This isn’t going to be a weekly article (although with how WWE has been running lately, it could), but were going to be evaluating booking decisions made by WWE of which this writer feels are “baffling,” thus the name.
The past few weeks or so, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan of The Wyatt Family have been made out to be the fodder of the tag team division. I think they faced the returning Mark Henry and Big Show 3-4 times over the past few weeks. The number of match-ups do not matter because Rowan and Harper, two up and coming Superstars, lost to wrestlers who are barely clinging to relevancy in WWE. I say barely relevant because of the company’s forced push of them. Last night’s WWE Raw also irked me very much regarding the handling of Bray Wyatt.
Before that, though, we have to go all the way back to January. Royal Rumble to be more specific.
During the rematch between John Cena and Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at that PPV, The Wyatt Family would interfere and cost Cena the title. They did the same at Elimination Chamber, which set up the anticipated Cena-Wyatt Wrestlemania 30 feud that was supposed to put him over on the grand stage.
Bray, Harper, and Rowan were the hottest acts in the company. They had just battled The Shield at the EC PPV in what was one of the matches of the year. Before that, Wyatt had a great feud with Daniel Bryan that really rose him to relevancy. Going into Wrestlemania 30 against the company’s top guy should have done him wonders, right?
The match that the two would put on was solid, but nothing spectacular. Everyone figured that Bray would come out of on top, but as WWE always does, they had the leader of the Cenation overcome the odds for a victory to bury a rising star. The Eater of Worlds should have gone over Cena, but if you want to establish some extra credibility in this feud for him, fine. That should have been done at Extreme Rules in May,
Cena and Wyatt would end up in a cage match at ER. Wyatt would escape the cage with a distraction as Cena was about to win the match. He didn’t win clean, but heels are expected to win clean about a quarter of the time I would say in big PPV spots. It wasn’t the worst outcome in the world with a final match to come to decide the winner of this feud.
They would face off in a Last Man Standing match at Payback. It was an excellent showdown between the two foes to end the feud once and for all. This is where you would think Bray Wyatt establishes himself as that top heel right?
Cena would win this match and end the feud there. When the referee counted to 10, you heard a pin pinch a hole in the balloon and steadily let the air out. The momentum for Bray Wyatt just wasn’t there for the next few weeks, even though they put him in the ladder match at Money in the Bank for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He didn’t win the title and was kind of just there in the match.
Prior to that, his promos didn’t seem as good as they used to be. Fans began to not care as much because WWE wasn’t investing their effort in him, Rowan, and Harper. It was sad because of how hot their act was from the end of 2013 until Wrestlemania.
Ever since MITB ended, Wyatt was put into a feud with the returning Chirs Jericho, who was expected to “put Bray over.” That wouldn’t have been needed if WWE had not made him lose to Cena in two of their three matches. Y2J has been doing his job well, but (sorry to say) he is not the act he used to be at 43 years old. Maybe he’s not being used right, but it just doesn’t feel the same with him on WWE programming right now.
They put on a pretty dull match at the terrible Battleground PPV and had a decent performance at SummerSlam, which saw Bray win clean without Harper and Rowan on the sideline.
That brings us to August 25, 2014. WWE had Cena return on Raw after the brutal beat down he took from Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The “never give up” lines floated throughout the show to make him look like he was over the loss.
We get to the main event that featured Cena vs. Wyatt. It couldn’t be a bad match, right?
Cena immediately begins dominating the match, hitting suplex after suplex on a helpless Bray who, quite frankly, should not have his character being made out to be helpless. He was getting in absolutely no offense and looked like Zack Ryder or Fandango out there with the jobbing he had to do.
After hitting a few of his signature moves on Bray, Rowan and Harper would interfere and get their leader disqualified.
Look! Here comes the ageless wonders coming to assist in The Wyatt Family’s burial! Is this the time of the year again where WWE gives Big Show a push, only to realize their mistake when a big PPV comes around? They would turn the match into a six man tag team battle.
They would all exchange offense until Cena would get the hot tag and make Harper tap out to the STF after a very short amount of time. It made Luke look very weak when he didn’t need to look worse than how WWE has been booking him.
Rowan would come to Harper’s aid. That was where everyone started to get even angrier.
Cena would hit the Attitude Adjustment to all three members of The Wyatt Family. It deepened the hole in the ground that WWE was placing them in and ruined the credibility that Bray was rebuilding in his feud with Y2J. Why couldn’t they stick a trio in there who had nothing to do?
I should state that I have no problem with how Cena was being booked. He needed to look strong and angry following that embarrassing loss. It just needed to be against opponents who didn’t have the futures that The Wyatt Family had.
Then there’s Harper and Rowan. As we noted earlier, they were already being buried by the returning Henry and Show. The reason for all of this still baffles myself and the rest of the IWC.
Bray’s followers recently came off an excellent feud with The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championship. They put on terrific matches at Money in the Bank and Battleground. However, they lost both of them.
Having them win at Battleground in the 2 out of 3 falls match would have established great credibility. Even with the loss following the terrific showdown, they still validated themselves as a terrific tag team. You would think WWE felt the same as the IWC?
Wrong once again.
With all of the losses they have been racking up, they are becoming ice cold. Their humiliation on Monday only furthered that statement.
Friday Night SmackDown will pit Harper and Rowan against Show and Henry once again, terrific! If they job to them once again, I’m not sure how you can build them back up again. It would take a long win streak to accomplish that.
The Wyatt Family is being booked to be jobbers right now for reasons that we do not know of. Did they anger someone backstage? Did Vince McMahon sour on yet another talent without listening to his paid staff? Either way, their current booking is not deserved.
The balloon that represents The Wyatt Family’s momentum has nearly deflated.
Sound off on your thoughts on the booking of this trio below.