What went wrong with Bray Wyatt in WWE?

WWE, Bray Wyatt via WWE.com
WWE, Bray Wyatt via WWE.com /

Bray Wyatt had a knack of creating great characters, unfortunately WWE didn’t feel the same way.

What’s that old saying again? If its not broken, don’t fix it right? Well in the land of World Wrestling Entertainment, sometimes Vince McMahon and the creative team just can’t help themselves especially when it comes to Bray Wyatt.

On Saturday, July 31st, the WWE released top superstar Bray Wyatt. The fan outrage over this head-scratcher of a decision was warranted. How can you blame the fans? They have every right to be upset over one of the companies top stars in 2019 being released just two years later.

Bray Wyatt revamped and repackaged his characters more than anyone in the business in such a short amount of time. The Brooksville Florida native first debuted as a member of the Nexus in 2010 under the ring name, “Husky Harris”. While he didn’t do much to help himself the first time around, he went back to Florida Championship Wrestling to hone his craft as a strong promo and as a well-rounded in-ring worker.

Nearly three years later, Harris re-debuted as the character we all know and love the most, “Bray Wyatt”. Wyatt came in as a totally new man as he rid himself of everything to do with the Husky Harris and replaced it with being this creepy backwoods ghoulish figure. He then aligned with Luke Harper and Erik Rowan and formed a new faction called “The Wyatt Family.”

Bray Wyatt’s work on promos was always a strong suit of his. Even if you don’t know exactly what he’s trying to say, you’re automatically sucked in and that’s exactly what the character was all about. Take a look at this clip and tell me you’re not drawn in.

Bray went on to win feuds early on against worthy opponents such as Kane, Kofi Kingston, and Daniel Bryan. However, when it came to Wrestlemania 30 and all the chips were on the table, Bray Wyatt went up against John Cena and went onto lose against the companies top superstar of the past decade.

That moment right there was the start of everything going wrong for the Bray Wyatt persona. A perfect opportunity is given to elevate a new star such as Bray, and the company decides against it and has Cena win the big match. While it didn’t prove detrimental early on, it certainly didn’t help the trajectory of the popular star.

Another questionable decision was made for Bray disbanding the Wyatt Family which I didn’t really understand in the grand scheme of things. Wyatt went forward and put on some quality matches with Jon Moxley AKA Dean Ambrose in WWE. Then when it came back to challenging another big opponent for the following year’s Wrestlemania, he chose none other than The Undertaker. While he did go onto lose against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 31, I was not as upset after this loss as opposed to the horrible booking against John Cena.

Later in the year, Bray reformed the Wyatt Family and brought along a new member in Braun Strowman. With the monster on his side, the group proved to be as strong as it ever been… until they lost to the Brothers of Destruction at Survivor Series in 2015. Wyatt did not compete at Wrestlemania 32 in Dallas due to injury but was part of a segment between The Rock, Cena, and The Wyatt Family.

With Strowman drafted to Raw, and abandoning Rowan, all that was left for Wyatt on Smackdown was Harper. A big feud took place when the company put Wyatt with Randy Orton in September of 2016. The feud took a turn when Randy Orton actually joined the Wyatt Family for five months. And from that point on Wyatt and Orton led Smackdown and dominated everyone they faced.

Orton won the 2017 Royal Rumble and Bray Wyatt won his first WWE world title in the Elimination Chamber match by pinning Cena and the phenomenal AJ Styles. The pop when Bray won his first WWE championship is one of those moments I’ll never forget.

Almost a nine-month-long storyline and it was actually really great for the most part. One of the best visuals of the entire story was when Orton burns down The Wyatt Family compound and challenges Wyatt to their big Wrestlemania world title match.

And we all know what happens next. Orton and Wyatt went onto have one of the worst Wrestlemania title matches of all time. Why are we having light shows on the ring mat during the match? Seriously WWE do better, this match deserved to be so much more.

Unfortunately, for Bray Wyatt fans, he took another loss at Mania which didn’t make any sense at all when all the company was trying to do was make and build new stars. And don’t worry folks,  I’m not going to mention the House of Horrors match, that still holds up as one of the worst things I’ve ever watched on WWE programming.

You notice a trend here? Every time Bray took a step forward, the company kept pushing him back down for some odd reason. This isn’t the first time this has happened in the company and it sure as hell wasn’t the last.

Bray Wyatt went onto have a memorable feud against one of the best veterans in the business, Matt Hardy, that ultimately culminated in the Ultimate Deletion match. Even though Wyatt ended up losing, a fresh change was needed and a babyface turn was in order for quite a while.

Wyatt returned to help Hardy win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 34 solidifying his face turn and partnership with Hardy. The team called themselves the “Deleters Of Worlds” and the crowd was very much into the odd pairing. The change of pace seemed to have rejuvenated Wyatt not only by winning the Raw Tag Team Championships but by gaining a great friend in Hardy.

