When Sunday night was over and fans walked out of WWE’s Elimination Chamber PPV, some must’ve been pinching themselves. Did that really just happen? Did Bray Wyatt just win the WWE Championship? The answer is yes – the New Face of Fear really pinned both John Cena and AJ Styles to capture his first taste of top, singles gold.
In a way, we should have seen it coming. Some fans certainly did; others were totally blindsided. The reception itself has been mixed, as well, with some rejoicing Bray’s victory, and others maintaining that ol’ Husky Harris just isn’t main event material. But this has been a long time coming, and this is why.
Bray Wyatt – A Steady Build Up
The Eater Of Worlds wasn’t an overnight success. In fact, he started out as low as could be. Bray Wyatt – real name Windham Lawrence Rotunda – was introduced first as Husky Harris in 2010, a member of the Nexus. As a member of Wade Barrett’s personal army, he never really did much besides mob on main eventers or get beat up by them.
His evolution into Bray Wyatt in 2013 was a genius move. With a horrifying-but-pretty-cool gimmick, and arguably the best entrance in WWE, Bray began to shine. He became known as the new Undertaker – a dark and bizarre presence in the ring. Some excellent mic skills helped keep him in the attention of the WWE Universe, too, along with great feuds with The Shield and The New Day.
Now, between 2013 and 2017, one only needs to observe the fan response to Bray Wyatt, and compare it to, say, Roman Reigns. Reigns was pushed to make strong splashes off the bat, and the result has been largely negative. Fans felt that Reigns was being pushed down their throats.
Meanwhile, Wyatt quietly made his own waves in the background. In fact, he hardly found himself in the title picture; his first reign was as Tag Team Champion with Randy Orton and Luke Harper, in late 2016. But his in-ring mic skills always kept him at the forefront. Even as a heel, one could tell that fans wanted more of him. It was good enough to make him part of the final three of the 2017 Royal Rumble.
Wyatt was a self-made presence; much like Daniel Bryan before him, he steadily built himself up, fighting his way slowly and surely to the top of the ladder. That’s why the choice of finally awarding him the WWE Championship only made sense.
In all likelihood, Randy and Bray will headline WrestleMania 33: the culmination of the Wyatt family storyline. The creative team would do well to have Bray win that match-up – it would put him over, give him a boost that Orton no longer needs.
The other option would be having Orton go after Kevin Owens’ Universal Championship instead, while Wyatt could face AJ Styles. This would keep the Family together – but let’s face it. WrestleMania needs the heaviest storylines, the strongest feuds, and the biggest drama. It’s going to be Wyatt vs Orton.
Keep following the buzzards. The Bray Wyatt era is upon us.