Bray Wyatt should saunter into January's Royal Rumble match the same way he sauntered into the WWE—with a creepy, impossible-to-ignore aura that he stands to benefit from.
If Wyatt becomes a slightly improbable 2014 Royal Rumble winner, he'll do so with a little history on his side. Nine WWE Superstars have won the Royal Rumble in their debut.
Granted, this statistic needs an asterisk for Windham Rotunda, the real name of the individual who plays Bray Wyatt. Rotunda actually made his Royal Rumble debut as Husky Harris during his days with the Nexus stable.
But this is WWE, where suspension of disbelief is a virtue and history is a Michael Cole one-liner away from being altered. Besides, assuming Bray Wyatt is a Royal Rumble entrant, it will technically be the character's Royal Rumble debut.
Is Bray Wyatt a serious Royal Rumble contender?
Bray Wyatt's status as a member of the Wyatt Family also gives him a minor historical advantage. Three past Royal Rumble winners did so as members of stables.
Vince McMahon's shocking Royal Rumble win in 1999 came while the Chairman led the Corporation. Batista won his first and only Royal Rumble as a member of Evolution. Randy Orton used his Legacy cohorts to carry him to a 2009 win.
It helps that Bray Wyatt is easily superior to Luke Harper and Eric Rowan. This will allow WWE to book Wyatt's disciples as sacrificial lambs during the Royal Rumble, no pun intended.
Wyatt's disciples helped him defeat Kane in a huge win at SummerSlam. With no relevant WWE stars to feud with coming off the victory, however, he was stuck in no man's land. After defeating Kane, Wyatt would not compete against a former world champion on pay-per-view until TLC, four months later.
In addition to John Cena being injured, The Authority storyline had absorbed major stars in Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H for starters.
The Authority belittled the babyface roster, which was made to stand on stage and watch the stable make examples of its peers. The August 26 edition of Raw even saw all 500 pounds of The Big Show fall in line, fearing he would lose his job if he didn't.
As a result, potential Wyatt opponents became meaningless.
Over the past several weeks, however, the Wyatt Family have become major players on WWE programming. Main-event-caliber feuds against the likes of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan made them matter again. A kidnapping of Daniel Bryan on the November 25 episode of Raw has evolved into one of WWE's biggest ongoing feuds.
Bray Wyatt's TLC victory over Daniel Bryan has only added to his momentum. Should he continue his meaty feud against WWE's Superstar of the Year heading into 2014, he'll be a big fish in the Royal Rumble pond regardless of how this rivalry ends.
Many possible WrestleMania matches, from Cena-Orton, to Bryan-Orton to Bryan-Cena, have been done to death. WWE needs a fresh feud to sell tickets during WrestleMania season. Bray Wyatt's chances to win the Royal Rumble are better than you think.
If WWE opts to take a chance on a fresh face in the main event, like they did with The Miz in 2011, expect that face to have a full-grown beard.