Has Bray Wyatt Peaked In the WWE?

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It was just a few months ago that the pro wrestling world was talking about Bray Wyatt. Today Wyatt is an afterthought, rarely mentioned among today’s WWE topics. Has the rising star of Bray Wyatt faded out?

[adinserter block=”1″]The rise of Bray Wyatt was one of the great stories of 2013. Wyatt was the talk of the WWE before he even arrived as the social media went crazy once they got a taste of his vignettes. Wyatt quickly ascended to the coveted WrestleMania match against top star John Cena. Most thought that this was the beginning of greatness yet a few months later it appears that the greatness stopped there.

Bray Wyatt’s last several months have been some of the most fascinating to watch of any rising star. Wyatt came into the company with an immediate cult following. The fans were ready, the WWE was ready, and Wyatt was the breath of fresh air that everyone needed. The timing was perfect and in some respect, he was arguably the catalyst to a new youth movement we are seeing today.

Rumors of Wyatt wrestling Cena at WrestleMania were met with skepticism. Wyatt’s fans felt it was too good to be true while his critics thought he wasn’t ready. The critics were quickly proven wrong as Wyatt against Cena at WrestleMania seemed as organic as you could hope for. Not only was this one of the most anticipated matches in recent Mania events, Wyatt was being touted by many as the “next big thing” in the WWE.

Wyatt went into WrestleMania hot as the sun. Unfortunately not everyone believed in Wyatt as he fell victim to bad timing. Daniel Bryan’s win over Triple H was not going to be overshadowed by Wyatt beating Cena. The air came out of the balloon when Cena beat Wyatt and for a variety of reasons, the momentum of Wyatt started to slow down immediately thereafter.

Where did it all go wrong? Was it the job to Cena at Mania? I don’t think so. Plenty of great ones have overcome losses, some actually coming out of them better off. I think a couple of things came into play. For one, Wyatt the heel was being pushed as a babyface. Fans were encouraged to sing along to his music and his promos did more to generate cheers than heel heat. I think that while some will tell you that faces and heels don’t matter in 2014, I think this was a clear case where it does. Fans got confused and everything started to unravel.

Next and maybe the biggest hurdle Wyatt faced was his Steel Cage match against Cena at Extreme Rules. The match had a ton of anticipation going in and well I’ll be honest, it was terrible. It never clicked and the fans were chanting boring by the end of it. Not only was the match bad, but the finish was one of the corniest you will ever see in the WWE today. Again, great ones have gotten past stinkers but Wyatt was tainted badly coming out of this one.

From there he finished his feud with Cena on the losing side of the stick. That was to be expected and by that point, a loss should not have mattered. However I do think a perception was created and the perception became the reality. Bray wasn’t a money player. That perception was confirmed when he went from John Cena to Chris Jericho.

Now I have all of the respect in the world for Jericho. I am a fan and I think his work has always been impeccable. But the perception of Jericho by the WWE Universe is that he is a mid-card guy. It’s been a very long time since Jericho was booked as a headliner. The gap from Cena to Jericho was too big for Wyatt. Fans saw a guy who could not hang with the top guys and was now stuck in the middle of the card. It wasn’t working.

Finally Bray’s character never evolved. Now I’ll go back to a blog I wrote on this site on April 24, 2014. This was at the height of Bray-Mania. I did a blog evaluating the youth movement and opined that Wyatt was too one-dimensional to be a money player at the top.

“I am in the minority here, but I just don’t see a sustainable character here. I think Bray’s character is great but it isn’t something I could see several years now as the top babyface star in the WWE. I like his work a lot but can you really see little kids holding Bray up as their hero in a few years? This isn’t a knock on Bray now as I really enjoy what he’s doing but more an analysis on his future. I don’t think it’s nearly as bright as most do.”

[adinserter block=”2″]I had several exchanges on Twitter from Bray fans telling me I didn’t know what I was talking about. Well I hate to say it, but I told you so. That is the biggest flaw as I see it in Bray Wyatt. He is very one-dimensional and I don’t think anyone truly understands his character. The ambiguity around whether he was a good guy or bad guy made this incredibly difficult for WWE fans. It’s been a year since he arrived and he hasn’t evolved whatsoever. That needs to happen if he is to reach the potential many of his fans predicted.

