What the Return of Bray Wyatt Means for the WWE


Well, it’s official: on Saturday, October 8th, 2022, Windham Rotunda, better known as Bray Wyatt, returned to the WWE in the closing moments of the Extreme Rules premium live event. His return has been long anticipated, but it has left us with questions about how his presence will affect the WWE and pro-wrestling going forward.


Bray Wyatt is a multi-time World and Tag-Team champion, as well as one of the most popular wrestlers of this generation. He made his WWE debut when he competed in the first ever season of the WWE reality show, NXT. Although he lost, Wyatt and the other contestants on the show formed a faction on Monday Night Raw called The Nexus. Wyatt’s time on The Nexus was short lived, due to his character, Husky Harris, not connecting with fans and being pretty boring overall. He went back to the WWE developmental program where he created his Bray Wyatt character. This was the first version of Bray Wyatt that the fans called “The Eater of Worlds”.


The first Bray Wyatt character resembled a cult leader, and the WWE Universe loved him. His character was unlike anything seen before, and his promos and storytelling were unmatched. This led to Wyatt creating The Wyatt Family, a faction that included Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erik Rowan. Later, Braun Strowman would join them, and the faction even included wrestlers like Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan for brief periods.


The Wyatt Family had many memorable matches against The Shield and John Cena. The latter eventually led to Bray Wyatt winning the WWE World Championship. The Wyatt Family even won the World Tag-Team titles and other mid-card titles, but never held on to the gold for too long. 


In 2019, Bray Wyatt vanished from the WWE, before returning as a new character. This new character, also called Bray Wyatt, was the host of a mock childrens tv show called the Firefly Funhouse. He made it very clear he was not the cult leader character anymore by cutting a cardboard cutout of his former persona with a chainsaw. 


After a couple of weeks, Bray Wyatt properly introduced the new character, The Fiend. The Fiend was a horrific and powerful monster that Bray Wyatt was able to turn into in order to make it easier to win matches. The Fiend squashed Finn Balor in under five minutes in his debut match at SummerSlam 2019. He blew up in popularity and quickly became the Universal Champion in 2019. He was even the #1 overall pick in night #2 of the WWE draft, getting moved from Smackdown to Raw. He thrived in this character, destroying everyone in his path. He lost his title to former Wyatt Family member Braun Strowman, but quickly won it back.


His downfall started in late 2019, during the Hell in a Cell PLE. His match against Seth Rollins was stopped, even though it was a no-disqualification match. His career really started to tank in 2021, when he lost his Universal Championship to Roman Reigns and quickly started losing more matches. His time at the WWE ended with a lackluster rivalry between The Fiend and Randy Orton, before he was fired in early 2021, about a month after Wrestlemania. 


In late September, 2022, about a year and a half after Bray Wyatt wrestled his “final” match, viewers started finding hidden qr codes during episodes of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown. These codes would show a cartoon bunny who would lead us to puzzles or links that would hint at who was behind the messages. Fans quickly dubbed the character the White Rabbit and started to speculate that Bray Wyatt was behind the mystery. 


After a couple of weeks of theorizing, we got an answer. In the closing moments of Extreme Rules 2022, Matt Riddle beat Seth Rollins in a Fight Pit match. During the celebrations, the lights went out and the song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” started to play, a song frequently used by the Eater of Worlds character. They revealed characters from the Firefly Funhouse hiding in the crowd before Bray Wyatt came out with his iconic lantern and a strange mask. Bray looked at the camera and chillingly announced “I’m here,” before blowing out the lantern and ending the show.

The Fiend Wins the WWE Universal Championship at Crown Jewel 2019


So what does Bray Wyatt bring to the table? Well first of all, he is a mastermind when it comes to character work. If WWE gives him full creative control of his character, we could see some of the greatest storylines in WWE since the Attitude Era of the late 90’s. 


Both of Bray Wyatt’s characters are some of the most popular in recent memory, and he proved that a character doesn’t need to win world championships to be the face of the company. This is crucial, considering that the WWE Championship and the Universal Championship as well as Raw and Smackdown tag team championships are all unified and rarely defended. 


Bray Wyatt is also the master of creating factions and using factions in storylines.  It is crucial to have someone like Wyatt since the new head of the WWE creative division, former wrestler and 14-time World Champion Triple H, is a very big fan of using factions in team-based matches/storylines. We can see this with the major pushes that factions have been given under Triple H’s control, such as the Bloodline, Damage CTRL, Judgment Day, the Brawling Brutes, Imperium, and the O.C., as well as Toxic Attraction and the Diamond Mine in NXT. 


In fact, rumors have been circulating of a new Bray Wyatt faction called the Wyatt 6. This group is rumored to have Bray Wyatt as the leader and other superstars representing the puppets from the Firefly Funhouse. Fans have been speculating about just who might be involved: Alexa Bliss, due to her previous team ups with The Fiend; Bo Dallas, since he’s Bray’s real life brother; and Liv Morgan, since she has seemed to have turned heel when she lost the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Extreme Rules. The most intriguing rumor is the return of Erik Rowan, a former member of the Wyatt Family who currently wrestles part time at rival company AEW. He’s been hinting at a WWE return and fans have been theorizing that he might become the second version of The Fiend, since Wyatt has moved away from the Fiend and the Firefly Funhouse. 


Having talent such as Bray Wyatt can help improve and push other smaller and less utilized superstars and create amazing rivalries and storylines that don’t need to have a championship title be the center of the rivalry. 


Bray Wyatt also recently changed the name of his Twitter account from his real name, Windham Rotunda, to WYATT 6, which leaves fans asking whether the faction is real and who will be in it.


On Friday October 14th during the closing moments of Smackdown, Bray Wyatt made his first appearance since Extreme Rules and gave a heartfelt speech about his return, before a mysterious person wearing the mask that Wyatt wore during his return showed up on a screen and sent a creepy message. It was amazing seeing Wyatt back in the ring, but the promo left us with more questions than answers.


Bray Wyatt is one of the most entertaining talents of this generation and, if used correctly, he could leave rival promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in the dust. With rumors and hints about the Wyatt 6 growing every day, could we finally see someone take down the dominant force that is the Bloodline? Bray Wyatt seems to have signed to Smackdown and will join their exclusive roster. wrestling fans will definitely tune in every Friday night to see what Bray has in store for us.