Wyatt Wishlist: Brutality, Beatdowns and Brainwashing
The Wyatt Family is set to debut on tonight's Monday Night Raw and WWE fans are rightly excited.
Creative appears to have come up with more than just a gimmick for these three men.
This trio, most pertinently their leader Bray Wyatt, has psychology and subtlety in their locker. The audience looks set to be held captive by a new breed of villain in the company.
Matt Squires recently wrote a wonderful article for Bleacher Report on the Rise of WWE's Bray Wyatt, discussing how emotive and engrossing fear can be for an audience.
He noted that the creepy characters drew the most attention while outlandish, in-your-face terror did little more than startle briefly.
For the Wyatt's to stick around, not only will they need this charisma, they will need to be used correctly.
There will be physical dominance and punishment to those that cross them. There are few wrestlers who could match their size and presence in today's WWE, but hopefully there will be mind games too.
Who should the head of the family be targeting? Where will Bray Wyatt's powers of persuasion lead them?
The Men to Leave Alone
John Cena is not the man for the Wyatt Family to kick off on. It has been done before, it will be done again and it is not exciting.
The role of John Cena is such that you cannot have a heel group go over him so easily. The Shield were protected from direct competition with John Cena for a reason. It took a good while for John to get involved, and he still was not the big man to chase them, he was a part of three not the overriding hero.
The Wyatts would do well to leave him to his title scene for the here and now.
While we're at it, no one ever really benefits from being around 3MB. I am not sure even the families of Slater, Mahal and McIntyre would consider it a heel move to take that group out.
Notable other names include Orton and Bryan who need to be left away from fighting another group and instead make some solo moves.
There was a path taken by The Shield and an exact copy would be rather boring.
Brainwash and Control Part One
The whole brainwashing thing has been used many times before in wrestling, but usually it is devious and often cheesy.
The cult-like iconography of the Wyatt Family and the almost gospel-like messages from their leader Bray could make for a really intriguing and powerful context to base such powerplay around.
It will also give some stagnant members a chance to twist their characters for a period of time into something completely new, and something that can be almost instantly dropped when the "spell" is broken.
This is why I would be looking to take someone like Cody Rhodes and twist his perception within the WWE.
Cody contrasts completely with the new group, and seeing him join the unkempt Family having once been Dashing would make for an interesting story.
It also gives him something to do, especially with Damien Sandow looking like he could be off on his own more often now and Rhodes still left a little in limbo with his character.
This scenario perfectly engineers what I see as a long overdue face turn for Cody too.
Eventually coming to his senses and battling away from the Wyatts would be a big moment for Rhodes in the long run and could provide him with impetus and momentum during and after this run.
Brainwash and Control Part Two
This one may not be popular, but I think the losing run of Ryback could be the perfect catalyst for a bit of a breakdown.
Ryback looks vulnerable and WWE has made sure we know it. This has not been a standard WWE use of weakening one man before a PPV victory. I do not remember many stars who stopped a match in the middle because they were a bit hurt.
Bray Wyatt could capitalize on a man who looks weak mentally at this moment in time.
It looks very psychological with Ryback, and Wyatt's gimmick works all around how his psychology overpowers people's psyche.
Ryback is targeted by a group again, but this time they use him. Bring Ryback into the Family and let him loose.
The match at Money in the Bank is set up for a Wyatt interruption. Jericho is off with Fozzy again and an attack on Jericho, or Jericho and Ryback, by the Wyatt's could give him the injury to leave with, give the Wyatt's an impact from the start and open up a path to Ryback.
If Bray Wyatt can be the first man to hold Ryback with words, calm the beast with speech, he would look powerful without having to lift a finger.
It is quite the opposite of your standard heel move too. Subtle manipulation is quite terrifying in many ways and would really show that Bray Wyatt can lead anyone.
Beat Down the Big Red Machine
Daniel Bryan is destined to break away from Kane soon, leaving the Devil's Favorite Demon with nothing to do.
The Shield has moved on, Team Hell No is over and it's barely been a year since he last feuded with the likes of Orton and Punk.
Kane does look set to burn his bridges with former allies too, so the Wyatts have a solitary target to attack and a big name they can get over from the start.
The glory of the Wyatt Family is that Bray is in control. He can send Erick Rowan and Luke Harper into the battlefield for him.
The two powerhouses make an intimidating tag team. Their size, strength and nature all give them a real edge.
And we had dreamed of Kane being involved in a huge tag-team match at Summerslam, hadn't we?
Maybe, just maybe, The Undertaker comes to his aid and the Brothers of Destruction ride again at the Summer's biggest PPV.
The beauty of this is that Bray can gain huge notoriety without even needing to wrestle. He leads a team against two legends.
He can either interrupt to secure a win or, if his team loses, he is still protected having not been in the ring.
They could either throw these next men into the mix...
Attack the Hounds of Justice
I think it is inevitable that the WWE will be working out a way for The Shield and The Wyatt Family to meet.
The presence that both Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose bring with their wonderful mic skills would make any segments between the groups absolute television gold.
Whether they fulfill a dream match and throw The Shield into a triple-threat tag team bout at Summerslam with Rowan, Harper and the Brothers of Destruction or they have the two three-man groups face off against each other, eventually The Shield and Bray Wyatt's Family will meet.
It is also probably a safe assumption that The Shield will be breaking from their group in the not too distant future.
To make stars of these men before they lose the gimmick the WWE needs to give them a real send-off. They have had some very good matches, but a long-running feud with the Wyatts could really top it off.
Some have seen the parallels between a tag team scene of Reigns and Rollins, Rowan and Harper and The Usos and comparing it the Hardys, Dudleys and Edge and Christian. While such a wonderful feud and tag team division seems but a dream, these three teams could provide some outstanding matches and chemistry both in the ring and on the mics.
If the Wyatts are to add to their contingent then they would also be able to give Rowan and Harper the chance to chase tag gold while other members do Wyatt's bidding, or protect him as lackeys.
Silence the Loudest Men
One man they could also look to knock down a peg or two is The Miz.
The Miz is a good face to go over right now in the WWE. His character has struggled to develop, but the younger fans do like him.
Maybe his media commitments should have been planned better alongside a complete change in character, but either way he has the kind of mouth you can see a smart, sadistic man like Wyatt targeting.
Miz has recently proven he can put on good matches against more physically dominant men with some decent performances against Wade Barrett.
Bray Wyatt has long shown that he is more agile than his size suggests and this could be a nice opening feud that does not expose too much of him in the ring. Not to ruin the mystique, but enough just to show some physicality to match the psychology.
The eerie manner of Bray would contrast spectacularly against the brash arrogance of The Miz.
Whilst Miz hosts Miz TV and shouts off to anyone who will listen, Bray can just quietly be dominant without any actions, a calm yet aggressive personality that would be quite scary to those that like The Miz.
It is no dream match, and clearly a stepping stone, but it just gets the wheels turning.
So, You Like to Fight Fella?
The last man I would enjoy the Wyatts taking exception to is the happy-go-lucky Irishman Sheamus.
Generally, Sheamus has a rather good win/loss record and retains popularity with the young audience.
I think it would be a shock to them and to the older audience if Bray Wyatt could take on Sheamus and come out victorious.
The general rule is that Sheamus will look down on his luck before finding a burst of energy, maybe something left over from the Hulkamania days, to suddenly Brogue Kick his way out of trouble.
In this feud, Sheamus cannot physically bully anyone in the build up. Not only is Bray big, but Rowan and Harper are bigger and will always be a barrier Sheamus cannot break down.
It would come to the point where no physical confrontation would actually take place between the two before they had a big PPV match.
Expectancy would be on Sheamus to kick Wyatt straight in the beard and take a win, but this time Wyatt can prove himself as a physically dominant force.
While Sheamus is not exactly Cena, he is still a big name and would be a huge victory for a new group.
And Sheamus is not in a position where the company would feel completely obligated to give him a return win, unlike Cena.
Some will want to see the Wyatt stay as a three-man gang, others will want new names added as part of the power, but it is clear the Wyatt's should bring something fresh to the WWE product in the coming months.
Subtle manipulation of emotion is an incredible tool, whether it be for good or for evil, but it will resonate in some way with the audience if everything is put in place.
This is part of a push of real creativity and strong new talent to the WWE and long may it continue.
Hopefully, they do not follow paths trodden before them in too similar a step. There is a lingering intrigue to the group, thanks in part to the characters and also to the video presentations played on Raw in recent weeks. It is hard to not be a little excited.
There are many names on the roster for them to feud with.
WWE may start it slow with victories over lower card wrestlers. They may not even wrestle for a nice stretch of time, but they surely have a plan and there is no doubt this was created with a purpose in mind.
Let's see what the leader and his flock can do.