The term "made man" is one that I don't believe is used correctly very often in terms of professional wrestling. In this case, I use it to refer to a performer capable of drawing as a main event star on television, pay-per-view and, perhaps most importantly, house shows.
It's my belief that a victory in a hard fought, high-impact and well-booked match against John Cena at WrestleMania XXX, Bray Wyatt could be a made man.
Made man isn't synonymous with being a main eventer. Anyone can wrestle in a main event. Alberto Del Rio is probably the greatest example of a guy who has wrestled in countless main events but isn't made. Ryback wrestled in the main event. So did Christian. None of them are made.
There are only a handful of full-time guys on the WWE roster that I'd call made men. These include Cena, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Kane. The Big Show is on the fringe due to the spectacle of his size. Kane fits this due to his longevity and the passionate fans he retains thanks to his gimmick. The others are self-explanatory.
The lack of star power on the full-time roster is quite pathetic if you compare it to 10 years ago, when guys like Eddie Guerrero were wrestling for the European title. But this is an era of part-time Superstars and Cena-centric booking.
It keeps anyone from breaking out and elevating to new heights. It took WWE's last made man, CM Punk, walking out the door before they finally caved to the pressure of fans and committed to building WrestleMania around Bryan.
With Cena's deteriorating death grip on the main event and lead (sometimes only) storyline in the company, new doors are open to young talent. With Kane nearing the end of his full-time run and The Undertaker already wrestling just one match a year, the door is also open to a new bizarre, freakish character such as Wyatt.
Wyatt is a talented, under appreciated in-ring performer. He doesn't paint a masterpiece the way Bryan, Cesaro or Cody Rhodes can with an extensive set of moves and spots. Instead, he infuses his character into every step he takes in the ring. He doesn't just play his character when on the mic; he carries it through every punch, every headlock, every bump.
He also knows when to hit his spots for ultimate impact. His match with Bryan at Rumble was the best on the show, and he wasn't being carried in the least. He went step-for-step with the best wrestler in the world today and didn't look at all out of place.
Fans react to Wyatt in a way few other Superstars can draw. When Wyatt is talking, the crowd quiets to hear what he has to say. He's brought a sense of danger to each of his segments, and that combustible element is carried into his matches.
Say what you will about Cena (and I have plenty of negative things to say), but the man brings it in the ring when it's go time. Cena is not a bad wrestler. Any claims otherwise are rooted in deep hatred for his character without acknowledging his ability to pull off a WWE-style main event as well as anyone in the company.
If WWE is willing to put Wyatt over Cena at WrestleMania, they have a legitimate main event draw on their hands. He will have the in-ring credibility to match the eerie aura he brings on the mic and in his matches. Holding a WrestleMania victory over the biggest star of his generation, the man that defeated The Rock one year ago, is a great brag-list item for Wyatt. It would also allow the feud to continue.
While I would love nothing more than to see Wyatt win the feud, I know that's not likely. Cena doesn't lose feuds and will certainly be back in the World Heavyweight Championship picture before the end of the summer. However, an extended rivalry with Cena puts Wyatt firmly in the spotlight as one of the top two or three stories in the company.
Fortunately, Wyatt's character is not one that needs to win every feud in order to remain strong. Wyatt's allure isn't based on wins and losses. It's based on fear. The only question that needs to be asked is: Does the babyface fear him? Does this crowd see him as a dangerous threat to whomever he's targeted?
We already see fans sporting the Hawaiian shirts and straw hats in the arenas. Much as The Undertaker developed a cult following in the early 1990s, capturing the imagination of young-adult fans while scaring the hell out of kids, Wyatt can bring the same element to a show. Undertaker may be one of the five greatest wrestlers of all time, so suggesting Wyatt is at all reminiscent of the Dead Man is impressive unto itself.
WrestleMania XXX is about one man right now: Daniel Bryan. He is the focus of the show, from his match against Triple H to the title match at the end of the night. For the last half-decade WrestleMania has been about Undertaker and The Streak. Those are the obvious sells for the show.
For once, Cena isn't even one of the top two reasons to buy WrestleMania or flip over to the WWE Network. He's going to be hungry to show he's still got treads on the tires of his career. Wyatt, we know, is going to be hungry to prove to everyone he belongs at the forefront of this next generation of stars surging into the company this year and in the future.
Given time and strong booking, WWE has the opportunity to make Wyatt one of the company's brightest stars and biggest moneymakers.