Is Uncle Howdy Doomed? How WWE Should Book the Wyatt Six

Soon Uncle Howdy and the rumored Wyatt Six faction will debut in the WWE programming. There are a lot of open questions about what this faction will look like, but retreading the Bray Wyatt return story hasn't kept the fans' interest. So, how should WWE book the Wyatt Six to get the WWE Universe back onside when they arrive?
WWE Royal Rumble
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He's coming, so run. That is the aura of fear WWE has tried to bestow upon Uncle Howdy and his rumored Wyatt Six faction. There are a lot of open questions about what this faction will look like, but retreading the Bray Wyatt return story hasn't kept the fans' interest. So, how should WWE book the Wyatt Six to get the WWE Universe back onside when they arrive? Wyatt's spooky nature always contrasted with the more sports-based presentation of modern WWE. However, plenty of fans, myself included, enjoy the macabre and bizarre in their wrestling content. If done well, the fact that nobody else can pull this story off means that WWE and Uncle Howdy will stand out as spectacular.

So far, the teases and terminology have stayed closely aligned with those of the last Bray Wyatt run in WWE. Some of that is to be expected; it was his character and story that WWE and the team are paying tribute to. It is also touching that Uncle Howdy, played by former NXT standout and Bray's real brother Bo Dallas, wants to continue his brother's work. However, the Bray run was moving along very slowly. Fans do not have all the information they need about the Wyatt Six or Howdy himself to continue that angle without its main character. So everyone involved should understand that how WWE should book the Wyatt Six now is very different than how Bray would have done it.

How WWE should book the Wyatt Six and Uncle Howdy...The Debut

To call back to the Wyatt-based origins of this story, you need a few familiar faces available for the Raw after Clash at the Castle. For that reason, Braun Strowman will become the first victim and our future protagonist. He has gotten more time on screen recently, which is very useful for starting this rivalry. Almost nobody else in WWE can play this role, so he needs to be healthy and ready after Scotland.

After what will almost certainly be a filler tag team match that Rey Mysterio and Braun Strowman win, Strowman gets attacked as he walks up the ramp. A large figure in a steampunk sheep's mask comes from behind the curtain while Strowman is celebrating onstage. He grabs the monster among men and chokes the consciousness out of him. After realizing what is happening, Braun's LWO compatriots and a smattering of backstage crew come out to unmask the assailant, Eric Rowan, and push him away while also assessing Strowman's status. A terrified Alexa Bliss runs out to check on Braun as well. Once Rowan is away, Uncle Howdy appears on the big screen. He laughs and tells the audience and Alexa, "He's here." After his warning, the screen goes static, as if Howdy had somehow dropped the broadcast. Only three hooded backstage crew are there to help Alexa leave as medical staff take Braun away. Alexa gasps and runs away when she realizes the three employees are in Strowman's old black sheep mask from his run with Bray Wyatt.  

With Strowman away due to this attack, the Wyatt Six, specifically Eric Rowan, appear on both shows to intimidate or attack Wyatt's old enemies. Rowan attacks LA Knight after he qualifies for Money in the Bank as Uncle Howdy looks during the first Smackdown after Clash. Raw the following week has Rowan run through Finn Balor and Dominik Mysterio backstage after a Judgment Day segment, where Joe Gacy makes his debut casually walking into frame. He cocks his head turns to Rowan, leering over his shoulder, and speculates aloud that Finn simply doesn't understand. The following week on Smackdown, Bobby Lashley is kidnapped backstage, and Nikki Cross attacks B-fab in the parking lot after she goes looking for him. Then she is dumped into a car along with the unconscious Bobby Lashley by Dexter Lumis, who leans over the fallen superstars as Nikki repeats the same thing Gacy has been saying to Rowan's victims. In the driver's seat, Uncle Howdy starts the car and pulls out of the parking lot.

The weeks of attacks come to a boiling point when they start a fight backstage at Money in the Bank among the superstars that this new faction has aggrieved. Despite Alexa's warnings over the last several weeks, Rey Mysterio, leading this group, calls for a match at SummerSlam. He says he saw Rowan attack Braun but knows it isn't his call, so he challenges Uncle Howdy. Rey wants the attacks on everyone to stop, and he will beat Uncle Howdy to nip this before it goes any further. Then he adds that he knows Howdy is too scared to do any of this on his own, but it's time Howdy finds courage and stops hiding from the people he has wronged. Uncle Howdy accepts and walks down through the crowd, and a wave of fans fireflies to accept the challenge.

It is a big return for the Wyatt Family reunion.

