Bray Wyatt’s ascension to the top of the WWE isn’t all that surprising, especially for those who read the dirt sheets.
After the revamped Husky Harris debuted last summer, reports immediately circulated that getting Bray Wyatt over was a priority of Vince McMahon’s (F4WNewsletter).
At first it looked like misinformation, as The Wyatt’s feuds with Kane and The Miz didn’t position them particularly strongly, but things picked up when he started programs with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan back in October.
Fast forward a few months, the Eater of Worlds steamrollered through the company’s hottest star, Bryan, at the Royal Rumble, which proved to fans just how true those initial reports were.
When it was announced that Bray would face John Cena at the biggest show of the year, it seemed like the program would help him climb even higher up WWE's hierarchy.
Though the feud isn’t over yet, it’s hard to argue that their rivalry has done the new star any good.
This is the John Cena Complex.
During the WrestleMania season, Cena cut promos where he claimed to be the WWE’s measuring stick; that the new era had to go through him if they were to be anybody.
It may have sounded like standard Cena fare, but it’s as close to the truth as a promo can get—new stars need to work with Cena to establish themselves, but the problem is the feuds almost always hurt the new talent.
Take Dolph Ziggler as an example. In late 2012 he was hot as ever as Mr. Money in the Bank, having just led his team to victory at Survivor Series by pinning Randy Orton.
He began a program with the Leader of the Cenation, and many thought it was a feud that would finally establish Ziggler as a bona fide main event player.
Obviously, that didn’t happen.
If anything, feuding with Cena was the beginning of the end for Dolph Ziggler’s—though he wasn’t helped out by an ill-timed concussion.
Perhaps the most damaging loss the Showoff suffered to Cena was in a cage match on Raw last January, in which he gave the 14-time world champ everything he had.
Cena kicked out of everything, including a Zig Zag, hit an Attitude Adjustment for the win and was not any better for it. Ziggler, however, immediately lost some luster.
Wyatt’s cage match with Cena at Extreme Rules was reminiscent of this. Although he won, it took interference from Harper and Rowan, the help of theatrics and the singing of a small child.
It’s hard to think of a way that Bray could’ve looked weaker in victory.
Some of this can be salvaged during their match at Payback.
It’s not like the second-generation’s future is ruined. However, this feud needs to end so Bray can go back to being the monster he needs to be.
A program with Cena holds infinite potential for the stars of the future, but WWE would do well to remember the damage they often do through unnecessarily fierce protection of their golden goose.