A Look at Bray Wyatt’s New Persona and Why Being Different is Good in WWE – by Mike Sanchez

Yowie Wowie! Things took a turn for the surreal this past Monday Night Raw, didn’t they? The latest vignette from the Firefly Fun House saw us join our new favorite kids TV host, Bray Wyatt who let us in on a secret he’d been keeping. That secret looks to be a new alter-ego that to me looked like a nightmarish cross-breed of professional wrestling and something Slipknot deemed too creepy for their videos. And that’s saying something. For those who missed it, or for those who want to be creeped out again, take a look at the video below.

Weird, right? I held off on writing about Bray’s return to WWE television for a few weeks for a couple of reasons: I thought the first clips were just the tip of the iceberg, especially given rumors that Bray Wyatt was heavily involved in the creation of this new character – much like he was with his old persona a few years ago – and part of me thought WWE would manage to screw it up or change the character completely due to negative reviews from TV executives. For now, at least, it looks like both of those reasons were wrong, and the new incarnation will keep going forward.

This new character has me genuinely excited about what is in store and how he will be presented to the audience. WWE has managed to do something completely different once again, and though the character has no doubt been influenced by The Undertaker and Finn Balor’s demon in some regards, for the most part, it’s fresh and new. I don’t recall another character being portrayed as primarily kid-friendly, but with an unnerving undertone that the adults catch on to right away. He gives the skin-tingling feeling of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a threat dressed with a smile, not dissimilar to the haunting photographs of John Wayne Gacey dressed as a clown. That smile to the lens hiding a brutal, hideous and macabre secret that couldn’t be any further from the innocent person he shows to the world.

We’ve yet to know how this new Bray Wyatt will unveil himself to the WWE Universe, but in my opinion, they should go all out in presenting him as a genuinely terrifying man for the audience. Kids should be wary of him, he should make them shuffle uncomfortably in their seat and adults should be looking on in a combination of wonder and fear. The Undertaker had that aura in his early years in the company. Many of his entrances cut to shots of the crowd staring at this giant man dressed in black walking solemnly to the ring. Of course, now we all cheer for him as the legend he is, but back then in the early 1990s and even in his Ministry of Darkness days in 1999, he was set apart from the rest of the roster. He was different, dark and mysterious. A dark shadow followed the Undertaker wherever he went, and the same should happen with Bray Wyatt.

Nobody is asking that WWE re-hash The Undertaker, but there’s something to be said about a gimmick that stood the test of time and made the character into an icon. WWE should borrow from how they created the legend of The Undertaker and use some of that wisdom when building Wyatt up again. Do we need to see his masked persona right away? For me, no. If they want to present him as a jersey-wearing, smiling guy who just wants to atone for his past transgressions, then fine. If that’s how he wants us to see and embrace him at first, then go right ahead, but keep the vignettes. Keep the brooding evil in the background, lurking in the shadows and ready to be unleashed like a modern Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. We’ll all know something is building and waiting to be unleashed upon the WWE.

If I was to look at a storyline for Wyatt, I’d borrow from the Mickie James obsessed-fan story from 2005 when she debuted in WWE. Remember when Mickie was presented to us as the obsessive fan who attacked Victoria for trying to take out Trish Stratus with the Women’s Championship? I’m not saying Bray should be a #1 fan type, but he could portray himself being obsessed with getting forgiveness from the WWE for his past mistakes, and in his eyes, there would be no better way to do that than to aim for the top and harass Seth Rollins to forgive him. Seth, who has now gone viral for his acknowledgment that he and Becky Lynch are dating, would be seen as all that is good in WWE; success, love, happiness, dedication and Bray Wyatt should be the antithesis of that in every way possible. Again, I’m not saying Bray should be after the gold, but he could embroil himself in a feud with the top face of the company (sorry, Roman, but Seth has that spot now) all for his own selfish gain of wanting forgiveness. Of course, that forgiveness never comes and that’s when the other personality comes out. You know how it goes from there.

Fantasy booking over, I just wanted to express that I believe WWE has something special here with Bray’s new look and character. Hopefully, they can allow him to slowly bloom, and become an important member of the roster. I seriously like this new direction and I think WWE should stay on the course. We’ve had too many cookie-cutter superstars in recent years. Heels who talk trash and run away, faces who promise much but quickly lose steam. Here is something new and different. Please don’t screw it up, WWE. Please.

What do you think? Do you like Bray’s new persona? How will he be presented to us? Should such an unnerving character be on a ‘family’ show at all? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, thanks for reading.