With his first match on the main roster, a SummerSlam match with the legendary Rey Mysterio, Uncle Howdy dominates, similar to The Fiends SummerSlam debut in 2019. Rowan makes his presence known as the match continues and stalks closer to the ring. LWO ensures that Rowan doesn't hit the ring to interfere. After some back-and-forth action, Joe Gacy and Nikki Cross come down the ramp to distract Rey Mysterio, with an unconscious Dominik dragging behind them. The distraction is enough for Howdy to regain the upper hand and win the match. After the bell, Rowan hits the ring. Before LWO can make the save, Joaquin Wilde is taken out by Dexter Lumis, who is hiding in the crowd. With the numbers even outside, Rowan locks Mysterio into that massive headlock, choking him for air.

Alexa Bliss runs down, pleading with Uncle Howdy, not for Rey, though; she finally says, "he's here," in time for Braun Strowman's return. He barrels through Dexter Lumis, sends Rowan out of the ring, and stares down Uncle Howdy. Howdy doesn't look scared, tells Braun welcome back, bows before the big man, then turns to walk through the crowd as a sea of fireflies light his way out of the arena. Rowan gets up and stares down Braun Strowman before gathering the rest of the Wyatt Six and herding them up the ramp. Alexa joins Braun in the ring. She turns to watch Howdy leave but then runs up to hug Braun.

Braun Strowman walks backstage in street clothes on the following night's Raw. He passes by a fan in a straw hat, a prop table with a lantern, and a production member in a Mister Rodgers red sweater. He comes out to the ring and explains that he was angry at SummerSlam and was still angrier when he arrived tonight. Now, though, he is just hurt, and he thinks he understands why all of this is happening again. So he wants to talk, not fight, man to man with his brother Bo. When nobody responds, he continues, saying that he isn't upset at Bo. He wants to help and stop all of this hostility. That is when Dexter Lumis and Joe Gacy attack him, but he fights them off. Rowan comes down to the ring and stares at Strowman once again. Uncle Howdy appears on the titantron and laughs at Strowman's foolishness. He sets a match between brothers, though, Rowan and Strowman. Howdy decides to make it Raw's main event, which Braun reluctantly accepts.

The next week, we get Strowman vs. Rowan, and they have a hard-hitting affair of two big men smashing one another around the ring. It devolves into chaos when Gacy, Lumis, and Cross appear. When the odds are stacked against Braun, Smackdown's Candice Larae, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa come out and take out the trio, with Gargano confronting Dexter Lumis. Uncle Howdy walks through the crowd aloof and observes the chaos ensuing in the ring and ringside, doing nothing to stop it. Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis come down to the ring and approach him. Tired of the Wyatt Six and their games, they set up two matches for Bash in Berlin. Larae and Cross go one-on-one, and DIY with Braun Strowman will take on Rowan, Lumis, and Joe Gacy.

Braun Strowman gets Bashed in Berlin.

At the Bash in Berlin, the Wyatt Six win both matches. Candice Larae puts a beatdown on Nikki in the women's match to give Cross her first loss since returning. To try to stop the violence and to keep her from getting disqualified, Alexa Bliss comes down, but the distraction causes Cross to get a roll-up victory on Larae. The men's match breaks down quickly and becomes a no-disqualification match. At that point, Uncle Howdy appears and helps his family win. Strowman, enraged, takes out Joe Gacy, and DIY brawls with Rowan and Lumis around ringside, and Braun Strowman stares down Uncle Howdy before the arena blacks out.

A week goes by before Braun reappears again, asking for a "real conversation with Bo.:" He laments that he didn't reach out more, saying it was his fault. Braun empathizes that he can't know what is going on in his head, but if it's half of what he's feeling, then he knows the demons in his head are hell. The Strowman pauses before continuing carefully, "Everything I have is because of him; I am Braun Strowman because of him. This business meant the world to me and even more to him. You are not Uncle Howdy, Bo. He wouldn't want that now, not any of this, and you know it. That mask you wear isn't a badge of honor; it's to hide your face".

This line of attack works as Uncle Howdy comes down the ramp for the first time since he returned and gets directly in Braun's face. Despite wearing a mask, he looks disheveled, less like the spirit has seemed since his debut as a demon on the shoulder of Bray Wyatt. It looks, frankly, as if he had not planned to come out. The nature of this exchange becomes even more apparent to fans when it takes an entire minute for Rowan and the Wyatt Six to get out as well. Howdy fumes and buries his forehead into Strowman's chest. Braun doesn't flinch. He raises the microphone and says, " I love you, brother," then drops it and opens his arms wide, showing he is not looking to fight. With this, Howdy shoves Strowman, but there is no response. This continues until he snaps and attacks Braun to the point where he must defend himself. They brawl to the backstage area.

Eric Rowan tries to sit in, but Braun dispatches him. Unc.le Howdy, barely keeping his facade together, beats Braun with a chair mercilessly. The attack doesn't stop, and he turns his ire on several security staff members who try to stop the assault. The snarling Howdy breaks from his feral mood. After realizing what he had done, he straightened his outfit and bowed to the crowd, growing to look at the carnage. After he leaves, medical professionals led by Alexa Bliss help Strowman into the back of an ambulance for an examination. Uncle Howdy looks on at the carnage before walking out of frame.

