We Need to Talk About Bray Wyatt

Bray Wyatt. The Fiend. Husky Harris. Windham 6. Whatever the bloody hell he’s calling himself these days, he is an enigma, wrapped up in a riddle, dipped in mystery sauce. After Bray Wyatt was unceremoniously dumped from the WWE without any reason being given—though the company themselves went out of their way to let it leak that Bray was ‘difficult to work with’—rumours have abounded as to what his next wrestling move would be and where he would turn up. Initially, it seemed to be a no-brainer. Bray Wyatt would be headed to AEW, but it’s been a year since he parted ways with the then Vincent Kennedy McMahon juggernaut, and neither hide nor hair has been seen in an AEW ring or any wrestling ring, for that matter.

Over the past week or so, rumors have started to surface that Bray Wyatt may be rejoining the WWE under the new Triple H regime, with Bray Wyatt fanning the flames himself by posting on Twitter;

Wrestling is not a love story, it’s a Fairy Tale for masochists. A comedy for people who criticize punchlines. A fantasy most can’t understand, a spectacle no one can deny. Lines are blurred. Heroes are villains. Budgets are cut. Business is Business.

But it can also be a land where Dead men walk. Where Honor makes you Elite. Where Demons run for office. And Rock bottom is a reason to rejoice. WOOOOO! It’s an escape,” he continued. “A reason to point the blame at anyone but yourself for 2-3 hours. An excuse to be a kid again, and nothing matters except the moment we are in. Wrestling is not a love story, it’s much more. It’s hope. And in a world surrounded in hate, greed and violence, a world where closure may never come. We all know a place that has hot and cold hope on tap. For better or for worse.

And in a world surrounded in hate, greed, and violence, a wolrd where closure may never come. We all know a place that has hot and cold hope on tap. For better or worse”

As you can imagine, this sent the wrestling internet into meltdown, with fans across the globe deciding that it meant that Bray Wyatt was indeed returning to the WWE. After all, hadn’t he recently changed his Twitter profile to a quote from VKM himself?

Except that Bray quickly poured water on this when a ‘fan’—you know the kind, thinks everyone who doesn’t watch Indonesian Death Match Wrestling at least three times a week is a ‘casual’—accused him of being cryptic for the sake of it, to which Bray replied;

It’s not meant to be cryptic. It’s a reminder to myself and others that need reminding just how special this business is. And how lucky we are to have it. Put your microscope and biases aside and read it again.”

Yet still, the rumours persist and are getting louder. Many wrestling sites are regurgitating the ‘news’ being reported on Fightful Select that, at the very least, Bray Wyatt’s name is being pitched in creative, with Sean Ross Sapp—a name I just managed to write without being sick over my keyboard for once—claiming;

We can confirm that his name has at least been pitched for a return within creative. However, that’s hardly guaranteeing a return, as many names have been pitched within creative, either by Triple H or someone else on the team.”

What I love about this report is how it follows the Dave Meltzer rule of journalism.

  1. State the bloody obvious: that people within the WWE creative department have a bunch of ideas regarding a return for Bray Wyatt.
  2. Be as non-commital about it as you possibly can be, so if it doesn’t happen you don’t look like you’re just making stuff up to get clicks.

That aside—and stating the bloody obvious myself—I feel that if Bray Wyatt was to make a return to wrestling at any point, it would be with the WWE. The fact is that the AEW ship has sailed. Not for Bray Wyatt, but for Tony Khan. With all the ex-WWE talent that he’s been hoovering up of late, Bray Wyatt should’ve been at the top of his list the second he was shown the door. It is understandable that he might not have wanted to go straight back into wrestling after the way The Fiend was killed dead by a creative team that had suddenly started to interfere in something they had left alone long enough for it to become a success by itself. That had to be disheartening. So if he wanted some time to recharge the batteries, that was understandable. What isn’t understandable is that if TK had reached out to Bray—as, once again, rumours seem to suggest—why he didn’t bend over backwards and promise him whatever it took to get him to sign a contract, even if it meant that he could take a whole year away from wrestling, still get paid, and show up at All Out in a months time to challenge the winner of the Punk vs. Moxley match, while systematically blowing the roof off of the place, off of the internet, and making AEW the most talked about brand in pro-wrestling today.

It can’t have been a money issue; Tony Khan could buy China if he felt like it, so I can only assume that if these conversations were held, it would’ve been about Bray Wyatt wanting creative control over his character. And nobody runs creative in AEW that isn’t called Tony Khan. If that is the case, then AEW and Tony Khan have just missed out on the biggest free agent in the business, and why? Because of ego? That’s just stupid.

This means that your friendly neighbourhood wrestling writer believes that if Bray Wyatt is to return to the squared circle, it will be under the Triple H-run WWE. Yet, for that to work they’re going to have to make a lot of adjustments for him. He’s going to have to have complete control. He’s proven time and again that when he’s left to his own devices, he’s money. The early Wyatt Family run was—at heart—driven by Bray Wyatt, as was all the stuff with the Fiend right up until Goldberg buried him for dirty blood money, and yet he still managed to bounce back from that. For me, the turning point for Bray Wyatt/The Fiend came after the epic Firefly Fun House match at WrestleMania 36. That was a work of art—and if you think otherwise, you’re wrong—and went over in such a huge way that suddenly the higher-ups in the company decided that perhaps they needed to start pitching their ideas for the direction the character went afterwards. And that’s why we got the whole Randy Orton/Bray Wyatt/Alexa Bliss/black-goo-running-out-of-her-head-what-the-f*ck-is-this-s*it-I-am-watching-f*cking-car-crash at WrestleMania 37.

I don’t think it has ever been about money for Bray Wyatt. I believe that it’s always been about holding the destiny of his career in his own hands, and if the WWE wants him back then they need to give him total and utter autonomy over what happens when he returns, and beyond. I’ve heard even more whispers that HHH wants Bray Wyatt back as a character on his own and that Bray Wyatt wants The Fiend instead. Well, if that’s the case then the man of three H’s needs to back down and let him do his thing.

Bray Wyatt/The Fiend/Husky Harris/Windham 6/Whatever-the-bloody-hell-he’s-calling-himself-these-days, has one of the greatest minds the wrestling world has ever seen. Let him use it. Let him do his thing. Let him in. That’s what’s best for business.

Written by Neil Gray

SPOBS very own Mouth Of The South (West).

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