Bray Wyatt is WWE’s new “X factor”.
On Sunday night at Money in the Bank, Roman Reigns’s near certain triumph was thwarted by interference. In the ladder match which pitted him against six of the best that the current main roster boasts, the Samoan powerhouse was moments away from earning a guaranteed World Heavyweight Championship title shot when Bray Wyatt came out of nowhere and attacked.
This has become Wyatt’s trademark. He disappears from sight, sometimes going weeks without an appearance on television, or at most he keeps to the periphery, to the shadows, whispering mysterious, sinister warnings.Then, when it appears a beloved hero, whether it be Roman Reigns or Dean Ambrose, is just about to score a win for “the good guys”, up pops Wyatt like the killer in a horror movie to ruin everything.
There are some observers who feel Bray Wyatt is being underutilized as a talent. There is validity to that opinion. In the ring, the man has proved himself not only a consistent worker but an exciting and innovative performer. His style is unique, his move set is explosive, and his storytelling is superb. With the level of skill and talent Wyatt possesses, it can be disappointing to look at how often he is actually used.
There is a counter argument, however, and it is illustrated by one prime example: Brock Lesnar. Lesnar is a top tier worker, a serious talent, and works less than anybody. Why? As Paul Heyman recently stated in his usual succinct eloquence on Steve Austin’s podcast: “Why not have Christmas three hundred and sixty-five days a year if it’s so great? Because it wouldn’t be special anymore.”
The same holds true for Bray Wyatt. His character is one that thrives on mystique, shock and impact. His mystique dissipates the more you expose him. His shock dies if we all know he’s coming. His impact softens the more you get used to it.
During his first year, Wyatt went from nothing more than a series of vignettes and sinister promos to working every single TV taping and Pay-Per-View. He became a regular part of the working roster, and in doing so he sacrificed a certain amount of his mystique and impact. It was necessary for him to go through this period, otherwise we the audience would not be made aware of his formidable ability. Even so, WWE Creative saw the watering down of Wyatt’s character and decided to pull him back.
After the Wyatt family disbanded last fall, Wyatt became more enigmatic. He wasn’t booked in his regular squash matches against R-Truth or Zack Ryder anymore, and anytime he made an appearance on television it was always treated by the announce team with a certain amount of awe and reverence. They would call his appearances “rare”, and the producers even gave Wyatt his own custom “fire flies”-themed name graphic during his entrance.
This is the manner in which Wyatt needs to be booked. He is not like other superstars.
Well, not like most superstars.
In certain ways, Wyatt is the current generation’s incarnation of the Undertaker. It’s true that the Phenom won his share of championships during his long and illustrious career, but his was not a career particularly punctuated by those championship reigns. His was a career punctuated with moments, moments of pageantry and drama which no one will ever forget.
The Undertaker gave the WWE an X-factor, an element which deviated from business as usual. Although he won titles and lost titles, his status was never defined by those titles. It is possible that Mark Calloway could have gone his entire career without winning one championship and his renown would still be legendary. That was – and is still – his power.
This is the potential power that Bray Wyatt now possesses in its infant form. He has the opportunity to be the WWE’s new X-factor. He offers a glimpse of a character who, while most others are wrapped up in the rat race intent on winning some shiny gold prize at the top of a ladder, only wants to topple that ladder over to watch everyone fall.
Like Dark Knight‘s Joker character, Bray Wyatt behaves as though he simply wants to watch the world burn for his own amusement. He brings forth an element of chaos that cannot be reasoned with or predicted, and that makes him the most dangerous villain of all.