At WrestleMania 36, The Fiend will meet its creator when Bray Wyatt battles John Cena in what should be a hotly anticipated rematch of their bout six years ago in New Orleans, but it is, instead, set to be an overly cinematic production inside the confines of Wyatt's Firefly Fun House.
The coronavirus pandemic that has swept the nation has forced WWE out of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and into its Performance Center in Orlando, with no live audience set to witness the events that unfold Saturday and Sunday night. The unprecedented circumstances surrounding the event has caused WWE to take a unique approach to some of its marquee bouts.
Aside from the advertised Firefly Fun House match, the card also features Last Man Standing and Boneyard Matches, both designed to take the action out of the fanless PC in an attempt to break up the monotony.
Neither of those matches quite needed the traditional setting of like Cena and The Fiend's war, though.
A Wrong Righted...or Is It?
At WrestleMania 30, Cena inexplicably defeated a red-hot Wyatt, cooling his momentum and beginning a downward spiral from a creative standpoint that threatened to ruin the third-generation performer—despite his obvious penchant for high-concept character work.
This year's match was to be redemption for that night for a performer who has earned the right to go over Cena at this point in his career.
Unfortunately, the conditions are not ideal.
Both Cena and Wyatt are performers who feed off the audience.
Cena's entire career has been defined by his ability to command the crowd, inciting reactions in arenas around the globe, regardless of whether they were positive or not. Wyatt's Fiend character is live performance art at its best, a persona with an incredible aura that first captivates and then terrorizes the WWE Universe.
In order to get the absolute most out of their match, they first needed fans. Then, they desperately needed a setting that dabbled less in the entertainment realm than what the Firefly Fun House match is ultimately set up to be.
Almost certain to utilize special effects, camera angles and edits, it will lessen the effect of Wyatt's victory because it will be seen as a gimmicky movie experience rather than a wrestling match by the better man.
Which begs the question: Does such a match really benefit anyone?
So, Why Bother?
Literally the only positive that can possibly come out of running Wyatt vs. Cena for a second time at WrestleMania is to give the former back the win he should have scored six years ago. It should be definitive and essentially serve as a mea culpa for the booking mistake that nearly killed off Wyatt's ability to thrive in the industry.
If the match cannot be that because of some ridiculously constructed idea that will ultimately prove more groan-inducing than beneficial, what is its purpose?
To get The Fiend on WrestleMania? To capitalize on Cena's star power?
Both of those could have been accomplished in any number of ways that would have been just as useless as overproducing a match that will be looked back upon with an unpleasant side-eye than a round of applause.
What If It's Actually Good?
There is always a chance that the most ridiculous gimmickry on paper will turn out surprisingly well, providing fans the desired entertainment.
The silver lining in the dark cloud that is the proposed Firefly Fun House and what it will presumably entail is that Wyatt and Cena are the levels of performers that they are. They are virtuosos and extremely gifted performers who have mastered their characters and their grasp of psychology to go along with what they can do once the bell rings.
The element of intrigue is also prevalent. What exactly will the match entail, and might the creativity of Wyatt be on full display? It's a very real possibility. Expect things you never imagined in a wrestling setting to be present inside the magical world created by the warped alternative to Fred Rogers.
That provides a certain level of comfort, but there are still more questions than answers.
The negative still seemingly outweigh the positives, and unfortunately for both men, they appear destined to be robbed of what should be significant matches in each of their careers: Cena in what may be his last dance on the grand stage; Wyatt in what should be a definitive match in the second chapter of his WWE career.
Hopefully, the presumptions are wrong. Hopefully, Cena and Wyatt give fans the match all involved deserve.