The concern surrounding the creative direction for the character of Bray Wyatt is not a new one for Today’s Powerbomb or any other professional wrestling publication containing editorials.
Starting with his initial “world eating” feud with John Cena, through being a sacrificial lamb being fed to The Undertaker at WrestleMania, up to his recent abbreviated attempt to dispatch The New Day, Wyatt seems able to have the presence to be the straw that stirs the drink, but is instead being used as a garland utilized to make the drink presentable. This seems to be the case yet again as he prepares to take on Randy Orton at Backlash.
Regardless of how sexy the presentation of Bray Wyatt is going into his match with Randy Orton, one thing must remain in perspective: This match is not about Wyatt trying to find the right victim to legitimize himself as the “new face of fear.” Rather, this match is simply a sidestep as the WWE prepares for another encounter between Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar.
Again, Bray Wyatt slaughters the cow, but will not receive credit for the taste of the burger.
The New Era is being presented as an all-inviting opportunity for new stars to break out from all walks of life as the WWE prepares to say goodbye to icons like John Cena, The Undertaker, Randy Orton, amongst other stars of yesteryear. One could argue that Bray Wyatt is the “Godfather” of the New Era. Before fans started receiving bi-weekly dream matches that included independent wrestling legends and NXT upstarts, Bray Wyatt broke away from the NXT mold to make a dynamic impact on WWE television, taking out Kane as his initial victim.
Immediately, he was placed in the ring with world champions like Cena and Daniel Bryan, hoping to supplant the good-spirited aura they stand for in the WWE, and replace it with gray clouds and brainwashed followers of Wyatt’s melancholy gospel. His promos were prophetic, his actions were often terrifying, and he seemed to actually be the first Superstar with the presence to replace The Undertaker as the WWE’s resident horror show.
As polarizing as his presence and actions often were, Bray Wyatt never has seemed to come through in the end to establish his downhearted invasion of the WWE’s family-friendly programming. Feud after feud, as charismatic as he was proven himself to be, Wyatt began to lose credibility, and therefore lose the attention of WWE main event talent. Feuding with the likes of The New Day is by no means a demoralizing position to be in, but it is in fact a fall from the status Bray Wyatt has once possessed, and probably still should.
The current New Era might not have been on WWE’s creative radar when Bray Wyatt was initially trying to make a name for himself, so one cannot make the case for WWE being a walking contradiction due to Wyatt being used as a distraction for a bigger storyline.
However, seeing him backed into the current creative corner that he is might end up as being one of the, if not the, biggest tragedies of the New Era. He possesses the bloodcurdling presence of The Undertaker, and slow, preaching rhetoric of Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and is an absolute battering ram in the ring; he can be the new face of fear without having to utilize something as hokey like supernatural powers like The Undertaker and Kane.
But he may have reached the point in his career that fans have seen him fail at his dark mission too many times for him to remain to be seen as a credible threat to main event talent. His obvious use as a side distraction to Randy Orton’s quest to take out Brock Lesnar is proof that WWE may no longer see Bray Wyatt as one of its future memorable champions.
Backlash will serve as a continuation to the agonizing, creative trap that has been set for Bray Wyatt. A career that began with such promise seems to have been relegated into the area of creative utility, someone used to keep things interesting until the bigger fish are fried. Unless something drastic happens during his match with Randy Orton than none of us see coming, the corner that Bray Wyatt has been backed into may become his new home until he fades into the background as we are left to wonder “what might have been.”