Bray Wyatt is heading for a match with John Cena at WWE's Payback pay-per-view on Sunday, June 1. The bout is the third for the two Superstars, as they have faced off at both WrestleMania 30 and Extreme Rules.
Many fans would argue that this feud has been the perfect vehicle for Bray to showcase his talents. But while there is much truth to that, the fact is that facing John Cena could cause Bray Wyatt's star to fade in the company.
Wyatt is arguably the hottest heel in WWE right now. He is so good and so believable that fans have readily accepted him. When they look at Bray, they don't see a talent portraying a character, they see the character itself.
He speaks in riddles, his words shrouded in mystery. He verbally dissects his opponents and attacks them psychologically long before he or his family actually comes into physical contact with them. Bray is arguably the best on the mic that WWE has, and he only seems to be getting better.
And the firm grasp he has on his character has no equal. The way he carries himself, his body language and his facial expressions all add very unique layers to him. Bray is the complete package in so many ways, and he provides the perfect sort of opponent for John Cena.
Cena is very sure of himself as well, but instead of being a self-serving enigma, he is a selfless straight-shooter.
Cena is all fight and no frills. He stands on his own two feet, rarely ever asks for help from anyone, and he goes to war under circumstances that seem impossible to overcome. He stares down every challenge head-on and will not back down despite how badly he may be outnumbered.
Cena is the ultimate comic book superhero come to life. And Bray Wyatt is now a major member of his rogue's gallery.
And on paper, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Bray to get over in a very big way.
After all, Bray had only really feuded with Kane and Daniel Bryan since he debuted on WWE's main roster. And while both men were definitely valuable to the company, neither one of them was John Cena. Cena was the measuring stick, and he could do more than anyone else in WWE to put Bray under that main event spotlight.
And it worked very well in the beginning. Bray seemed very comfortable in the ring with Cena and never really appeared as though he was being outshined at all. Bray Wyatt had found a home on WWE's main stage.
The fact that he and Cena traded victories only added to the notion that many fans had concerning Bray's spot in the company. They believed he was on the way up and that Cena would help him get there.
But therein lies the problem. Because while working Cena should have elevated Bray Wyatt's star in the company, it could actually have the reverse effect. Why is that exactly?
Because John Cena is not losing this feud.
Part of Cena's gimmick is that despite how much he's been beaten down or how badly he is outnumbered, he always finds a way to win. And even though Bray has thrown so many obstacles in John's path as well as wreak havoc on his sanity, many fans believe it's all been for nothing.
Cena always kicks out at two. And he always wins.
He may have dropped the second match to Bray at Extreme Rules, but was that nothing more than a way to keep their heat going until the feud could end at Payback?
If that is indeed the case, then Bray Wyatt's star will inevitably fade as a result of facing John Cena. Again, Cena is the measuring stick for every WWE Superstar, so if Bray cannot get either a second win or at least leave Cena pushed back on his heels, he will be in the same position he was in before facing John.
After all, where does a WWE Superstar go after feuding with the top guy? What could possibly be on Bray's agenda after John Cena?
Either Bray goes up or he goes down. There's really not much else he can do. And one of the problems with going up is the fact that WWE World champion Daniel Bryan is on the mend following neck surgery. Unless he is forced to hand the championship to Stephanie McMahon at Payback, there may be little chance Bray can even get close to the belt.
And if he goes down, that could mean he winds up feuding with a midcard star who may or may not do anything for his career. For Bray Wyatt, the only way to truly succeed in the angle with John Cena is to either beat him or do enough damage that he can take the momentum upward in some way.
Bray is too talented and has made too much progress getting over with fans to just fall flat now. He must emerge from the rivalry with John Cena in a very positive light. Because if not, his star could very well fade.