Bray Wyatt and John Cena are on the eve of what should be the final match of a feud that dates back to WrestleMania XXX.
The feud has integrated strong character promos with hit-or-miss storytelling in the ring. In between, the most unique (and notable) aspect of the Cena-Wyatt rivalry has been Wyatt—an unadulterated madman—coming dangerously close to being the babyface.
Throughout this feud, the built-in animosity toward Cena has been exploited to an even further degree. Wyatt has encouraged babyface reactions by singing and announcing city names prior to his entrance. "The Wyatt Family following is growing!" Michael Cole said, via YouTube, during a six-man tag team match while a partisan post-WrestleMania crowd chanted "Wyatt's gonna kill you."
Wyatt has since been established as a heel through shrewd booking. Monday on Raw, beloved announcer Jerry "The King" Lawler was subjected to potential Wyatt Family torture in front of his hometown. Cena made the save and cut a spirited, patriotic promo in the spirit of Memorial Day.
Cena further baited the Southern crowd by chastising Wyatt for calling himself a god. That type of self-aggrandizing by Wyatt surely won't win over a demographic in a state that leans heavily Christian, per The Tennessean. The posturing worked, with an incensed crowd chanting for Cena, via James Caldwell of the Pro Wrestling Torch.
Come Sunday at Payback, however, Wyatt will be received as a deity by an anti-Cena Chicago crowd. Wyatt should rival the biggest reaction of any Superstar who appears on that show because a) he's not John Cena in a match featuring John Cena and b) he's Bray Wyatt. His partisan post-WrestleMania following shares very similar tastes with the Allstate Arena.
Against WWE's top star, common logic dictates there is nowhere to go but down. But with the momentum that comes with being entrenched in a main event program, Wyatt's career can advance—but only with a WWE World Heavyweight Championship program.
Win or lose, Wyatt will make for a formidable opponent against dormant champion Daniel Bryan. Even if Wyatt suffers a defeat to Cena, he still holds a clean victory over Bryan at Royal Rumble.
Furthermore, WWE's next pay-per-view, Money in the Bank, will lump several contenders together in a match for the valuable Money in the Bank briefcase. Should Wyatt enter the Money in the Bank match come July, he would do so as a strong favorite.
Cashing in the briefcase against an injured Bryan would not only be fitting for a heel, it would align with Wyatt's desperation to become the most powerful man in WWE.
Wyatt's hunger for power should naturally lead him on a quest for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship regardless of competitive logic (as if that ever played into the Wyatt gimmick).
Wyatt is not the type of character who wants to climb the proverbial ladder of success and win a world championship to prove he is the best. What makes Wyatt tick is an eternal, sociopathic desire to control everything. Bray Wyatt, almost literally, wants the whole world in his hands.
On the May 5 edition of Raw, Wyatt sat on a rocking chair under a spotlight and continued to further the very dark propaganda that has come to define him: "You, children, you shall stand with me, and you never have to be alone ever again. You stand with me, and you will remember me, not as a monster, but you will remember me for what I truly am—a god."
Wyatt has sought to become a "god" throughout his program against Cena. But what better way to earn that distinction in the annals of WWE than by carrying the promotion's top title.