Due to unfortunate circumstances, Hardy had to heal up some injuries and needed time off, so the team eventually dropped the tag titles to The B Team at Extreme Rules in July of 2018. From that point on we didn’t see or hear anything from Bray Wyatt for almost a year.

There were ominous vignettes of puppets that started airing on Raw after Wrestlemania 35 and fans speculated that the Wyatt return was indeed imminent. Bray then came back as a totally new persona almost a mix of Mr. Rogers and Steve from Blues Clues debuting a new segment called the “Firefly Funhouse”. Except for his spin on the character was obviously going to lead to something demonic but I don’t think anyone expected this.

Just like that “The Fiend” was born. This was my favorite incarnation of the Bray Wyatt character. The Fiend matched with the Firefly Funhouse Wyatt was one of the most incredible dynamics on WWE TV in a long time. This segment made me keep coming back to RAW every week just to see what happened.

In Bray Wyatt’s first feud back, he returned to challenge Finn Balor at Summerslam 2019. The match was nothing all that special, however, the entrance is one of the best entrances I’ve seen in modern-day wrestling.

Bray Wyatt deserved all the credit for this new character as it was his creation from the very beginning. WWE didn’t have anything to do with creating it, all they did was approve of it. Though, once again, McMahon and the creative team struck again.

Wyatt went on face the super babyface, Seth Rollins at Hell in Cell. I’m a big Wyatt fan, although he should not have been thrown into the WWE Universal Championship picture so fast, and that’s exactly where creative wanted to go with it. The booking team took it even a step further by creating the worst Hell in a Cell match of all time by ending the match via a referee stoppage. As the show went off the air, those were some of the loudest boo’s I’ve ever heard.

Eventually, The Fiend went onto win the Universal championship from Rollins at Crown Jewel. Then Wyatt went on and got to have some decent matches with Daniel Bryan. This finally felt like a point where Wyatt’s trajectory was only going up.

His fan popularity has gone through the roof. All the people got up out of their seats to put their phone flashlights on as soon the arena went dark. He was even the leading merchandise superstar overtaking Becky Lynch.

But of course, Vince makes one phone call to Bill Goldberg and he squashes all that gained energy and positive momentum. As soon as I watched Goldberg defeat The Fiend at Super Showdown, I was in total shock. I could not believe they held him back again after being on top of the company. This was a huge blow and the key moment in telling us that Vince no longer believed as Bray Wyatt as a top player.

At Wrestlemania 36, Wyatt got his win back from Cena in a Firefly Funhouse match. The match received mixed reviews, but overall I liked all the callbacks and all the weirdness around it. Wyatt then pursued in getting back the Universal championship from his former friend in Strowman.

Wyatt and Strowman had a four-month-long feud that involved a double turn with Strowman turning heel and The Fiend turning face. The key moment in this feud is Strowman looking to hurt his bestfriend Alexa Bliss and The Fiend healing her.

Wyatt goes onto finally win the Universal Championship back from Strowman, but a returning Roman Reigns stole the show and shocked the world by beating the living hell out of The Fiend and Strowman. The three then take part in a triple threat match at the following months pay per view in which Reigns won.

From that point on, I started to really lose hope for Wyatt. The company just loses confidence so quickly in stars that have established themselves on numerous occasions.

Wyatt then restarted a program with Orton that led to a Firefly Inferno match at Tables Ladders and Chairs. Orton won the match by setting The Fiend on fire and banishing him for more than two months. Bliss then began toying with Orton, costing him matches, and began a mythical mental mind game.

The goofy black goo was never for me and that’s where the storyline started to become hokey. The Fiend return at Fastlane 2021 was memorable for his look given that we saw him burnt to a crisp and half of his mask was melted off. Yet, the ending of the feud was the worst part for me.

At Wrestlemania 37, The Fiend returned brand new with a cool entrance popping out of Alexa’s jack in the box. But the finish to the match really set me off when Bliss just stares into the eyes of the Fiend as her face starts to ooze with black goo which makes Wyatt distracted and allows Orton to win. The Fiend should never be distracted by anything, that’s not who he is as a character, he loves destruction. Why did he react differently when Alexa started shooting out that black goo from her face as opposed to all the previous times she did?

Bray Wyatt’s very last WWE appearance came on the very next night on Raw in a Firefly Funhouse segment.  The words he says in this segment are very eerie and ironic. “I feel great! I think this could be a brand new start for all of us here. A new season. New friends. And a brand new me! In fact, I feel reborn.”

This quote here signifies that he felt like he may have already been on the way out. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. But one thing is for certain, WWE really screwed around with Bray Wyatt and the fans have a right to be extremely upset with the potential they lost in such a great character.

Next. WWE SummerSlam 2021 Rapid Fire Match Card Predictions. dark

The obvious landing spot for the new free agent is All Elite Wrestling. However, with an already stacked roster, how would AEW use him? Would AEW President Tony Khan let him go all out on a new character that we’ve never seen before? Or would he be better suited in a place like New Japan Pro Wrestling or Impact?

Where do you think Bray Wyatt should land?