Oftentimes, the commentariat of TPB will lament the fact that certain wrestlers are spending more time talking than they are wrestling.
Seth Rollins and Finn Bálor were two such examples. Neither of them are Dusty Rhodes on the mic, yet it felt like a lot of their feuding was a whole bunch of talk. Which is fine; but when both men are at their apex in the ring, it would have been nice to see the two of them continue to prove that they’re dangerous to get into the ring with (quite literally, in Rollins’ case).
One such man, who has barely wrestled since the brand extension, is Bray Wyatt. And if the WWE is seeking to position him as the New Era’s answer to The Undertaker, then that is precisely what it should be doing with him. This isn’t to say that Wyatt is anywhere close to being the kind of attraction that The Undertaker is, but throughout his career it was actually very rare to see him working matches week in and week out.
There aren’t a great many wrestlers with the charisma of a man like Bray Wyatt, and his peculiar method of attracting the attention of other wrestlers and getting compelling drama out of them is unique.
Take, for example, The Wyatt Family’s initial feud with The New Day. Sadly, that was a potentially epic series that was cut short by the brand extension, but perhaps the most exciting thing throughout Wyatt’s provocative baiting was the reaction he got from the purveyors of positivity. Although eventually abandoned, we saw Xavier Woods seemingly falling into the hypnotic thrall of The Wyatt Family, while the idea that they may fall had fans genuinely interested in what might happen to the trio when they finally get into the ring with the cultists. It was certainly far more riveting than the repetitive slog that is watching The New Day’s rivalry with The Club at the moment.
And, who can forget two years ago, when Bray Wyatt carried his entire WrestleMania feud with The Undertaker on his back?
Now, he’s getting under the skin of Randy Orton, as he was getting under the skin of Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose during their feud for the WWE World Championship. The thing about Bray Wyatt is that his mystique, like any other, is easily shattered by overexposure. By keeping him off our screens for lengthy periods, and inserting him into seemingly random feuds (a potent cocktail that can be damning for most wrestlers), Bray Wyatt retains a leering dominance that keeps fans genuinely wondering when he’s next going to rear his head. His targets are often arbitrary, and his timing far apart, but this only serves to cement Bray as a near-mythical figure who disturbs the peace and screws with peoples’ heads just because he can.
We know that Brock Lesnar is presently the primary focus of Randy Orton at the end of the month — Wyatt seemingly has been inserted as a placeholder while Brock Lesnar has his usual hiatus, and again, it is a testament to Wyatt’s spared presence that he is able to be so expendable and yet not become a third wheel.
This can’t last forever, of course. At some point, we’re going to reach a stage where his constant losses render him nothing more than a nuisance. Indeed, this was fast becoming the case during a lengthy stretch of poor booking, especially when he was roundly and unforgivably ridiculed by The Rock at WrestleMania 32, but his recent showing on SmackDown have been something of a reset button for the man.
Picture this: if Dolph Ziggler were to capture the IC title, would there be anybody better to pick apart his often mentioned flaws than Bray Wyatt? After all, the “Eater of Worlds” is long overdue a title reign.