake the WWE have ever made with The Wyatt Family. After gaining momentum since SummerSlam of 2013 and defeating big stars like Kane, Daniel Bryan, and The Shield, The Wyatt Family would begin their feud against John Cena on the way to WrestleMania XXX. The feud was essentially a repeat of the “Embrace the Hate” feud as the basis for Bray Wyatt’s character seemed to be to turn people to his side at the time. And when the match actually took place, it was Cena who emerged victorious. This loss was the beginning of the end for The Wyatt Family being a serious threat to anyone as they would proceed to sustain constant losses for months on end against The Usos, Big Show and Mark Henry, and other matches involving Cena. The Wyatt Family have rarely been in chances to redeem themselves since that time and in all of those instances, The Wyatt Family still lost. This was the start of their decline and it was Bray Wyatt’s loss at WrestleMania XXX that robbed him of his momentum and began to rob him of his credibility.
1 Not Having a WrestleMania Match (as of now)
This point may become irrelevant in the next couple of weeks as the WWE may announce a match for them relatively soon, but as of now they look to be one of the few groups in the WWE left off of the show. The Usos, Dudley Boyz, New Day, and The League of Nations all have matches at WrestleMania as of now, but the faction that has been in the WWE for three years now doesn’t even have a rumored match. This is a tremendous fall from grace when compared to WrestleMania XXX and 31 where their leader was fighting some of the biggest names in wrestling. With two tag team matches announced already, and with no other teams to feud with, it seems as if the group may have to be added to a tag team match or just be regulated to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. And if that is where they fall on the card, then the WWE might as well disband the group for good because the family seems devoid of a push or a proper group of opponents at this point.