This isn’t to say that all is lost. Bray Wyatt is young and will get more opportunities. I can’t confirm with certainty he will get an opportunity at the level of a WrestleMania match vs. John Cena, but he’ll get some shots. Unfortunately it looks like his ascension back to that spot may be more difficult than any of us ever could have imagined.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Bray Wyatt will be fine. Fragility of his momentum is so mind boggling when it comes to fans or bloggers. He’s under such a microscope that I’ve never seen before. He was entrusted to fight Bryan and Cena and built up as a top heel in year one. Vince, Dunn, HHH, Steph don’t allow that for just anyone.

    I will give you this, the Bray Wyatt character goes over heads but it shouldn’t be as complex to those if you pay attention. He’s a heel character with the message of doing EVIL things for the GREATER GOOD of mankind. He’s breaking down guys, not caring if he wins or loses. It’s the archangel Samael influence who by myth had a high ranking in Heaven and Hell. “Seducer. Accuser. Destroyer.” Those metaphors and symbolism he uses all mean something. While some of it’s for entertainment, propaganda to sell the character, there’s a whole bunch of truth in there on things, people, and plus society, the ugliness of this world, it’s not as pretty as you think surrounded by comfort of your home in jammies. But he’s also playing the part of the social consciousness, the hidden voice of the world afraid to speak. We saw some of this in his promos to Cena about seeing beauty in the world and the people who weren’t perceived good enough to be prom queen, or later his brothers being judged, and looked at worthless as dirt. And how we’re all capable of endless imagination and possibilities to do everything we want. They can take this and run with it later on. His message is positive in the end. To inspire.

    And I thought he and Cena had a memorable feud where 2 out of 3 were good matches but fans kinda killed it or overlooked it with this incessant whining about how he didn’t go over. WM where they put on a psychological show, pushed Cena to his limits and he sold it like I hadn’t seen in a while, with verge of going to dark side again til Brock. While he didn’t get the W, he got over more and throughout, it elevated him with the antics with kids, singing, the people were responding and he can get there again. But people point to losing and “it’s Cena’s job to put him over.” What did they expect ? Cena to lose after his legacy had been questioned? And at Payback, the other good match, they went back and forth. It took antics from Cena to win, not his usual thing. Though it got lost in that, then MITB happened he was in the main event for it, and so they brought in Y2J after. Smart move , it was a solid feud but it lacked creatively which wasn’t on either. But he won that feud and he won that Bryan feud. I mean, I could see the argument they flew too high with him so quick with Cena feud, it sucked the air out because it’s John Cena and as Y2J may have made more sense at WM as Chris wanted and they could’ve gradually built him up. But when they were preparing him, they protected Bray. . But it seems to average person, perceptions just can’t be lived up to after that and it’s hard to get that back and sometimes til he goes on a title run, a run he can’t be touched or they do baby face turn. More on this.

    But there’s so much more to do with him and time to evolve, The ambiguity does this, and thinking outside the box too. Think of stuff they’ve done with Taker too. But the timing isn’t right though now and roster is lacking in some spots or being protected preventing this to happen too. Right now, he’s not in that protected role but it can change on a dime when they are ready. They can expand the family, the possibility of Sister Abigail inhabiting someone since it’s already been hinted that Bray Wyatt character is inhabiting a vessel. Breaking away on his own. Dive deeper in the family compound, recruiting, and what his message really is. Do some crazy things. Windham Rotunda has even said doing media calls, he’s got a lot of stuff he’s holding back right now.

    This rumored feud with Ziggler after Show is intriguing. Because winning gold also makes HIM the target and allows him to stay level for those like you and help raise IC title. He can even win it, just leave it, thinking he’s too above it. But they made it from beginning he was never about winning or losing. They can build him as the company’s top heel – there is money in that and my argument was never being a baby face as you said now or then, and he can be the one to take down Reigns. But down the line when the stage is bigger, they kept Bray and Authority at arms length and them using em as a hired gun in storylines as the top heels or go-to guys without much dialogue between them there and paying for it with fans because of this. But this is by design and can be worked into it as “keep your friends close, enemies closer.” Just wait and see where they go with that and when he decides it’s time to “take down the machine,” his message will become more clear, those fans will be all over him and the $$$$$ will be there. It will be there regardless when they have a vision and protect him – create new matchups when it’s time but fans need to realize this. He’s yet to really cross paths with Orton, Rollins, HHH, even possibly Brock, and aside from that feud future feuds with Ambrose, Reigns, and even Cesaro. There’s still more that can be done with Bryan and Cena. The potential of Sting or Taker. They’ve just scratched the surface with him…

  2. Great blog. You said exactly what I was saying about Bray. I could not put my finger on why I couldn’t get into Wyatt and you said it perfectly. He is too one demensional. I also couldn’t understand the character. I also couldn’t see him being a top baby face either.

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