Vince McMahon loves money and, for that reason, he should be making out with Bray Wyatt right now as I type this. Wyatt’s one of the best talkers he’s had on the payroll in a decade and one of the better workers currently on the roster. He can carry a feud with The Undertaker while The Undertaker sits at home in Texas, and he could potentially fill the void of vaguely supernatural menace that will exist when UT finally, at long last, retires sometime in the next few years, if not months.
And Wyatt’s got a neato funtime club of followers to boot! Luke Harper’s beard rivals that of the uncanny Daniel Bryan and his wrestling skills aren’t too shabby either! Erick Rowan has a improbably frightening sheep mask and an impressive vocabulary! Braun Strowman is really big! He’s a huge guy, damnit! Real big! None of the other Wyatt Family members are small, of course, but Strowman is definitely the biggest.
Turning Bray Wyatt into a big star seems like it should be easy, as does positioning Rowan and Harper to potentially break out in his wake. So how could the WWE possibly screw that up?
Well, they’ve blundered pretty badly before. For a company that’s existed since 1985, a handful of glaring creative mistakes would be unavoidable. But remember the WCW/ECW Invasion? Or Goldberg’s run in the WWE? Or the time CM Punk won the world title and left the company? Those are still remembered as ultimately very expensive botched layups.
We’re not saying anyone needs to start panicking yet, but a few recent occurrences involving Bray Wyatt and his Merry Men have us a little nervous about their futures.
Ergo, here we’ve compiled a few pitfalls WWE creative could avoid, to ensure the future profitability of the Wyatt Family and any associated brands. We’re sure the WWE will be grateful for our sage-like guidance and send us several checks out of gratitude. Really big checks, with lots of zeros. Seems only fair, right?
15. Doubling Down On The Fire And Lightning Silliness
Frankly, Wyatt displaying the power to summon lightning and signal pyrotechnicians to trigger isolated explosions isn’t just unimpressive, it’s downright counter-productive.
Some horror movies work better when the audiences see the monster and others are better off when the creature remains unseen, or immaterial. Let’s say The Undertaker and Kane are best presented as Jason Voorhees-type monsters. Partially due to the eras in which they first appeared, we can accept a degree of overtly supernatural shenanigans from The Brothers of Destruction. Wyatt, on the other hand, is a “reality era” monster, more akin to the Blair Witch, or maybe a Babadook. He’s better off if we don’t see him flaunt otherworldly talents. A guy who tells everyone he’s a monster and surrounds himself with people who agree that he’s a monster, is scarier than an actual monster – because we in the reality era know that actual monsters don’t exist.
14. Rushing a Sister Abigail Reveal
One possibly correct school of thought says Bray Wyatt could go his entire WWE career, win nine world titles, retire from wrestling, and get inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2037 without a woman allegedly named “Sister Abigail” ever appearing on camera. But another school of thought says the WWE creative team is going to have to pull the trigger on telling Abigail’s story sooner or later. But the worst thing they could possibly do is half-ass it by either grabbing an old lady off a bus stop and throwing her out on Raw for a quick ratings grab, or worse, do something truly stupid like claim Paige was secretly Sister Abigail all along.
13. Pull an nWo
There doesn’t seem to be much danger of this scenario unfolding. WWE, thus far, has been pretty ginger with adding more faces to Bray Wyatt’s stable of flunkies. Given that he’s already tried and failed – with Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose, respectively – to turn an established sports entertainer to his wicked side means he’s going to have to succeeded at least once or twice eventually. But turning half the WWE locker room into devout Wyatt followers would ultimately be a mistake. Kind of awesome for maybe one episode of Raw, but still a bad idea. Even ballooning the Family up to the size Raven’s Flock – almost 10 members at one point in WCW – would probably be a bit much.
12. Premature Face Turn
A significant fraction of the wrestling fandom/WWE Universe already cheers for the Wyatts, so the temptation to turn them into lovable rascal babyfaces and set them against Triple H’s Authority must be difficult for WWE creative to suppress. The problem is for a faceturn to work, the Wyatts (or just Bray) would need to find themselves in a situation that made them look vulnerable or sympathetic. This would be difficult for any time in the foreseeable future, when Braun Strowman has been built up as pretty much unbeatable. Like Bray Wyatt himself, Strowman forged a victory over Chris Jericho, and made Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns both look like chumps via his Hug of Doom. But this actually presents a new, possibly disastrous scenario….
11. Braun Strowman = New Alpha Wyatt
We can’t help but notice The Wyatts’ new Black Sheep is getting booked to look as tough, if not tougher, than The Eater of Worlds himself. Logically, this indicates there are tentative plans of some sort for Strowman down the line. Maybe he’ll turn on the other three Wyatts. Maybe the opposite scenario shall unfold. Either way could work out just swimmingly, so long as Bray Wyatt remains the head honcho of the stable he founded. Imagine a Strowman vs. Cena feud, in which Bray Wyatt principally cuts promos while Strowman works the matches. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it?
10. Keeping Rowan Silent
At present, Harper and Rowan get booked a wee bit as if they’re both basically “Bray Wyatt lite.” This probably won’t hurt either of them in the long run – especially Harper, given the consistent quality of his matches. But it would certainly strengthen the Wyatt Family brand if the personalities of its two original affiliates had more opportunities to shine through. From what we’ve heard of Rowan on the mic, he’s probably the best talker of the three subordinate Wyatts. We say, before the next time Bray orders him to squash somebody, let Rowan drop some lines.
