Last week I liked what the WWE was doing with Roman Reigns – and I still do.
This week, I’ve gone and liked something else the WWE is doing and that thing is what they’re doing with the Wyatts.
There’s lots to admire about the Wyatts in the fact that they are so different to anyone else on the roster. Personally, I love how seriously they take themselves. I made a case recently for there being a place on 6 hours of WWE TV a week for all different facets of ‘Sports Entertainment’ – the comedy stuff, the cheesy stuff and the serious stuff and the Wyatts definitely fall into the bracket of serious stuff.
I’m going to ignore their part in the Rock Show at Wrestlemania because Wrestlemania is different.
By and large the Wyatts are serious guys portrayed seriously and as such they have a certain impact that not everyone else on the roster has.
And that’s great. What isn’t great is the fact that they lose. All the damn time. Literally, all the time. They’ve probably won a feud recently, but to be honest I can’t think of one and if they have, it’s just been lost amongst all the losing. They’ve lost to the Brothers of Destruction, Wyatt lost to Undertaker, Wyatt lost to Cena, they didn’t even have a feud for Wrestlemania and they lost to, variously, Reigns and Ambrose.
Add to that the fact I was a little worried when I read this week that Bray Wyatt doesn’t think that Bray Wyatt needs the title and it paints a picture of a mid card group who take themselves very seriously, but aren’t going to get very far. That’s fine if that’s how WWE sees them, much as I might not like it, but the thing is, I don’t think it is how WWE sees them at all. I think they see them as a mainstay group for the next few years. I really don’t think they’re breaking up (again) any time soon because really, what else are you going to do with Bray and who else fills that serious role?
And, let me tell you – I think it’s nonsense about Bray not needing the title, even if it came from Bray. I think if you’re going to be near the top of the card, or taken as a serious threat to people at the top of the card, then you need to at some point win and hold the title. Look at Kane as an example. I think not having the title for so long, after so many title matches, is what hurt Kane’s character so much in the post-attitude era. In the attitude era you could make a case for Kane being crowded out by so many good wrestlers and just being that bit unlucky, particularly after he finally did win it, but he suffered from the same malaise – a wrestler who doesn’t need the title.
Well, if a wrestler is in the WWE and isn’t going for a title, I don’t know why they’re there. Bray is the one guy who can get away with it because he does have a reason to be there outside of the title – the WWE is Bray’s plate and his family are the knife and fork he is going to use to eat the world. And that’s great.
Only he’s not eating anything. He’s playing with his food and trying to scoop peas up with his fork as they fall everywhere. He’s making a mess of his meal if you look at his results.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are a few wrestlers who don’t need a title to be seen as top guys – but they’re usually guys who’ve had the title for long periods in times before. You need to know they CAN to believe they MIGHT. Shawn Michaels didn’t need the title, but you never for one minute, in any of Shawn’s title matches, thought that he didn’t stand a chance because he’d held the title before and won big matches before. In contrast, Stone Cold Steve Austin didn’t do much except win the title or fight for it and that’s what drove his character.
There’s no reason for Bray Wyatt’s character not to be driven by wanting to win the title. If he wants a platform to speak from, then how much more of a platform does he get by winning the title? That launches him into the stratosphere
Which leads me to Bray’s other main point last week, which I definitely do agree with – that they don’t know how to use him. Now Mark McAllen has already eruditely commented on this, but I wanted to expand on it a bit more. I think they’re figuring it out.
Less is more with the Wyatts. I love the fact they’ve attacked the League of Nations twice now and not bothered to explain. That’s built my intrigue for next week on Raw, to see if any titbits of information are forthcoming. That’s storytelling and it’s great to see.
The Wyatts are supposed to be a mysterious group, and yet Bray does nothing but dispel the mystery by talking about what he’s doing every week. It’s not much of a master plan if everyone knows about it. There should be a secretive side to the Wyatts, things we don’t know and things they don’t explain. Things that are revealed over time and by time I don’t mean between PPVs – I mean over months
For instance, Wyatt’s face turn. Well, is it? I don’t think so. I think it’s another tweener role, just like Roman Reigns. Just guys doing their thing, without having to have big thumbs up signs to cheer and thumbs down signs to boo – allowing the crowd to make up their own mind. That’s where I think wrestling as a whole should go and I think it’s a modern, carefree approach to wrestling that is what the 21st century needs.
It’s also what’s needed in the age of the WWE Network. I want to see things on current WWE TV programming that I can’t see on the WWE Network or on the internet, be that matches I haven’t seen before, storylines I haven’t seen before (or seen in the same way at least) or – and this is crucial – entire ways of going about wrestling that I haven’t seen before.
Now some may scoff at that and say Vince has his system, that it’s worked for over 30 years because he knows what he’s doing and that there’s a set formula for how wrestling works.
I say that’s more nonsense. The world moves on. Wrestling moved on from the Hogan era into the Attitude era. Not overnight, granted, but then change shouldn’t happen overnight, it should be fed in and maybe they’re starting to feed us a bit of that change in Reigns and Wyatt’s tweener roles. Good and evil get a bit passé really quickly when they’re used all the time, so why not have some mystery?
Why not Deadpool the WWE not Superman it?
So yeah, having the Wyatts come out, not explain themselves, form an uneasy alliance with Reigns, even mock him a bit, yeah I like that. I like that it puts them at the top of the card (although I’m sure the mid card feud with LON is what will actually occupy them over the coming weeks). I also like that the Wyatts can swan about doing what they want, explaining only the bits they want and keeping us on our toes – it would be nonsense if everyone did it, but for this group I think that would work just fine.
Only now Wyatt’s gone and got himself injured. I’m really hoping it doesn’t keep him off TV, because the WWE, I don’t think, would be able to resist the temptation at the moment to bring him back as a fully fledged face after a layoff to get the pop, and I think being a fully fledged face would ruin the Wyatts.
As a coda to this article, I’ll just say that it’s perfectly possible I’m completely wrong about the direction they’re going in with the Wyatts because the thing is, the WWE has a history of being a great troll. I think it did just that with Zack Ryder, in a way – creating a shock moment then brushing it nicely away under the carpet where it won’t hurt anyone. So, if WWE was a troll, what would it be lurking under a bridge planning? Well, either that the Wyatt face turn is a hoax, and he’ll either turn on Roman or Styles (or both) at their match at Payback, laughing at us for believing he would want to please us (but that wouldn’t make sense with the LON feud – but that hasn’t stopped them before). Or, the tweener bit is the troll with both Reigns and Wyatt and Reigns turns heel and Wyatt turns face.
Well…do you know what? That’s the easy option and that very, very rarely gets the best result.
So I’m looking forward, blindly or not, to following Wyatt’s tweener buzzards and seeing something meaty on their plate that they actually devour rather than just spill all down their front.
What do you guys think? Is Wyatt a face now? Is good vs. evil dead or dying or is it still the only way to frame a story?