I’m about to do some skewering so I’ll level with you and open up with honesty: in the early days of Bray Wyatt, back in the beginning Wyatt Family days, I was a defender and a fan. I jumped on the bandwagon with the original idea of the Wyatt Family. When I was in attendance live for Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble 2014 I thought it was a great match. I thought the Wyatt Family vs. The Shield were amazing six-man matches and even showed them to nonfans as a showcase of how great wrestling can be.
I was definitely at one point a defender and a supporter of Bray Wyatt. I thought there was high potential in the original concept and still to a degree stand by this.
The moment a creepy kid demonically singing cost John Cena a cage match, the wheels on that bandwagon fell off quickly. The original execution of the Bray Wyatt character started to cheapen and unravel. More supernatural elements were added as my interest decreased. Big feuds and matches ended in ultimate defeat. A poor transitional title run that leads to one of the worst WrestleMania matches I’ve ever seen shoveled more and more dirt upon the corpse of my interest. It only took a short matter of time before the Bray Wyatt character was like Jacob Marley and became dead as a doornail. Changes were desperately needed, and there was a legitimate question if that would be enough to salvage what was a ruined concept.
Where could the Bray Wyatt character go?
What could he do now?
Did it even matter?
Would anyone care?
Enter the Firefly Funhouse and the concept of The Fiend.
Bray Wyatt unquestionably has a vivid and lively imagination. An imagination that churns out ideas, characters, and scenarios as if they were on an around the clock assembly line. Bray Wyatt is not lacking in the visualization department. Implementation and execution have proven questionable if not flat out disastrous at times. It is time to stop pretending that vivid imagination always equates to creative genius. In fairness, his creative mind clearly exists, and in the initial early stages much like the early Wyatt Family days, The Fiend showed signs of potential. There was a foundation there to potentially build on and he hammered away. The work and effort were not lacking. Despite what we are told, hard work doesn’t always pay off. Reminders must be given wrestling is full of vivid imaginations, and while some wild ideas hit the wall and stick, others slide down and end up in the garbage bin. For good reason, those ideas are bad and deserve to be tossed.
I will not dismiss or ridicule a wrestler for attempting a fresh coat of paint. An ample amount of examples exist of a wrestler reinventing themselves and it is a proven rewarding and successful change. Unfortunately, when the original color was an eyesore and you paint it over with a more stand out and in your face of an eyesore, the blame is fair game and while I know he has his fans, supporters, and defenders who think it’s good storytelling and good character work, in my eyes it’s downright cringe-inducing, embarrassing, the type of tripe that makes you glad you live on your own because you don’t want to risk others walking in and wondering why you watch this.
The answer is I stopped watching, I tuned out and moved on. Many viewers have come to this moment when it comes to WWE programming and decided to spend their time elsewhere. I would agree it is unfair to lay that blame squarely on Bray Wyatt as there is a lot of factors over the years and years of mediocre programming that the WWE has produced that should be laid to blame. Bray Wyatt’s work though had been such a prominent spot on WWE television. If it has been as successful and intriguing as a character as many defend, shouldn’t that have slowed down the bleeding some? Shouldn’t it have at the very least caught some new eyes and have those eyes remain to see what is going come next?
In this endeavor it has failed, All that has been achieved is bad angles, bad storytelling, and bad wrestling. He was in the worst Hell in a Cell match I’ve ever seen. It was so bad they had to turn his opponent Rollins heel afterward. Don’t forget the awful and significant waste of time cinematic experience at WrestleMania which was a poor use of John Cena and a title reign that was fed to Goldberg for a match that never happened. Recently, he had another short reign that did nothing more than to pivot the title from Braun Strowman to Roman Reigns.
Now we have this nonsense with Alexa Bliss.
The list goes on and just doesn’t stop. This has gone beyond the point of wait and see what it leads to. It leads to the same thing over and over again. Something awful and a waste of time. The benefit of a doubt is no longer given, it is no longer deserved. While to a degree I appreciate the attempt at reimagining it is a creative trainwreck.
Is it all of his fault? No, he is a cog of the WWE machine that provides ample quantity without quality. WWE’s handy work has definitely played a hand in the failures and disasters of this run of The Fiend. Does not let Bray Wyatt off the hook. Bray Wyatt’s hands have been all over the concept, character, and at times execution. It is folly to absolve Bray Wyatt of blame when it’s his baby that’s he’s nourished and raised. I understand some can’t turn away from it, but I have a hard time figuring out the entertainment value. Just because you are an ideas person, does not mean your ideas are worthwhile or good, and the Bray Wyatt character is proof of this point of view. I respect there are fans of the concepts and ideas, but I just can’t get behind or get along with it.
Bray Wyatt desperately wants to be the horror master of WWE.
The Wes Craven, the John Carpenter, hell maybe even settle for being an Eli Roth for as mediocre as he is. At best, Bray Wyatt has ended up being is The Ed Wood of WWE and at least Ed Wood got a decent biopic from Tim Burton. Even that doesn’t work because there can be a charm to Ed Wood’s work. The concept of so bad it’s good exists. there are examples of wrestling and entertainment beyond wrestling that have fit this concept. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of the most famous. It is beyond time to remember and understand that sometimes bad is just bad. For all the work and potential, Bray Wyatt, The Funhouse, The Fiend, is bad, just awful. It’s the B-Film concept that isn’t even worth being given proper MST3K type skewering.
Bray Wyatt has a vivid imagination, but they so far have not translated to the creative masterpieces he strives for. He’s an ideas assembly line though. He’ll have his defenders and supporters always that he can depend on. WWE is in such a state of mediocrity and low quality I cannot deny he still manages to stand out and figure in. One day maybe he’ll realize and mold himself into the horror master he wishes to be.
Until then… let him in? No, leave me out.