9. Not Giving Harper A Singles Push
Harper might still come off as a little awkward and not very ominous whenever Bray Wyatt hands him the microphone, but he’s nonetheless considered the best all-around worker of the Family. Remember back when Harper was IC champion? Let’s make him IC champ again! Or at least put him in a feud with Kevin Owens during Owens’ inevitable face turn. OR maybe a Harper vs. Sami Zayn feud when Zayn recovers from injury and gets bumped up to the main roster. Just leave most of the heavy lifting with promos up to Harper’s fearless leader for the time being, then let crazy eyes have a singles career.
8. Continue To Keep Bray Wyatt Out Of The World Title Picture
In this three years or thereabouts in WWE, Bray Wyatt has pinned John Cena, Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, and Dean Ambrose. But can anyone remember the last time he got a world title shot? What about a shot at any other singles title? It hasn’t happened. He’s not even in the tournament to determine the new, post-Rollins-injury champion. Isn’t that a little weird?
Granted, booking Wyatt vs. Lesnar might not have made sense or been plausible given Lesnar’s part-time schedule, and Wyatt vs. Rollins would’ve been a top heel vs. top heel match, which likewise would’ve been an odd combination. But something’s going to have to give on the Wyatt-title situation eventually.
7. Change The Music
Remember back when Daniel Bryan came out to an authentic version of “Flight of the Valkyries,” then WWE tacked on a bunch of electric guitars to ruin what made it distinct from everyone else’s song? You just know WWE’s planning on doing something similar to “Live In Fear,” and probably just to dick Mark Crozer out of licensing royalties. Clearly, this would be an awful idea, as the atmospheric, down tempo track is thoroughly ingrained in Wyatt’s persona. Fun fact: Crozer’s been a touring member of the Jesus and Mary Chain for a few years, meaning there’s a Wyatt Family/JMC connection we had no idea until Wikipedia told us just now.
6. Too Many More Undertaker PPV Matches
One of CM Punk’s major complaints on the monumental Art of Wrestling podcast that ought to be called “Pipe Bomb Part 2” was that he kept getting booked against part-timers he couldn’t doing anything with storyline-wise, aside from losing. Likewise, presenting Bray Wyatt as a guy who The Undertaker slaps around twice a year does not help anyone, especially in light of the fact that UT probably only has a handful of big matches left in him. Speaking of, doesn’t it make more sense for The Undertaker to put Wyatt over, at this point?
5. Deny Windham Rotunda Too Much Creative Control
Let us not forget that at one point, WWE creative took a look at Windham Rotunda and said, “Hm…This guy looks like a…I donno. Maybe a Husky Harris? ‘Cause he’s a little Husky, right? Yeah. Go with it. Sure thing. Party.” According to legend, the genesis of the Bray Wyatt character unfolded as a result of Rotunda’s frustration with the pitiable, tragic lot of Husky Harris – a guy from Florida with the body of a tank and the soul of a Ferrari engine. Needless to say, should Wyatt ever grow stagnant and frustrated with his direction, WWE creative should listen to any fresh ideas he happens to cook up.
4. Put Bray Wyatt in Any Crappy Movies
It’s hard to understand why WWE Studios exists. Ex-WWE personalities don’t ever become movie stars until they’ve moved outside of the McMahon umbrella. I’ve never even contemplated watching a WWE Studios movie, nor do I know anyone who’s seen one. So we’ve got anecdotal evidence, at least, that wrestling fans don’t necessarily feel any compulsion to watch these movies. Let’s go ahead and not put Bray Wyatt in The Marine VII, See No Evil III or Knucklehead II. In fact, don’t let him do any movies until Marvel calls and asks him to play a Daredevil or Guardians of the Galaxy villain.
3. Get Greedy With Wyatt Family Endorsement Deals
When Bray Wyatt tells us to buy something, you gotta know devoted followers of buzzards worldwide will rush to whatever retail outlet we’re directed towards screaming “TAKE OUR MONEY! TAKE IT NOW!!!” But WWE must be cautious, and make sure the Wyatts only endorse products the Wyatts could conceivably use themselves. For instance, Ekekcity brand lanterns, Mr. Natty’s Face Forest beard shampoo, Wyatt-penned self-help books, and maybe “tobacco-use-only” water pipes in the likeness of Erick Rowan’s sheep mask would be fine endorsement deals. But definitely not Fruity Pebbles. And probably not Slim Jims….
2. Not Making A Wyatt Family Cartoon Show
Putting Wyatt in a crummy movie would be a bad idea, but producing animated adventures starring the entire Wyatt Family gang might be a genius stroke. Imagine an Adult Swim-ish show in which Wyatt, Harper, Rowan, and Strowman join forces with an anthropomorphic cat who is always screaming, and the quintet of characters solve mysteries in outer space, while spreading Wyatt’s message of nihilism and subservience. The only question WWE would have to answer is “What the heck are we supposed to do with all this money?”
1. The Return of Husky Harris
Remember when they brought back Dude Love to offset the fundamental creepiness of Mankind and make Mick Foley more sympathetic? They absolutely should never, ever do that with Bray Wyatt. Mentioning his former character, or noting his blood relation to Bo Dallas and IRS, would probably be bad for the whole ‘Family’ mystique. Keeping it real, in this instance, would be the polar opposite of supernatural powers. Sometimes the opposite of a stupid idea is another really stupid idea.
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