In his first televised match in nearly one year, "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt defeated Finn Balor at WWE SummerSlam on Sunday night.
Wyatt immediately set the tone with his entrance. He walked to the ring with his trademark lantern, only it resembled his head.
Even Balor looked unsure of what was happening after he watched Wyatt arrived.
The Irishman shook out of his daze and enjoyed a brief flurry of offense, but The Fiend dominated otherwise.
Wyatt caught Balor coming off the top rope with the Coup de Grace and placed him in the Mandible Claw. He passed out and the referee counted to three to give The Fiend the win.
After a lengthy absence, Wyatt returned to WWE programming on April 22 in a manner nobody expected. He changed his look and became the host of the Firefly Fun House, which looked like a happy-go-lucky segment for kids.
As the show began to take shape, though, it became clear it was something far more sinister.
Wyatt gradually changed over the course of the Firefly Fun House and eventually started donning a mask and calling himself The Fiend. He would refer to his alter ego in the third person, which suggested his character had a split personality.
Fans eagerly waited to see when and where Wyatt would resurface from an in-ring perspective, and it finally happened on July 15 when he targeted Balor after the Irishman lost a match to Samoa Joe on Raw after dropping the Intercontinental Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura at Extreme Rules 24 hours earlier.
The lights went out while The Extraordinary Man was standing in the middle of the ring, and The Fiend appeared in the ring to lay Balor out with Sister Abigail.
Balor later laid down a SummerSlam challenge, which Wyatt accepted. The serene version of Wyatt suggested on Firefly Fun House that the Irishman was making a big mistake and had no idea what The Fiend was capable of doing.
Wyatt fired another warning shot toward Balor on Raw Reunion during a promo by Mick Foley. While the WWE Hall of Famer was hyping up the crowd, the lights went out and The Fiend showed up again to put him down with his own move—the Mandible Claw.
The Fiend then proceeded to play mind games with Balor on the July 30 episode of SmackDown Live by cutting the lights and appearing in the entranceway only to disappear when they came back on. That allowed Dolph Ziggler to beat the distracted Irishman.
Balor entered SummerSlam with recent loses to Nakamura, Joe and Ziggler, which seemingly gave Wyatt a significant psychological advantage.
With rumors present that Balor is set to take some time off after The Biggest Party of the Summer, the booking of Sunday's match made plenty of sense: Wyatt has a big first win under his belt and The Extraordinary Man can now go away before returning with a clean slate further down the line.
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