Alas, Bray Wyatt didn’t exactly emerge from his lengthy feud with John Cena earlier this year as a top main event star.
WWE’s desperation to protect Cena, as well as some truly odd and counterproductive booking, hindered the former NXT star greatly.
Question: Why did WWE management elect to put Cena over Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX? Why did the 12 Rounds star ultimately win their feud-ending Last Man Standing match at June’s Payback show? Why go out of your way to protect the one guy on the roster who doesn't need it?
OK, so Wyatt garnered a (weak) victory in their cage bout at Extreme Rules, but that’s easy to forget considering how much Cena dominated their program.
The Cena feud wasn’t a total disaster of course—Wyatt proved he could hang with the main eventers both in the ring and in promos—but the star appeared to come out of it in worse shape than he went in. One year from his Raw debut, he seems to have lost some of his luster. He simply doesn’t seem to be as big a deal as he once was.
As former WWE writer Alex Greenfield noted on his Twitter account earlier this week:
Thankfully, Wyatt’s new feud with the returning Chris Jericho offers a golden opportunity for the wrestler to turn around his lagging fortunes and regain his momentum.
Not only will the Jericho feud allow Wyatt to continue to flourish and grow as a performer, but there’s also a very good chance he’ll be allowed to look very credible against the veteran and even garner a clean win or two over him.
Really, why shouldn’t this program end with Jericho losing spotlessly clean?
Jericho is a part-timer with other commitments, including a blossoming music career; Wyatt is one of the younger guys that WWE will be relying on to help carry the company one day.
It should be obvious what the end result of this feud has to be, even to WWE’s erratic and inconsistent booking team.
Assuming the two clash at Battleground, Wyatt has to win and solidly. And if he doesn’t? Well, it may just be the end of any real hopes he has of becoming a credible and long-lasting main eventer.
How can fans take him seriously when he continues to fail to deliver on the big stage? They can’t.
With Daniel Bryan out for an indefinite amount of time due to neck issues and Cena getting older and more injury prone, WWE needs to start building for its future—and now. And one significant step towards this would be to allow Wyatt to emerge triumphant from the Jericho feud.
It's the only real option the company has.