The Curious Case of Bray Wyatt - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

The Curious Case of Bray Wyatt - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, August 5, 2021

Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Bodeen Green and Walker Stewart discuss Bray Wyatt following his recent release by WWE.

Bray Wyatt is undoubtedly a shocking release for WWE, especially as his character of The Fiend has been such a strong merchandise seller. Is his release actually a surprise? Is he the biggest example of wasted talent? And just what is next for him?

Question 1: How surprising is Bray Wyatt’s WWE release? Is this an indication that very few people are safe in WWE?

ALLSOPP: Looking back on his release after the initial shock, I don’t think this can come across as a true surprise. He hasn’t featured on WWE television since the Raw after WrestleMania 37, and in all honesty, he hadn’t been doing much before then. It is highly likely that his personal issues, as referenced by Mick Foley, would have played into the decision to release him, but Bray Wyatt does come with a huge salary that could be better used elsewhere. Yes, Wyatt was a huge merchandise seller, but he wasn’t exactly untouchable in the ring. As a former WWE Champion and WWE Universal Champion, he was realistically one of the biggest names in the company, which means unless you are named Roman Reigns, you are clearly susceptible to release if your output doesn’t match the wage you are paid.

GREEN: Bray Wyatt’s release is both surprising and unsurprising at the same time. Whilst it is surprising to see Wyatt get released, especially after main eventing SummerSlam last year, it does feel somewhat unsurprising given the fact that WWE are releasing a lot of people who had a big match on the card. This just shows that few people are safe in WWE, especially as they have very little idea when it comes to long term booking, as the recent releases feature a lot of recent pay-per-view main eventers. The reason behind Wyatt’s release does confuse me though, as sources have stated that budget cuts were the reason behind the release. If this is the case, this is strange as WWE have been drawing great profits, and will probably make a ton of money later in the year if they start doing shows in Saudi Arabia again.

STEWART: The release of a former WWE Champion is always going to be surprising. As others have mentioned, Bray Wyatt hadn’t appeared on television since the post-WrestleMania 37 episode of Monday Night Raw. I think Wyatt’s release came as a further surprise due to his silence on social media and lack of appearances in WWE. Heck, it didn’t even come through a mass release saga, but just a singular announcement. In essence - yes - Wyatt’s release was surprising and has left many wrestling fans confused. In terms of contractual safety in WWE, I’ve always believed that there is none, and this is excellent proof of such. We’ve seen people released from this company that I never would have expected before. The most recent example of this was - again - another former world champion in the company, Braun Strowman. There is no contractual safety in WWE, and I believe that this is okay.

Question 2: Is Bray Wyatt the biggest example of squandered talent and potential in WWE?

GREEN: Despite poor booking, Bray Wyatt has always manged to change his character. First he was the cult leader, then he went on his own for a bit and made tweaks to his character, even hinting at a Sister Abigail character before he unfortunately had to pull out of the story due to illness. Wyatt is truly special, and despite bumpy booking, he always found new or slightly different ways for the fans to love him. Wyatt's transformation to The Fiend felt amazing to watch for me, and I tuned in every week. Even after losing to Goldberg, Wyatt felt alive again after his match against John Cena, however, the trend of bumpy booking continued as he won the WWE Universal Championship, only to lose it a week later and feud with Randy Orton. Orton's feud with Wyatt was another example of bumpy booking as they hyped the burnt Fiend, only for Wyatt to only show the burnt Fiend once or twice. His story is strange, as every time he reached a mountain top and we saw his true talent and potential, it was taken away.

STEWART: Bray Wyatt is an individual who has reinvented himself multiple times within his decade with WWE. After realizing that “The Monster Tank With a Ferrari Engine” Husky Harris was not going to get him over, Bray Wyatt was introduced. Wyatt went through many transformations as a character itself. From “The Eater of Worlds” to “The Man of 1,000 Truths”. From “The New Face of Fear” to “The Deleter of Worlds”, Bray Wyatt has done everything in his power to shift his character in a format that would allow fans to appreciate his work more. Surprise, surprise - they did! They did appreciate his work more! The pop for Wyatt’s WWE Championship victory at WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 was immense. The initial reaction for The Fiend’s debut was incredible. However, one common thing crashed each of these concepts - bad booking from bad creative. Is he the biggest example of squandered talent and potential in WWE? I don’t know if I’d say he’s the biggest ever, but I would definitely say he is the biggest in the modern era.

ALLSOPP: I want to say yes. I could write all day about how so many established talents and NXT talents have been wasted when they could have been true stars in WWE, but Bray Wyatt has to be the most egregious case of wasted potential. As the cult leader he originally portrayed, he always seemed to come up short when it mattered, which meant his eventual WWE Championship victory felt very undeserved and hollow. As much as his character and promo work were excellent, his booking was piss poor. This reared it’s ugly head again once Goldberg destroyed any mystique that The Fiend had, which means overall, he achieved far less than he should have. He should have been the natural successor to The Undertaker, but alas, Vince McMahon never really gave a shit!

Question 3: What do you think will be the next challenge for Bray Wyatt? Where would you like him to end up?

STEWART: I feel like the biggest challenge for Bray Wyatt will be finding a place that will allow him to showcase his creative abilities on a prominent stage. Where should he end up next? I know most people are going to say AEW, but I think it would be awesome to see him somewhere akin to Ring of Honor or Impact Wrestling. A huge star such as himself would elevate these promotions, and these are promotions that I believe need elevation. However, if Wyatt makes his way to AEW - you bet I’m buying that t-shirt immediately.

ALLSOPP: The obvious destination seems to be assuming Brodie Lee’s role as the leader of Dark Order, but as romantic as that should be, I’d rather he goes to NJPW instead. With a variation of his Fiend character, he could easily become the most dangerous gaijin since Stan Hansen. His slower and much more power based offense would suit NJPW, whilst I’m sure Japanese fans would be amazed at what he could do.

GREEN: I am mixed. Whilst I would love to see Bray Wyatt in NJPW, seeing him with no creative handcuffs in AEW would be great. Whilst I hate seeing AEW take WWE star after WWE star, at least they have given people like Malakai Black a platform where they have creative freedom over their character. Personally, I want to see Wyatt on his own in AEW, but I wouldn't hate it if he joined Dark Order.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?

Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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AUTHOR OF THIS POST: DALLAS ALLSOPP

Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.

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