This edition concerns the monstrous Bray Wyatt—the self-professed Eater of Worlds. Wyatt certainly has made an instant impression on WWE since debuting in the summer of 2013, both through his spine-chilling psychology and emphatic promo skills. However, in recent months, his immediate momentum and originality has curtailed, and crowds have begun to wane on both him and his cult family. So, is Wyatt a future world champion in-the-making, or is he at risk of being eaten by the WWE Universe and expelled as an unfortunate experiment?
Value at end of previous year (12/31/2013)
|Bray won't get anywhere in life constantly|
After hurriedly disposing of Kofi Kingston, Wyatt's stock rose dramatically by engaging with fan favorites CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. The verbal and physical battles opposite such high profile names indicated to fans that Wyatt was going to be a big deal, and he maintained an unbeaten record to hammer home the point. A 3-on-1 handicap match against Bryan at TL was an utter destruction job, and on the final RAW of 2013, the beatings he sustained convinced the beloved goat-face to surrender and join the Family. This left Wyatt with an incredible amount of momentum, and he was one of the most compelling parts of WWE by the turn of the year.
2014 Win/Loss Record
Win – 27
Loss – 22
Draw/No Contest – 0
|Royal Rumble||Win (vs. Daniel Bryan)|
|Elimination Chamber||Win (vs. The Shield)|
|WrestleMania||Loss (vs. John Cena)|
|Extreme Rules||Win (vs. John Cena)|
|Payback||Loss (vs. John Cena)|
|Money in the Bank||Loss (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Match)|
|Battleground||Loss (vs. Chris Jericho)|
|SummerSlam||Win (vs. Chris Jericho)|
|That is a fetching fedora Mr. Wyatt|
Wyatt's look is also undoubtedly inimitable in wrestling, yet has drawn comparisons Max Cady in Cape Fear. Wearing a fedora and patterned shirts demonstrate his connection to the bayous of Florida. The beard and hair is both magnificent and ominous, and adds to his aura of dominance. Every detail from sitting in a rocking chair as a vindictive puppet-master to his ring entrance is fundamental in constructing his distinctive persona.
Nevertheless, as time has worn on, it appears the WWE creative team have failed to keep up with Wyatt's infamy among the audience. Whilst his promo skills are impeccable at best, in the last few months he has been using that silver tongue to spout incomprehensible drivel. His most recent feud with Chris Jericho has demonstrated that without a great deal of thought, his broad vocabulary can become as empty as his black heart. Perhaps the writing team cannot keep up with a character as complex and cryptic as The Man of 1,000 Truths?
Signature Moves and Ringwork
This is unquestionably the most contentious element of Wyatt's role within the WWE. Never in my decade of devotion to professional wrestling have I witnessed such an offbeat ring style. It has elements of established monster heels comparable to Kane or an early Mankind, but with a capacity for explosive attacks remarkable for a man his size, similar to an in-shape Samoa Joe. Wyatt's style is reliant on psychological warfare, arguably the most difficult skill for a superstar to learn. This likely is a benefit of his upbringing as a third-generation superstar. Sister Abigail is also a quick and effective finisher, with the additional theatrics building into his character.
Yet, it is remarkable how hit-and-miss this methodical ring style has proven to be in his year in WWE. Wyatt has been capable of outstanding matches with the right superstars, but consistency in this regard has been non-existent. Opposite Daniel Bryan and the Shield he looked tremendous, whilst against Kane and The Big Show he has been met with deafening silence. More bafflingly, in matches against John Cena and Chris Jericho, we have witnessed both sides of the wrestling Wyatt.
Is he being carried by wrestlers that can put on a good match with anyone? As the saying goes, it takes two to tango, and Wyatt's mannerisms and powerful repertoire certainly have their appeal. But, many have noted the consistent performances of Harper and Rowan have been overshadowing their overseer. If Wyatt is to reach his fullest potential, he has to begin making a habit of performing at his best.
|Bray likes his chances at the gold - do you?|
Wyatt doesn't need championships to maintain legitimacy. His motivations do not entail the hungry pursuit of gold, but the need for other to recognise and feel his horrific vision of the world. However, a run with the WWE Heavyweight Championship could be driven from his desire to spread his monstrous message and expand his following through acquisition of the industry's biggest prize. Current plans for him to pursue the Intercontinental Championship instead reek of an attempt to recover his floundering reputation from months of indifference and poor booking. It might work, but it certainly doesn't carry the same presence.