How WWE should book the Wyatt Six Final Chapter

After his attack, Uncle Howdy should have presented himself as enough of a threat to earn some attention from the WWE Champion. At this point, that is either Cody Rhodes or Randy Orton. For simplicity, let's say Randy Orton is currently the WWE Champion. After harassing the legendary superstar in the lead-up to the second Saudi event of the year, the title match is official. Howdy gives a Wyatt-esuqe promo on respect and fear. Orton doesn't take the bait; he says he has seen this parlor trick before and isn't going to be scared by the sequel. He says he's looked a dangerous man in the eyes and won, and Howdy doesn't even come close. He predicts the three most destructive letters in WWE are going to put an end to this nonsense. Then he tells the Wyatt Six that after he puts down their leader, the rest would be wise to "run."

The match kicks off, and it's a straight-up match without interference. Orton is true to his word; he survives the onslaught early and starts to counter a lot of Howdy's offense. The aura of the supernatural is beginning to slip, and in the match's slower moments, the man behind the mask becomes apparent. After an outing with generous time for the competitors, Orton hits Joe Gacy, now out at ringside with the Wyatt Six, with an RKO as he enters the ring. Off the distraction, Uncle Howdy sets up Sister Abigail. Orton counters into an RKO and wins the match. Stunned for a moment, Howdy watches as Rowan attacks Randy Orton. He stops him, deciding to end his and Orton's time together with a beatdown.

Randy Orton crashes Raw with a proposition for the Wyatt Six: he and some friends vs. them at Wargames. Joe Gacy initially refuses as he and the Wyatt Six stalk down to the ring. DIY and Braun Strowman hit the ring. After the ensuing chaos, Braun is alone in the ring. He screams into a microphone that if "Bo isn't a coward, he will accept this fight. There is a difference between mind games and hiding, so what are you doing?" No response. Braun sweetens the deal by saying, " You are short a man in your precious little group. Six you need, right? If we can't beat you at WarGames, then I will join up." Uncle Howdy appears in the ring after a blackout. He reaches out to shake Braun's hand and then laughs and disappears in the same way. Despite wanting to enter last to anchor the team and get his hands on Uncle Howdy early, Orton makes Strowman the first entrant into WarGames to match their monster in Eric Rowan.

The match itself features high spots from DIY and Uncle Howdy, making up for their being four instead of five participants. Throughout the match, Strowman can't get his hands on Howdy during the carnage. The match ends with a massive slam by Strowman to Rowan, where Howdy fails to break up the pinfall. Braun reacts fast, though, and finally grabs Uncle Howdy next to him as the bell rings. He rips the mask off to reveal he was correct. It was Bo Dallas, as had previously been expected, behind these attacks and behind the re-emergence of Uncle Howdy. They stare at one another Dallas' face is red. He doesn't bow or disappear. Instead, he walks out of the cage alone and up the ramp to the back.

Uncle Howdy is a mask, not a man.

WWE can and should finish the Strowman and Dallas feud at a major event like WrestleMania or Royal Rumble a few months later. If the feud had been built correctly, it would have felt perfectly elevated to that occasion. However, that is the story of Bo Dallas, not the Wyatt Six, so that can come another time. WWE should not have a sixth member join. That spot is already filled by its founder, the late-great Bray Wyatt. Also, Uncle Howdy shouldn't be the new Undertaker, as Bray often was considered, or even the next Fiend. Uncle Howdy and the Wyatt Six should be the vehicle that Bo Dallas returns to WWE to pursue the family business, which is best for everyone. The problem with Uncle Howdy isn't entirely down to the gimmick, although the character's spectral nature and personalized name are limiting. No, the issue is that Bray can't pay off this character. So, if Dallas and WWE intend to use him, that must be the story.  

The last time we "met" Bray Wyatt, the character was just him. Yes, he was still plagued by a troubling entity in Uncle Howdy, but he was just Bray. His gimmick appeared to be that of a grateful man, hoping his better angels would win out this time. Bo Dallas can do something similar here. He can own the Howdy persona as a mask. Perhaps it is to hide his grief or an attempt to block out the reality of his current situation. In wrestling, the mask obscures a performer's face and separates the man or woman underneath from the star they play in the ring. Trying to separate oneself from grief is a powerful narrative, but it is vital for this fanbase that is still saddened by actual loss. It is a story that WWE wouldn't consider running either, had it not been for Bray proving that when done right and given time, wrestling fans will respond. An angle doesn't need schoolyard taunts from a witty babyface against rivals, a deep personal hatred of your coworker, or even an unrelenting urge to be the best. It can go beyond the surface level. A story like this was Bray's lasting impact on fans like me and the industry. That is the best way to honor his legacy, and it's how WWE should book the Wyatt Six.