Welcome to the first Eye of the Nemer column here on Wrestleview. Every week I’ll be giving my random thoughts about a storyline, a champion, a feud, a character or anything past or present in professional wrestling. For column 1, I’d like to start off on something positive.
There’s absolutely no doubt that October 2019 marks what should be a change in the world of wrestling. AEW to debut their weekly show Dynamite on TNT, WWE SmackDown moving to Fox on Friday’s, and a potential mini Wednesday night wars which includes NXT.
However, looking at it from purely a WWE perspective, as many fans have mentioned, storyline wise, things must improve. And they currently have a gem of a character in “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt who can and has played his part in that becoming possible. A former WWE champion, the Wyatt character in general has always been one of interest for me.
Whether it’s because I’m a life long Undertaker fan (I remember being petrified of him back in the early 90s) or very much invested in the crow Sting character in the late 90s in WCW, there’s something about the “darker” wrestlers which intrigues me and as for the Fiend, it’s no difference.
When we first saw the colorful FireFly Fun House segment, I didn’t know what to expect. I found it somewhat weird and was unsure if they were attempting to turn the character into one younger fans could potentially get behind. However, as we saw more and more of him, it soon became evident that it wasn’t the case.
I can’t recall such anticipation towards a return of a character than the one we saw in Toronto at SummerSlam. We had seen a glimpse of the mask, the evil laugh and we were told to let him in. The lights go out in the arena, the words “Let Him In” flash on the giant screen and an eerie sound fills the arena as a lantern inside a molded head of Bray Wyatt lights up the television screen.
Like the first 20 seconds of a good movie or television series, I was hooked. I was reminded of being glued to our television as kid when the Undertaker made his return to take on the fake Undertaker, ironically enough, at SummerSlam. For The Fiend, it felt like something new, something creepy and the start of (what will hopefully be) a dominant run for the character. For most of his WWE career, Wyatt was given this powerful persona. One which would cast spells but ultimately always fall short when it mattered. In other words, all talk but no walk.
But the creative team are doing a fantastic job building this character up. Even after defeating Finn Balor at SummerSlam, we didn’t know when or where we would see the Fiend. Would we still see the Mr. Rogers character on screen and The Fiend in the ring? Or was that character gone and we would see The Fiend every week on Raw? Thankfully, they have been doing the character some justice.
They have been treating Wyatt like a novelty act and it’s paying off. I can’t recall a character, debuting or returning, which has come off looking as good as this one in a while. I know I’m going way back but the last one to really get me excited like this was Kane. We had heard about the Undertaker’s brother but his debut during the Hell in a Cell match was something else. The lights go dark, Kane’s music hits, he rips the cell door open… You felt like he could be something huge. I have the same feeling with The Fiend.
Credit to Finn Balor and Seth Rollins for doing their part in making it believable. Balor’s terrified expression when the lights came back on at SummerSlam was great. Rollins, despite being champion, being in the corner scared for his life while the Fiend surrounds him is equally as good. It’s the type of character we as fans (or at least myself) have clamored for to have on our screens. Not because he’s a sadistic one but because it feels different.
Wyatt is not your generic tall, strong guy. He’s not your typical cruiserweight or underdog. Nor is he the evil foreigner heel character. He’s scary, he’s in your face, he’s dominant and if the proper development of the character continues, he’s your future WWE Universal champion… For a long time. For me, he’s the best thing in the WWE today and one of the best, if not the best character in the company if not wrestling.
As fans we often criticize the WWE and other companies for not getting things right but credit where and when it is due. They have gotten this one spot on.
What do you think of the Bray Wyatt character? Let me and let us know! Comment below or leave us a tweet @Wrestleview and we can talk about it! I hope you enjoyed this debut column! Until next time, stay positive and remember, wrestling is meant to entertain you, don’t take it too seriously!