Why Bray Wyatt May Be A Lost Cause in WWE
The resident Spook Kook of WWE, Bray Wyatt is starting to lose a lot of the appeal that made him so easy to like in the first place.
I’d like to open this by stating that I am a huge fan of Bray Wyatt. His seemingly natural charisma and in-ring skills have kept him afloat as a potential big prospect for the WWE. Despite this, no matter how many times they try, they just can’t seem to get it right for him.
Bray has meandered between the main event and mid-card scenes since his debut on the main roster during the summer of 2013. He was instantly recognised as the guy who could fill the pretty big shoes left behind by The Undertaker due to his mystical aura; he was the one to watch on a weekly basis. Things were looking good for him throughout the first six months, he put in some solid work against the likes of Daniel Bryan, John Cena and The Shield, some of which were considered match of the year candidates. Yet his momentum was slowly but surely halted by a series of losses, which have haunted him ever since. Most of his pay-per-view appearances have been him doing the honours for established stars: Chris Jericho, The Undertaker and of course a classic John Cena steamroll. Not that any of his performances have been particularly bad, but they certainly lost their appeal to many of fans. He lacked the presence necessary for a wrestler to reach superstardom.
Since being drafted to Smackdown Live, Bray Wyatt’s career has been salvaged to a degree. Not only did he achieve his first tag championship alongside Randy Orton (and Luke Harper) but also won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after a gruelling Elimination Chamber match. This was the pinnacle which many believed Wyatt would reach many moons ago. It seemed as if Bray was set to finally break through as a main event star of this generation, until once again, he couldn’t quite win the big one at WrestleMania. In a losing effort against Randy Orton, a match that has since been called one of the worst of the night, Bray Wyatt’s first singles championship reign was instantly forgotten and reduced to nothing more than a transitional period.
A week later, Wyatt appeared via the boiler room satellite feed and challenged Orton to a rematch. But not just any old rematch, oh no, a rematch that takes place inside his House of Horrors. For weeks, fans and writers scratched their heads at the idea of what exactly a House of Horrors match was meant to be, and even after watching the match, I think everyone’s still a little confused. The premise was that Randy and Bray were set to do battle off-site -in a creepy rural estate similar to what you’d find in any low budget slasher flick- and then return to the arena (in San Jose California) to finish the match in traditional fashion. The match was an utter clusterfuck.
Orton arrived at the luminescent blue house in a limousine. For a start, the imagery of a half-naked Randy Orton stepping out of a lavish limo, feigning ‘PURE UNADULTERATED HORROR’ at the sight of broken-down tractors and broken windows was enough to set the tone for the rest of the segment. Wyatt did his best to seem imposing by running away, a lot. He occasionally popped his head through a hole in the wall and waved his arm about trying to throttle Randy, then getting the jump on him whilst Orton wandered around aimlessly looking at WWE’s best attempts at creating an eerie aesthetic. The brawl concluded in Wyatt’s kitchen (complete with mouldy frying pans and dirty dishes) with Randy being crushed underneath a fridge. I expected something a little more creative than Wyatt flattening him underneath some kitchenware, but hey! Wyatt then decided that he’d had enough and walked outside so he could scream a bit and turn the house lights red. Why the sudden change in mood lighting, I’m not entirely sure. It didn’t seem to contribute anything to the situation aside from looking really shit.
Wyatt then entered the limousine that Randy arrived in and returned to the arena. This was all well and good, but as critics have since pointed out, California was still experiencing daytime at this point of the evening, the House of Horrors was shrouded in darkness. Therefore, Bray must have travelled quite some distance in the small timeframe of the Joe/Rollins match, which was awkwardly sandwiched between the end of the pre-taped segment and the in-ring action. Wyatt eventually showed up to claim his victory via forfeit, but somehow, someway Orton magically appeared behind him and continued to kick fifty shades of crap out of him. The two went through the motions of a no-holds barred rematch, with Wyatt remaining to look weak against anyone that isn’t over the age of 40. Even though Bray ended up with the victory, due to the interference from Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers, this did nothing to aid his character. If this were a championship rematch, something which apparent WWE contract law states is mandatory for any former champion, then perhaps this could have worked out okay for him, but of course not.
The Eater of Worlds once again seems like a guy who’s all talk. I could listen to his incoherent babble for longer than most others, but the majority are starting to see through the literal smoke and mirrors. As a recurring feature in his feuds, Bray appears on the tron to spout some evil and attempt to put fear into the hearts of those he chooses to be his next victim. At the moment, it seems that Bray is moving onto Finn Balor, the most recent target of his random sermons. They were fun for a while, especially when you could see the potential of him actually winning a match! His backwoods drawl was unique enough to make you want to listen and interpret what exactly he’s saying and what it revealed about his character’s backstory. But since his string of losses have become a pay-per-view trope, it’s hard to not think to yourself throughout all his nonsense that ‘he is going to get his ass handed to him’. Nothing he says means anything nowadays and because of this, there’s nothing special or fantastical about his character that remains intriguing to the common fan.
Not all problems lie with his work outside of the ring. For a guy his size, he can execute a pretty thrilling match. As I’ve already mentioned, he’s been considered for MOTY on several occasions, but it seems to me that it’s a classic case of someone being carried by other exceptional stars. Outside of the matches with Bryan, Cena and any members of The Shield, Wyatt has failed to truly captivate audiences with his paced style. A lot of the hype surrounding him and his character has been a key factor to his downfall, with plenty of people ready and willing to accept him after an exciting match, yet never being provided with one. They tend to quickly become snooze-fests, should they last any longer than a few minutes. Luckily, Bray has had the likes of Luke Harper, Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman around to keep a lot of his matches seem diverse and fresh, so Wyatt can easily fit into the fray and not create too much of a hindrance on match quality. I hate to make this sound like he’s a liability, because his style is true and tested, similar to that of The Undertaker’s, but does it fit in with this modern desire for athletics and legitimate skill? Probably not.
The lack of consistency in Bray’s career has left him as one of the lost causes on the main roster. One of the few NXT singles alumnists to fail to make it as a main event player, it’s hard to find a way to save his failing career. His total lack of presence has left even me, a fan of his work, struggling to find reasons to care about him. I’m excited at the idea of an incoming feud between him and Finn Balor – I can picture the visuals of Wyatt staring down the Demon King being quite fun. But as most will probably foresee, Wyatt’s taunting and stalking will only lead to him being thwarted by Balor as a prelude to the title picture. The feud with Orton and the House of Horrors match were both an absolute disaster, which is a real shame considering how much potential their series of matches had after a reasonable build.
For the love of god, stay clear of the buzzards.