I’ve never been much of a horror fan. I’m far more of an action or comedy guy. However, I did enjoy seeing Bray Wyatt for quite a while, particularly during his earlier runs in Florida Championship Wrestling, NXT and his first couple of years on Raw and Smackdown. It’s because he was different. At the time, we were witnessing many of the NXT call-ups being wrestlers from the independents and Ring of Honor. Such names consisted of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Adrian Neville, Kalisto, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and so forth. This is especially notable as of late given stories of Bray Wyatt’s potential return.
There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but imagine seeing this great batch of talented wrestlers when all of the sudden, here’s Bray Wyatt. Suddenly, we shift from athletics to psychology. The mere whiplash made him attractive. Add the unique presentation, speech, and he stood out. Unfortunately, things went sour and on July 31, 2021, his contract with WWE was terminated. It was shocking.
Bray Wyatt’s Potential Return
When Did It Go Wrong?
We can sit here with theories all day long. My personal hypothesis is simply that it became too much. Something very common with PG-Era WWE is that when a concept works, WWE would over-expose it. Whether it’s feuds, match types, or gimmicks, they would just do so; Wyatt was the same. The uniqueness of his surreal promos wore off after you would see them every week.
His cryptic promos went from being unique to dull because he was doing them every week. It would happen every time he was re-invented. The best example was The Fiend. After an amazing performance debuting the character at SummerSlam 2019, it was immediately followed by WWE putting him in the world title picture without a real plan other than “WWE loves the gimmick”. As such, we got Hell In A Cell with red lights, a DQ result, Seth Rollins burning a “kids show set,” and such.
The Overexposure of The Fiend
Every month, we would see the same routine of Bray’s/The Fiend’s opponent’s being spooked by his antics. Once again, this overexposed the gimmick. He ended up becoming a detriment to any opponent he faced because of the damage the character suffered. The likely reason he lost the Universal title to Goldberg suddenly was the fear of having to make Roman Reigns “be afraid” en route to WrestleMania.
However, we have seen this string of returns with Triple H taking creative control of WWE and this ‘White Rabbit’ viral campaign, including QR Codes, online mini-games, and such. Unless WWE for some reason really liked Paul London’s stint in Lucha Underground, it’s pretty clear that this all points to the return of Bray Wyatt. Paying for ‘White Rabbit’ by Jefferson Airplane can’t be cheap. Unless somehow, there’s some bizarre The Matrix Resurrection campaign going on here, though then the lights would be green, not red.
Personally, I don’t care for this “White Rabbit” stuff. Why? I’m not exactly a fan of having to do that kind of homework to enjoy my TV programming. I do like exploring TV Tropes, reading synopsis and reviews, and such, but not viral marketing. At the same time, it’s unique. It’s a level of subtlety WWE is not used to. I may not care for it, but I can recognize the value in what WWE is trying to do. I can also see how it works as so many fans go down, well, the rabbit hole, looking for whatever obscure clue they can to piece this mystery together. Hopefully, it’s not overdone.
Bray Wyatt’s Potential Return – In Conclusion
The reports of a new “fiend/demon rabbit thing” design have circulated in the last few weeks again. This concerns me, as it makes me feel WWE will fall into the trap of over-exposing Bray Wyatt yet again. But I would also not mind being proven wrong and seeing that the Triple H regime learned from that mistake, so fingers crossed.
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