Highest Peak – 26th January 2014 (Royal Rumble)
Wyatt has had a number of awesome matches and promos in his short time in WWE. His feud with John Cena left him with too many defeats, but a number of memorable depictions of Cena's negative reception and the fallibilities of his heroic stature. It also provided a fantastically brutal Last Man Standing match at Over the Limit. But, his most impressive feud was opposite his fellow bearded grappler Daniel Bryan, and their match at Royal Rumble was the perfect demonstration of his monstrous power, in-ring psychology and ominous presence.
Lowest Valley – 20th July 2014 (Battleground)
The feud against John Cena produced some great moments, but Wyatt ended up on the losing side when the dust had settled. But, a loss against someone as heavily pushed as Cena often is can be recovered over time, despite the damage it did to his dominant run. Compounding it with a loss to a returning Chris Jericho however was utterly nonsensical. In their disappointing feud, if Jericho was to win a match it should have been on an episode of RAW with a quick roll-up. Having him hit a single Codebreaker for the victory severely damaged Wyatt's credibility as a destroyer. Add that to the overall terrible build and match itself, and this was an unprecedented low for the entire Wyatt Family.
|Attacking Kane on debut||Ring of Fire match against Kane at SummerSlam 2013|
|Forcing Daniel Bryan to join the Wyatt |
|Losses against Cena |
at WrestleMania and Over the Limit
|Victory over Bryan at Royal Rumble||Steel cage match with Cena |
at Extreme Rules
|Beating down John Cena |
at end of Royal Rumble
|Matches against the Big Show on any card|
|Tag team bouts against the Shield||Entire feud against Chris Jericho besides |
|Promos building to Cena |
match at Wrestlemania
|Manhandled by Cena |
on a RAW following SummerSlam
|Performance in Last Man Standing match at |
Over the Limit
|Steel cage victory over Chris Jericho on |
• Promo Skills
• Creepy, unique look and gimmick
• Big man power with explosive speed
• Feuds with top superstars
• Crowd reaction
• Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
• Too many big losses damaging mystique
• Lack of comprehension/direction to what he is saying
• Inconsistent in-ring performances
• Too slow/methodical often
Stock Advisement – BUY CAUTIOUSLY
This is regarded as a curious case of stock for a reason, as Wyatt is an enigma capable of ascendancy or decline. He is a powerful competitor that is also remarkably quick, but his methodical pacing could indicate his low stamina and inability to have great extended matches on a regular basis. Many suggest he is being carried by better wrestlers, and he has yet to fully prove them wrong. Wyatt is certainly capable of fantastic matches and telling captivating stories in the ring, but he does not do it consistently enough to merit a huge rise up the roster.
Wyatt is a confirmed lower main event talent through the calibre of those he has feuded with thus far, but is certainly far from a world championship run as things stand. And who'd really be overly impressed with an Intercontinental title reign in this day and age? His feuds need more direction, and he needs to be booked as a pure monster again after a string of lacklustre feuds that have left him looking weaker by the day.
The two saving graces for Wyatt are the uniquely ominous nature of his gimmick that is his and his alone, and how much he has bought into the character. The earnestness in which he delivers his promos with a mixture of vulnerable anguish and tyrannical vigour should be applauded, as no matter what he says it carries a reaction or meaning. Hopefully the writing team can catch up with him in order to give him opportunity to focus more on his in-ring prowess then questioning why he is saying what he is saying. For now, Wyatt is both young and distinctive enough to secure a sustained main event run in the near future.
Just a word of caution though; this relies on WWE writers and bookers being competent and pragmatic… Follow the buzzards.
|Bray is coming for you Creative Team...|