Since his full roster debut back in July of last year, Bray Wyatt has taken the WWE by storm.
After ditching the dead-end Husky Harris gimmick, the company repackaged the third-generation superstar as an eerie cult leader, who dubbed himself the Eater of Worlds while flanked by his Family of equally dark disciples.
But it wasn’t just an effective persona that the WWE created. Bouts against Kane, Daniel Bryan and more recently John Cena have shown Wyatt to be a rather talented in-ring performer—despite his unspectacular physique. Far from being the technical archetype though, Wyatt’s strength lies in his use of psychology to really tell a story.
And in many ways, such drama is arguably more entertaining than an exhibition of wrestling proficiency.
Naturally, these credentials make Wyatt a perfect candidate for a monster heel. But could the WWE be planning to turn the Man of 1,000 Truths into the next big babyface? FWOnline (via WrestlingINC.com) reports:
“WWE isn't looking at turning Bray Wyatt babyface until The Shield makes their heel turn, that way both groups will continue to remain on opposite sides of the fence, with the exception of Roman Reigns, who will split off into a babyface role”
For me, the real news here is not that the company are thinking of holding off a Wyatt face turn until the Shield are once again heels, but the fact that they’re even considering turning Bray Wyatt face in the first place.
In some ways, I can see how the WWE arrived at this conclusion. Having been placed in a feud with the divisive Cena, Wyatt has often found large chunks of the audience on his side.
But it that enough to yield a full-blown face turn?
In my eyes, the answer to that is no.
For starters, much of the positive reaction that Wyatt is getting is as much anti-Cena sentiment as it is pro-Wyatt. You book him against any other top face—Bryan, the Shield, or the Undertaker perhaps—and he’s more than likely going to get booed again.
Admittedly his Family’s brief feud with the Shield garnered a massive response from the WWE Universe, but that was a fairly unique scenario. Both teams were heels, and both looked unlikely to ever cross paths, thus to see a showdown come to fruition was a rare moment and one worth savoring.
But also, Wyatt’s character resembles that of a cult leader—and cults do not have a mainstream following.
That’s the appeal of them. They are something that is fashionable to only a certain group or section of society, and part of the attraction comes from rebelling against the norm.
If the WWE try to embrace that and force fans to follow Wyatt, then it goes against the character's premise and it’s not going to have the same effect. Jumping on the bandwagon like this is something that the company have been guilty of before.
And finally, it’s worth noting that as a portion of the entire WWE Universe, the fans who are cheering for Bray Wyatt are not necessarily the majority.
Like it or not, the WWE’s target demographic is a younger, more casual audience. Can you imagine seeing kids and families cheering on the Wyatts and donning that creepy goat mask?
Personally, I highly doubt it.
The fans cheering Wyatt are the hardcore fans, the Internet Wrestling Community, the people who are simply tired of John Cena. These fans, myself most likely included, enjoy supporting the superstars that we want to support—not the guys that the WWE shoves down own throats.
If the WWE try and push Wyatt as a mainstream face, these fans are more than likely to reject it.
And furthermore, being a face in this day and age means being friendly, being honest, being happy to pander to the entire audience; traits that are completely incongruent with Wyatt’s persona. Turn him face, and you risk losing the character that’s been so effectively created.
Long story short, officially turning Bray Wyatt heel just doesn’t quite make sense.
I’m all for the Wyatt having people on his side, but the WWE needs to allow this to be an organic supporting. Otherwise they risk tainting Wyatt’s character and ruining what is a very good thing indeed.
Of course, this is all just my opinion. Please feel free to comment below if you disagree with any of the issues raised in the article, and let me know if you think the WWE should scrap their plans to turn Wyatt's face somewhere down the line.