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Why Bray Wyatt Should Be a Huge Part of WWE’s Future by Matt Corton

I like a bit of variety. I’m the guy who goes into a restaurant and is pleased when the menu goes to more than an A3 folded out page. I love having the choice, and the opportunity to choose. I don’t, and never will, understand the point of view that too much choice is a bad thing.

Same with WWE.

I also like things that are a bit different. It’s why I like wrestling in the first place – it’s different to pretty much everything else, no matter how many similarities parts of it might share with TV drama, theatre or MMA. I’m not the guy who reads the same book, written in different ways, over and over again because I know how the story is going to go – I want the surprise endings, I want the heroes to die sometimes and I want to be shocked and surprised by what I’m reading.

Same with WWE.

I like it when…well, anyway, I think you get the point – I like different, diverse things.

I loved three things this week in WWE. Three diverse, different segments that caught my attention because they were offering things that the rest of the three shows weren’t offering. With 6 hours of significant television, 3 separate rosters and being slap bang in the middle of a new era, diversity and difference shouldn’t be that hard to find and what I’m going to love about WWE in the future, if it continues, is just that.

The first thing I loved was Mark Henry. A little background on that – Mark’s run in his Hall of Pain era was nigh on captivating to me because to watch someone I’d viewed as one of the most frustrating superstars in WWE’s history, whether that frustration be with injury, weight or sheer misuse, finally getting a chance to show that you can be not only hugely entertaining but also tremendously useful to the rest of the roster without being a high flyer, sympathetically small in stature or necessarily capable of five star matches. He was mean, he was devastating and he was very hard to beat – exactly what the big heels should be. Not only that, he had an awesome theme song and whoever was writing for him at the time wrote for him perfectly – mean, punchy and aggressive promos, not forgetting the ‘retirement’ speech of course – one of my favourite moments of WWE in 2013.

He should always wear that pink suit backstage, by the way. And he should have beaten John Cena – because there’s no other way to make feuds like that in the future interesting unless one of the big, mean guys wins one of those matches. They always lose – that’s why people find the matches boring – they know before they start that it’s just a supposedly difficult match for the face to overcome. That’s done now. Do something new. Shake it up.

So I was really glad to see him get a title shot on Raw this Monday because I’ve always found him really watchable. I wasn’t keen for him to win because another run for Mark, at this stage of his career, might just be one run too many given how he’s slowed down, but I’m still excited to see him out there because he’s different and his segments were different to the rest of the show.

The second thing I loved was Dean Ambrose’s interview technique. The talking heads segments on Raw and SmackDown have really had a facelift and it’s not come a moment too soon. I’ve been banging the drum of getting more of the wrester’s reactions to their segments and matches for months now and it’s great to see WWE finally doing it in a different way than I’ve seen them do it before. Even within that though, Dean Ambrose found a way to make his already different segment different again by being uncomfortable with his headset, with sitting down and with, more generally, Dolph Ziggler.

I must admit I haven’t banged the drum for Dean Ambrose as much as I’ve been banging it for getting more of the wrestler’s reactions, but I’m absolutely loving Dean’s work at the moment because…say it with me people…it’s different to everyone else. He’s right when he tells Dolph that they’re nothing alike. Dean really has struck his own path to the title and to the top and since his feud with Jericho ended, it’s been great to watch. Specifically this week though, I really loved his edginess, almost itchiness. This is the Dean Ambrose who could snap at any moment, who’s crazy but far from a loon. Contrast his promos with what were frankly by the numbers pieces from Cena and Styles (sorry, I know some people loved it – I thought it was just plain dull reiteration of things I already knew and had heard before) and you can see the difference in impact. We got the set up of a match out of the interaction between Cena and Styles, but we got character and storyline development out of Ambrose’s promos – and that’s way more important to me.

The last thing I loved and the one I loved most of all was everything about what Bray Wyatt did on SmackDown this week. From the way he hit Ziggler with Sister Abigail after the lights went out, to the way he challenged Ziggler for his no.1 contendership, to the way he carried himself in the match. Everything about Bray Wyatt is different and that’s fantastic.

What I noticed on SmackDown this week was that Bray hits big moves in an individual way. Even his rest holds look interesting because he does them slightly differently to everyone else. There’s an energy and intensity to them which stops them looking like a rest hold and more like someone trying to choke someone out and that means my eyes don’t flick away to something else like they usually do during a rest hold.

Bray Wyatt wrestles like Bray Wyatt would wrestle if wrestling were real. Does he lose too much? Sure. Does he suffer in the 20 minute matches? Sure. Does he do more with ten minute matches than most? Sure. Because he uses those ten minutes like Bray Wyatt would use them and I believe in the intensity behind what he’s doing.

Randy Orton does the same thing very well – he wrestles like his character should. Chris Jericho, too. To a certain extent all WWE wrestlers do – but Jericho, Orton and Bray do it in a way that’s completely consistent with not only what they’re trying to do in that particular match or feud, but the way their character feels about the situation.

Look at Bray’s interaction with New Day last month. When Bray, Rowan and Strowman were on the ramp in one of the promos, they changed the mood of the segment before they’d said a word. You knew it wasn’t going to be fun and games, jokes and laughs – it was going to be serious business with consequences for who they were talking to. I love the New Day as well – but I love what Bray does more because they give him the luxury of not having people laugh at him. Nobody humiliates Wyatt, nobody just carries on as normal, they react differently to him because he’s different and that means we get something more interesting than someone just feuding with the next guy.

So before he’s even started wrestling anybody, he’s allowing other wrestlers to be something different, or what I like to call more, than their ‘normal’, which is the very thing I think is missing from a lot of WWE feuds. Feuds should change a wrestler, should lead to character development and should further (if they win), or outwardly at least, harm (should they lose) a wrestler’s career. Otherwise they are fruitless – and what Bray has the potential to do, unlike a lot of the rest of them, is change someone else’s approach to a feud and a match just by playing his character.

I mentioned at the top of the article that I like things that are different and how I like the opportunity to choose. Well, what I choose is to see the Mark Henrys of this world, the Dean Ambroses of this world and the Bray Wyatts of this world. I don’t want to see ten Sami Zayns – just the one. If every match on the card is a high flying five star match then what’s new the next week? What’s left to see?

That’s why I think Bray Wyatt could be one of the most valuable segments of WWE’s future for many years to come. The guy can change the mood of a show, the tone of a feud, another wrestler’s approach, a match style and, in fact, the whole atmosphere. But then he does have the whole world in his hands.

What do you guys think? Is Bray as awesome as I think he is or am I being too kind?