Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt will be facing off this Sunday at Hell in a Cell in what promises to be a great match, especially after Wyatt’s win against on Reigns on RAW. However, that victory, in standard WWE booking style, will see a victory go to Reigns – a decision that couldn’t be any more of a waste if it tried. Reigns will inevitably end up facing Seth Rollins, and this match will be just another match. Bray Wyatt on the other hand, with his mad ways could build so much more from a single win – a second shot at being a massively dominant force.
The character of Bray Wyatt and his cronies is one of the deepest and highest concept, in spite of the fact that we know nothing more about them than what we see. It’s a depth that nobody else on the roster has. John Cena is the ‘never give up’ guy. Dean Ambrose is the loony guy. Kane is the guy in the mask. Everyone is just that ‘guy’. However, The Wyatt Family have a more complicated look and manner. A strange backwoods cult with very distinctive dress, with a central god-like figure. He speaks a lot of gibberish, and his motives beyond superiority are unknown, as we have seen him happy in defeat, as though Emperor Palpatine style, he is bringing out the good guy’s dark side.
This depth beyond “I’m better than you” has sadly been wasted. A stable like The Wyatt Family shouldn’t be a one-dimensional plow through their opponents one-by-one. This is not to say that The Wyatt Family are in need of a complex story, but it does mean that they are confusing enough to become a force that even the Authority should struggle to gets its head around, and control. The Wyatts have been made too simple, when they really shouldn’t be. We don’t need to know anything else about The Wyatt Family, ever. Not what they believe in. Not who Sister Abigail is. In fact, the day we find out what they are all about, fans will inevitably be disappointed. We should never know. However, if a heel has to be more conceptual in character than “I want to win that belt”, they need to reek far more havoc than choosing a face for a few months, losing, and then moving on to the next.
This was something that The Wyatts could not be better suited for, and have in fact demonstrated before. The Wyatts in late 2013 and early 2014 appeared to be the eye of the storm that many hoped would signify the dawning of a new era, alongside members of The Shield, Cesaro, Big E Langston, Rusev, and so on. NXT was beginning to reel in attention too. In spite of all these streams of talent, and everyone correctly guessing that The Shield were destined to be the future faces of the company, The Wyatt Family were the most striking. But why? It was more than their appearance. It was more to do with how they grew, and it quickly became apparent just how important they were. Enough so that fans were already concluding that they were being written as the ‘replacement’ to The Undertaker, although a couple of years on, he’s still here.
Their relatively brief golden age began alongside the mass support for Daniel Bryan, who had been enlisted in the Family, but left in spectacular fashion, with an audience reaction that will never be forgotten. However, something then happened at Royal Rumble 2014 that blew many people away – Wyatt ended the feud by defeating Bryan. Now that his ruthlessness was well and truly confirmed, their technique wasn’t to move on to the next feud, but to branch out and cause more chaos, as they instead went for three men – The Shield.
With Elimination Chamber 2014, The Wyatt Family defeated The Shield in one of the best, if not the best WWE matches of the year (a title clinged on to in most publications until NXT Takeover: R-Evolution shook things up in December 2014), and once the match was over, they weren’t done with their damage yet, and dramatically and magically appeared in the Elimination Chamber, just as John Cena was about to make Orton tap out to the STF. It was that sabotage that put Bray Wyatt and John Cena eye-to-eye in a feud.
However, this is where the golden age of The Wyatt Family ground to a halt. It’s very easy to put this on Cena’s back, as it has been so many times. To be in a rivalry with Cena may be an honour, but it’s not always a privilege, as one is due to be the inferior half. Sure enough, this turned out to be the case with Bray Wyatt. However, whether Wyatt had won or lost the final match of that feud (the brilliant Last Man Standing match at Payback 2014), something would still have been lost – his power. The chaos that Wyatt just oozes is very important to him. He is a character not in need of a new friend in his family, but of an empire.
This brings us to Hell in a Cell 2015, presumably the closure of this phase of Reigns/Ambrose vs The Wyatt Family, and would function beautifully in a similar way to Daniel Bryan’s match at Royal Rumble 2014 – a shock win that allows him not to progress, but expand. Since the return of Erick Rowan (underwhelming sold by Michael Cole on RAW), Wyatt leads a four-man stable of monsters, and they have power not only in their scale, but in their character.
Think back to Brock Lesnar’s tantrum on the RAW after Wrestlemania 31, that caused chaos when Lesnar F5’ed Michael Cole, and destroyed the commentary table, leading to evacuation and replacement by a very nervous sounding Byron Saxton. It was ridiculous, but perfect. It genuinely sounded like nobody knew what to do. There is nobody else more suited to pretending to break the fourth wall with a similar sabotage of the show. If Wyatt’s sheer presence gets twenty-thousand people to get their phones out, night after night, then what if he actually tried?
The Wyatts are best known to communicate by use of the screen. What if they were to screw with the lights and the screens throughout the night, and tap into the commentary audio (well, anything not to hear JBL)? This isn’t necessarily magic either. They are being tricksters, and always have been when they have played their mind games. Wyatt never claimed to have magical powers when he appeared in the Elimination Chamber, or Hell in a Cell last year. Nor did he use magic masks onto the audience member. Nor did he magic up a singing child at the cage door in the stupidest match ending in recent memory. As Undertaker blasts ridiculous pyrotechnics on his way in, they are all preplanned ideas, there to intimate and confuse opponents.
But for anything of the sort, Wyatt probably needs this win at Hell in a Cell. Reigns will obviously be heading for a high-profile feud with Rollins, no matter what. Reigns might just be the last A-list face wrestler Wyatt has that can be a spark for something big and new as Bryan was, before needing to be redesigned.
It’s now or never, or The Wyatt Family will be backing dancers on Tyler Breeze’s catwalk.