Daniel Bryan became the fourth member of The Wyatt Family on the December 30 edition of Monday Night Raw. The surprising moment came at the end of the program, when a bruised and beaten Bryan finally gave in to Bray Wyatt after several weeks of being physically and mentally assaulted by the family.
I have to say that I always find this time to be an intriguing one. When a big angle begins or a shocking moment happens, we as fans often sit back and immediately start guessing what will happen next. We do it all the time and the truth is that we have been doing it with The Wyatts almost from the moment they debuted on WWE’s main roster.
Bray Wyatt is hands down one of the most captivating characters that WWE has ever presented. He has just the right mix of theatrical genius and quasi-spiritual beliefs combined with real world disillusionment of society. A character that works on such a primal level with fans is the first positive step on the road to success in WWE.
Being very competent in the ring is the second. And Bray has them both.
But instead of embracing Bray and The Wyatt Family from the very beginning as one of the most clever and intelligent heel gimmicks that the company has known in a while, fans chose to take it another way. And that way involved another three man heel faction, The Shield.
The truth is that many of the WWE faithful firmly believed and perhaps still do, that The Wyatt Family will take down The Shield. And I have to say that I was one of those fans in the minority that could not help but just shake his head on that one.
Nonsense; that’s what it was. The idea that such a smart heel like Bray Wyatt would be used to take down other very successful smart heels like The Shield was just nonsense to me. In fact, I could not believe that it was ever even considered a possibility among WWE fans to begin with.
Whenever I voiced my opinion on this, I was often told not to worry, that The Wyatts could be presented as middle of the road personalities, guys who rode the fence between heel and babyface.
“You know, a tweener like Stone Cold Steve Austin!”
The hard truth for fans that buy into said nonsense is that WWE does not feature feuds of this nature for a very good reason; they don’t work.
Despite the enormous success that Austin had or any amount of success that any other edgy face has had over the years, the fact is that a guy is good or bad, right or wrong. Perhaps calling Stone Cold a tweener made some fans feel smart but Austin redefined the role of babyface in WWE. Until he came along, very few faces broke the rules and even less did it while giving a middle finger to the crowd.
But Stone Cold was an anomaly. And at the end of the day, he was a babyface from top to bottom.
And this has never been the case for Bray Wyatt. There was never any reason to believe that along with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, Bray would take down Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. Each group had their own path to travel and their own ladder to climb.
And even when those paths crossed, I still did not believe that they would feud for any substantial amount of time. Fans need to cheer one side and hate the other and this is just not possible when neither side is even remotely babyface.
But, there were two groups with three dynamic performers on each side so I suppose that’s where the grand idea of a Wyatt/Shield war came from. And that is probably why we’re seeing the theories about The Authority being debated right now.
The fact is that it was only very recently that Bray actually acknowledged the corporate machine of WWE. And he likely only did it as a recruiting tool for Daniel Bryan. Now that Bryan is evidently drinking Bray’s Kool-Aid, why would The Wyatts change the way they do business?
What makes fans believe that The Wyatt Family’s first mission with Bryan on the team is to rage against the machine and confront The Authority? What has Bray said that would indicate a desire to dive headfirst into a war with Triple H and the entire McMahon family that he cannot possibly win?
While I feel that anything is possible, I for one just don’t see this happening. Daniel Bryan spent the bulk of 2013 neck deep in The Authority’s red tape and crooked backroom deals, why would he want to get in the middle of all that again? Right now, Daniel Bryan should want to be as far away from Triple H and Randy Orton as he possibly can be.
Right now, The Wyatt Family’s primary target should be John Cena. The man that supported Bryan is also the same man who spoke very highly of Triple H, who helped Stephanie back to her feet when Orton inadvertently knocked her down. This is the same man who has represented the corporate machine for years as the top guy in WWE.
Why would Bray not want to destroy WWE’s number one status symbol?
Again, I do think that anything is possible. This is WWE after all, a company that often goes left just when you think they’re going to go right. But for me to believe that there is even a chance that The Wyatt Family will now clash with The Authority, I need much more proof than what I have thus far.
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report and a Contributor for Whatculture.com
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr