The Wyatt Family: 7 Fun Facts About WWE's Frightening Family
"Follow the Buzzards."
After weeks of watching unsettling vignettes and patiently waiting for the Wyatt Family's highly anticipated debut on WWE TV, the WWE Universe has finally been rewarded.
The Wyatt Family is "Here."
Bray Wyatt and his cult-like followers, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, have spent the last few months terrifying and destroying the NXT roster. Their hard work paid off on Monday as they made their awaited debut, and what a debut it was.
The Wyatt's guillotined Kane with the ring steps, leaving the Big Red Monster's spot in the All-Stars Money in the Bank match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view this Sunday empty.
The Wyatt's have finally made it to the main WWE roster, but let's be honest, you haven't truly arrived until you've had a Fun Facts slideshow made about you. And, since these guys are a package deal, we'll feature all three of them in the same slideshow!
So, without further ado, here are seven fun facts about the WWE's terrifying trio, The Wyatt Family.
1. Bray Has Gone by Many Names
Bray Wyatt no doubt has one of, if not THE most interesting gimmick in the entire WWE, maybe even all of professional wrestling. His Cape Fear-esque character harkens back to the WWE's days of old, when supernatural, wacky stuff flew.
Wyatt seems like he was born to don a Hawaiian shirt and fedora while doing his darnedest to convince people to drink the Kool-Aid. If you looked at all the different names and gimmicks Bray has been stuck with throughout his short career, you wouldn't think he's the same guy.
Wyatt, who goes by Windham Rotunda in real life (more on that in the next slide), started out his professional wrestling career as Alex Rotundo. He would then go through a few more names including Alex Rotunda, Duke Rotundo and his birth name, Windham Rotunda.
After rifling through a bunch of names, it appeared that one finally stuck: Husky Harris.
If you take a stroll down memory lane to the days of The Nexus, you'll remember one "Husky Harris," the tank with a Ferrari engine...or something, it's not important. What is important is when Husky got his face kicked off by Randy Orton and wasn't seen or heard from again.
Harris was gone from TV and would head back to FCW/NXT, where he would be repackaged as Axel Mulligan...which lasted for like four days.
Finally the WWE would give Windham a shot and bestowed the name Bray Wyatt and a killer gimmick to the third-generation Superstar.
So, for those of you keeping track at home, that's seven different names in just over three years in the business. For comparison, HBK had just two names in almost 25 years.
Seven names and this awesome, yet mostly unrelated, picture of Rotunda during his football days at Troy University.
2. Wrestling Is in Bray's Blood
It's common knowledge that some of the best Superstars to grace the stage since the Attitude Era are third generation Superstars, like Randy Orton and The Rock.
Not as many people realize that Bray Wyatt is a member of the elite company that is WWE's third-gen club.
Wyatt followed two of the best into the world of professional wrestling, following his grandfather Black Jack Mulligan and his dad Mike Rotunda, better known as Irwin R. Schyster, or IRS, into the business. Between Black Jack and IRS there are over 40 championships combined, and IRS is still involved in wrestling as a WWE road agent.
Wyatt's relations don't only go up and down the family tree, they also go side to side. Wyatt's uncles are Kendall and Barry Windham (hence his real name Windham Rotunda), and he has even tagged and tangled with his brother—Taylor Rotunda, also known as Bo Dallas—in NXT.
3. Rowan Was Trained by the Best
Erick Rowan is your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, strong silent type...mostly. Add into the fact that he's 6'8'' and a monster, and you lose that whole ordinary part.
But before Rowan would become an acolyte of Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family, he had to get into the business, and step one was getting trained. And got trained he did.
Rowan was trained by a man who is affectionately referred to as "The Trainer of Champions." Rowan was trained by Eddie Sharkey.
Sharkey has trained some of the best to ever grace the squared circle including: Austin Aries, The Road Warriors, ODB, Rick Rude, Bob Backlund, Jerry Lynn, Sean Waltman, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner and Barry Darsow of Demolition.
Talk about being in great company.
While he might not look like a stud in the ring, don't be fooled by Rowan. The creep can roll.
4. Rowan Had a Rough Time in Noah
Unfortunately for Rowan, being trained by the best doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to win matches. Before entering WWE developmental in 2011, Rowan spent time on the Indy circuit, including a run in Pro Wrestling Noah in Japan.
Rowan's time in Japan was ROUGH. He won just two matches out of his 18 and was mostly used as a big jobber, moving from singles competition to tag teams almost every other show.
Though his time in Japan was awful, things started to look up once he signed with the WWE and was sent to FCW. In FCW Rowan won over 37 percent of his matches and was able to get a few streaks going here and there.
Things got even better once FCW became NXT and Rowan teamed up with Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt. He won over 50 percent of his matches in NXT and became one of the scariest competitors on the roster.
5. Harper Hits Hard...Real Hard
That brings us to the most decorated member of the Wyatt Family, Luke Harper.
Harper, formerly known as Brodie Lee, was a monster on the Indy circuit. He spent time in the best promotions that independent wrestling has to offer, including: Dragon Gate, Combat Zone Wrestling, Chikara, New Jersey All Pro Wrestling and, of course, Ring of Honor.
While Harper wasn't always in the same promotion, one thing stayed constant: Harper wrestled stiff. He wasn't afraid to throw heavy hands and even more often, heavy boots, as one of the hardest hitting, intimidating men in all of wrestling.
Don't believe me? Check out these:
How about a ridiculous big boot?
Maybe an INSANE cage match against Antonio Cesaro?
How about this punishing big-man match against Michael Elgin?
I mean, you could always watch this heavy-handed battle with Drake Younger.
There's always this shocking turn on Grizzly Redwood.
Harper hits hard; harder than most. While some guys throw big boots counting on their opponent to sell, Harper throws big boots with a target; the other guy's jaw.
I guess it makes sense, though. The best way to look like you hit really hard is to just hit really hard.
6. Harper's Interesting Inspiration
While Luke Harper isn't necessarily the most interesting name in the world, Harper is better known as his previous gimmick, Brodie Lee, which is a little less bland. So where did this hard-hitting, massive, intimidating shoot wrestler get his name? It had to have been the first names of the first two men he beat up, right? Or surely something else scary and/or dastardly?
According to an interview with Bryan Alvarez of Figure Four Online, it turns out Harper is just a fan of the "Askewniverse," or the fictional universe that Director Kevin Smith's movies call home. Harper is especially fond of the movie Mallrats, which features actor Jason Lee. In the movie, Lee plays a slacker-named Brodie Bruce.
Harper took Lee's real-life last name and added the fictional character's first name and voila! Brodie Lee was born.
7. They Haven't Been Dominant
Usually when a new wrestler or team makes the move from NXT to the main roster they go on a bit of a tear in developmental. For example, The Shield were tearing people up before they made the move to TV.
The Wyatt Family would have to follow suit, right? They have one of the most interesting gimmicks in all of professional wrestling, they've had creepy, mysterious vignettes airing for weeks, surely these guys would pick up some momentum on their way out of NXT, right?
The Wyatt Family even went on a five-match losing streak at one point, including losses in two of their last four matches. In NXT alone, the family lost around half of their tag team matches.
You would think that a team making the move to the main roster would actually look dominant in NXT.
Thankfully for Bray and the boys, the WWE killed all possibilities of a weak start as the Wyatt's destroyed Kane during their Raw debut.
But still...losing half their NXT matches?
There you have it. Seven fun facts about the Wyatt Family.
Each member of the family brings something unique to the table. Wyatt almost has more name changes than wins on the main roster, he has a crazy wrestling lineage; Erick Rowan was trained by one of the best in the world though he had an extremely rough time finding victories before the family; Harper works stiff and got his name in an interesting way; and as a team they haven't looked that dominant.
The Wyatt Family has finally arrived, and they made their presence felt by taking out one of the best workers on the roster in Kane.
Where do they go from here? Will they follow in The Shield's footsteps and start systematically taking out Superstars, or will they get right into the mix at Money in the Bank on Sunday?
Only time will tell, but there's one thing we can be sure about: The Wyatt's have the WWE Universe in the palm of their proverbial hand, and I can't wait to see what they do next.
Check in next week for seven fun facts about Alberto Del Rio!
Enjoy fun facts about your favorite WWE Superstars? Check out the rest of the WWE Fun Facts series: Mark Henry, Big E Langston, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Triple H, The Undertaker, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, The Rock, CM Punk, John Cena, The Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Damien Sandow, Ryback, Antonio Cesaro
Don't forget to follow Daine on Twitter @dpavloski for all of his B/R articles and other random thoughts.