Remember back to a time when heels took over the wrestling world. Guys like Jake “The Snake” Roberts and “Ravishing” Rick Rude let you know, with their confidence and attitude, that they were forces to be reckoned with. Cheating to get a win, and just showing off after a big victory really set the pace for wrestling’s future, and sent it to places no one ever thought it could go.
With the 1990’s bringing in anti-hero type wrestlers, the whole scope was about to change. With Stone Cold Steve Austin, it was the first wrestler to have the fans truly behind him, while doing things only thought of by the top heels of the past. Since then, guys like John Cena and Daniel Bryan have made mainstream wrestling into a something fans like to cheer for. For the longest time, good time heels were an after thought.
Growing up in the NWO days, I always thought that heels were cooler. There is just something about being able to break the rules, and not living by “wrestling” standards that always intrigued me. In school, I loved walking around with the bad guy shirts on, and the other kids never knew how to take it. As I got older and became a bigger wrestling fan, I noticed that the days of the great heels we had seen during the attitude era and the WCW/NWO days were long behind me. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, but I felt like wrestling had lost it’s edge, and we would never again see a good top heel.
Now, I am not going to lie. I took a break from wrestling for a long time. I just got tired of the same old act, and after the entire industry merger in early 2001, I started to get fed up with the same washed up wrestlers doing the same things week in and week out. One wrestler that left around this time that was always one of my favorites was Mick Foley. There was just something about the guy that intrigued me. It was probably because I connected with him one a lot of levels. After he retired, I knew that I had to say goodbye to one of my favorites of all time, but was saddened because I thought I would never be able to see someone who I connected with so much again.
Enter Bray Wyatt.
During my hiatus as a wrestling fan, A faction by the name of Nexus hit the scene, and hit it pretty hard. I did see clips from when they destroyed the Raw set, and with doing that, made a hell of an impact. In that group was a wrestler by the name of Husky Harris. Now, like I said, I don’t remember him, but my guess is that he was pretty forgettable.
Now with the WWE network, I have went back to look at who this character was. I went and watched one of the past Royal Rumbles, and there he was. And the only thing I could say to myself was “that is Bray Wyatt?!”.
They say first impressions mean everything, so I am sure when WWE got a load of this guy, they didn’t think much of him, and would be written completely off after the Nexus angle blew over.
That was not the case.
Husky developed down the NXT and the other training facilities, and become the persona that we know as Bray Wyatt today. I didn’t see any of his work in NXT. I have no idea when it all came about, but I do know that if his work was as good down there, man is he good.
From the first promos introducing The Wyatts, I was hooked. Something about the aura of this group is an eye grabber, and you never want to his a moment when they are on TV. He reminded me so much of my childhood favorite Mick Foley, that I knew this was the first guy I could get behind in a long time. From his promos, to his look, to his in-ring capabilities, I knew this guy would set the wrestling world on fire, and bring the heel back to its former glory days of being cool.
It all started at the Royal Rumble 2014. That’s the day I knew Bray Wyatt wasn’t just a flash in the pan, he was on track to be a star. He beat one of the most over wrestlers in the last 10 years in Daniel Bryan, and with doing that, made millions of people’s impressions of him change over night.
Then he feuded with John Cena. And didn’t just feud with him, he wrestled him at Wrestlemania, the biggest show in the industry. Although he didn’t go over that night, I knew Bray’s time was coming, and that he would get his shot.
Money in the Bank 2014 just passed us by. With Bryan getting stripped, there was a title ladder match with the winner becoming the new WWE Champion. Guess who was in the match? Bray Wyatt. It was no accident he was there. With clean wins over Daniel Bryan and John Cena, they can’t ignore the future this guy has ahead of him.
With a whole new crop of outstanding talent coming up, Bray stand with the best in the pack. A lot of people might underestimate him, but they did Mick Foley to, and he become a 3 time WWE champion and future hall of famer. I think it is only a matter of time before Bray gets the title, and when he does, I believe the whole WWE will have to follow the buzzards.
For when he holds the championship, he will have the WWE in his hands for years to come.