If Bray Wyatt wants to make it to the top of WWE, he is absolutely going to have to work on developing his current character.
It's fascinating to note how his gimmick—he's a scary, enigmatic cult leader who likes to mess with everyone's head—has grown stale in recent times.
When the star made his official debut in July of last year, he was a bold and exciting new character.
Wyatt, along with acolytes Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, regularly stole the show on Raw and SmackDown.
Wyatt's mic work, in particular, was fantastic. His promos were unconventional, thought-provoking and genuinely menacing in places.
So what's the problem? Well, after over a year on the active roster, the novelty has inevitably worn off, and his act has become somewhat repetitive.
Good as his delivery usually is, it feels like he's cutting the exact same promo all the time. He continues to be cryptic and confusing and speak of monsters, nightmares and mountains. Oh, and buzzards. Don't forget them.
Honestly, he sounds like a bad cross between Jake Roberts and Edgar Allan Poe sometimes.
Sure, Wyatt has proved he can be a bit scary, and his entrance is still pretty cool.
But what else? And at the moment, there doesn't actually seem to be anything else. He's an alarmingly one-dimensional personality, as strange as it sounds.
And it's difficult to see him navigating his way into the main event until he fixes this problem.
No wonder he hasn’t advanced up the card. He doesn’t give the booking team much to work with. How many times do fans have to sit through a feud in which Wyatt attempts to get inside his opponent’s head and scare him? It’s gotten dull.
Simply put, I think his current character needs to grow.
It needs to become more solid. Fans have to hear more detailed and realistic explanations of his motivations and goals. He can't continue talking vaguely and in riddles—his promos require a clearer direction. They need to become more cohesive and easier to understand.
How else is a main eventer supposed to shift pay-per-view buys and draw more intrigue? Fans need to know what you’re actually talking about in the first place for them to be interested in your title match.
Obviously, his interviews can still retain their strangeness—you don't want him becoming bland on the mic—but they have to become somewhat more conventional.
Wyatt rejuvenating his character and becoming a main eventer with a babyface turn is also a compelling option. Certainly, the fans appeared to be getting behind him earlier this year in his feud with John Cena. They often cheered him and sang along with him when he crooned on the mic.
For all his menace, the former NXT performer does have sympathetic qualities—he has claimed in the past he is standing up for the downtrodden and marginalized in society.
It's possible a face turn could help him a great deal. He could even fill in the gap left by Daniel Bryan and feud with The Authority.
Wyatt could attempt to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, only to have Triple H and Stephanie McMahon mock his unconventional look and claim he's not a genuine star.
It’s worth a shot and could get him over hugely.
Has Bray Wyatt's character become stale?
Of course, Wyatt supporters could claim his current career slump isn't because of him. They would argue that WWE's booking has scripted him to suffer one high-profile loss after another and this is what caused the real damage.
It's a perfectly valid point. Obviously, the booking hasn't aided him. Did he really have to be made to look so inept in his feud with Cena? Why did he have to lose at an event like WrestleMania XXX in his first major match?
But, really, things like that are beyond Wyatt's control.
What is in his power, however, is the ability to improve massively on his present character and give the writers the faith in him he will need if he is to move up the card.