WrestleMania 32 was a saddening moment for The Wyatt Family with just about everything about them was ridiculed in a pointless segment. Both their wrestling skill (with Rowan losing an impromptu match against a semi-retired wrestler, in six seconds, followed by the full Family destroyed with the help of the still injured John Cena) and their conceptual appearance were badmouthed by The Rock, fed to the tedious seg
ment, leaving the Wyatts with nothing credible.
Or so it seemed. Then came the revelation of the following PPV Payback’s promotional poster.
Does that not suggest that The Wyatt Family might just have a bit of involvement at Payback. Of course, posters have been used on occasion that feature wrestlers who has no attachment to the event, such as Eva Marie being a face of Fastlane 2016 (now there’s a comparison no one ever thought they could make. She’ll be Sister Abigail next…). There is also something especially intriguing by the use of Luke Harper. The fact that he is recovering from a knee injury (making an appearance unlikely), suggests both that The Wyatts’ appearance on the poster means nothing, or that the image is being used to emphasise their potential scale.
What is it going to be, and how? So, until Payback on May 1st, one can only ponder on where Bray and his Family will emerge. Comment below how you think they might appear, and you hope that they will.
ROMAN REIGNS vs AJ STYLES
This is the main event, and The Wyatt Family dominate the poster. How can they not get involved? Well, this is actually more complicated than one would have expected. A couple of weeks ago, the booking of this match as well as the emergence of former Bullet Club members Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson would have meant that all arrows pointed to The Wyatt Family heading straight for the duo. The curious collaboration between Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns on Raw also suggested that if AJ Styles has Gallows and Anderson by his side, then Reigns might have the newly babyface-booked Wyatts watching his back also. Wyatt even got the pin in a fantastic moment of both calm adoration and discomfort between the two.
However, something has since changed over at NXT which throws a spanner in the works – Finn Balor, another man connected to the Bullet Club, lost his NXT Championship at a house show. Not only does that signify that a transition to the main roster is near, but the impromptu changing of hands to Samoa Joe appears desperate, and his main roster debut is due very soon. Therefore, Balor may instead make a surprise appearance instead of The Wyatt Family.
Considering that it is highly unlikely that Reigns will lose this match at all, let alone cleanly (Fact: He has not been pinned 1-2-3 without foul play by his opponent in a match since January 2012), meaning that a ‘no contest’ following an entanglement involving all of the above, with Balor either siding with Styles, or joining Gallows and Anderson in sabotaging Styles’ hopes. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if this match were booked entirely with Styles more in mind than Reigns, and for Reigns just billed to be present in the most important segment of the show (remember the adoration for Ziggler at Survivor Series 2014, when the man of the moment was Sting).
STEPHANIE MCMAHON vs SHANE MCMAHON SEGMENT
Yes, a ‘segment’ rather than a match. Shame.
WWE Raw brought the announcement that there would be a revelation segment of which of the products of Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s semen (your risky click of the day…) would be in control of Raw from here on in. While it might be an overlong and unwanted segment that would ordinarily be reserved for the opening hour of Raw, the fact that such an announcement has been saved for a PPV suggests that this will involve the surprise appearance of an unlisted star (first to come to mind is Mick Foley whose attachment to WWE has been recently revived due to being the centre of a new WWE Network show) or the intervention of seemingly unbooked wrestlers.
It is an ongoing habit of the Wyatt Family, but this seems especially likely after constant rumours of them providing support for Shane McMahon during his Hell in a Cell match against Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32. This didn’t materialize, but never say ‘never’. If this does happen during the segment, and if booked properly, it could be great. The Wyatts have long been figures perfect to completely shut down an episode of Raw in a similar panic-inducing way to Undertaker and Brock Lesnar’s brawl, to show their power and dominance. Their appearance in a segment about ruling Raw suggests a different kind of approach to the same effect.
DEAN AMBROSE vs CHRIS JERICHO
This is an unlikely occurrence, especially considering The Wyatt Family have been in a feud with both combatants. However, when one considers that besides his adoration for a plant, there aren’t many places for Dean Ambrose to go at this period in time, this is disappointingly logical. If Bray Wyatt is only due to be waiting for the return of Brock Lesnar (and considering Wyatt’s discussion of Lesnar in an interview, WWE may well be after strength-building filler until Lesnar’s July return) then the revival of the entertaining Ambrose/Wyatt feud would be the most understandable.
Considering that Extreme Rules is on its way just weeks after Payback, and that we know that they have had some brutal collisions in the past (such as their infamous Tables, Ladders and Chairs match, and completely ridiculous ‘Miracle on 34th Street Fight’), this could be great fun.