JC’s Top Rope Report: I Was Wrong About Bray Wyatt
Sometimes, you just have to admit when you are wrong. A few years ago I was done with Bray Wyatt. I can remember vividly proclaiming on the HTCWrestling Podcast that there was absolutely nothing the WWE could do to get me interested in Bray Wyatt ever again. He never won the big matches. He was beginning to get treated as a joke. He had (and despite this column still does) have the worst WWE Championship match ever at Wrestlemania. I though there was nothing left for him in the WWE and honestly thought the company should move on. And I was even against the Firefly Funhouse segment at the very beginning.
Well guess what? For once, the WWE finally proved me wrong.
Here we are in September 2019. And not only is Bray Wyatt back, but he is the most over character the WWE currently has on their roster. That was not a statement I expected to say six months, a year, or two years ago.
The reintroduction of Bray Wyatt as ‘The Fiend” has completely reinvented Bray. When the Firefly Funhouse segments started I still wasn’t sold. My thought was it would be the same old Bray Wyatt. We would be excited in the beginning but everything would fizzle out in the end. But something different happened. As more and more of these segments came about, the better they got. I laughed my ass off at the “Muscle Man Dance.” All of the puppets played a part and were relevant. We could all tell there was a darker side coming. And that where I was expecting the disappointment to come in. But instead of disappointment, I was met with shock and surprise.
Since Bray Wyatt debuted “The Fiend” it has been treated as a complete threat. That is what we want as wrestling fans. Something new, something different, and something that we know when the character shows up something big is about to go down. That is what happens every time “The Fiend” is on TV. Fans pay attention because they know they are seeing a top star. I mean hell, this new Fiend makes everyone completely forget about anything the old Bray Wyatt did. Do you know how hard that is for me? It almost feels like a completely new person for me. And that is a great job on Wyatt’s part. You can tell that he put a good amount of work into this character. And I would assume he is getting a bit of creative latitude with his character. There is no way in hell Vince McMahon is the driving force behind this character.
The Fiend made his debut inside an actual ring in August at SummerSlam. He has wrestled in only one actual match, squashing Finn Balor in the process. Since then, The Fiend took out a handful of legends. And at Clash of Champions and RAW, The Fiend took out Seth Rollins. And now he has a Universal Title match at Hell In A Cell. That is quite a quick turnaround in today’s WWE. Yes, Bray the actual person has been around since 2013 on the main roster. But to re-debut in August and have a WWE Title match in October is a pretty big rarity.
And if you are the WWE, you have to pull the trigger on giving Bray Wyatt the WWE Title. A loss here would be damaging to the character, and at least for me, would bring back the same old “big loss Bray” jokes that I used to make when he lost. There is too much money in “The Fiend” character to lose this early. Dave Meltzer brought up on WOR how this is somewhat similar to the Ryback/CM Punk program from 2012. Ryback had to lose because of where they were going with Punk. But it ended up killing any momentum Ryback had at that point. The WWE cannot risk doing that with The Fiend. I’d rather the WWE pull the trigger on Bray winning too early then wait until it is too late.
Now it is tough to determine The Fiend’s possible path with the Draft upcoming. If I was a betting man I think Bray stays on RAW. Especially with the recent development of Brock Lesnar appearing on Smackdown. And if I was booking the show I would keep that Title on Bray for a very long time. You will need to line up challengers for Bray that you aren’t afraid to take a loss. Now there are certain ways to book these upcoming wrestlers and still have them look strong in the end. But that would also mean the WWE would have to properly book a babyface (more on that in my next column).
The WWE also cannot risk over exposing The Fiend. You still need to have him or Funhouse Bray appear on every episode of RAW to make people happy. I would even have Bray appear as Funhouse Bray in front of the live crowd once or twice. Give them something different. This past Monday on RAW was just the right amount of Bray Wyatt. Though I don’t know why they played the Funhouse theme for so long at the end.
So lets say Bray wins the WWE Title at Hell In A Cell. What do you do after that? Keep it on him until Wrestlemania. Maybe you get another match with Seth Rollins. I’d love to see a Samoa Joe program, because I think he can pull of the “no fear” you need to fight Bray Wyatt. But in the end, i think this all needs to build to The Fiend vs The Demon at Wrestlemania. Now I don’t know if Vince’s perception of Finn Balor changed recently. But the story is already there. Finn lost and then vanished after losing to The Fiend. Now he needs to come back and channel his inner demon in order to conquer The Fiend. It is a story that writes itself.
The WWE does a good amount of things wrong. But for once, they are finally getting something right with The Fiend. I was Bray Wyatt’s biggest critic a few years ago, and proclaimed that there was nothing the WWE could do to make me interested in him ever again. I was 100% wrong. And now it is up to them to keep this going and make me eat my words. You have something that the fans are interested in WWE, let them enjoy the ride and don’t over complicate it. Let Bray light the way, and we will let him in.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka