When Bray Wyatt triumphed at Elimination Chamber, it was the culmination of years of hard work and the evolution of a character that had no right to work. A kind of creepy Bayou family before there was ever a market for it. Hawaiian shirts, white trousers and long beards that wouldn’t look out of place on Captain Lou Albano all deter from the fact that Bray Wyatt has done this the traditional way.
In a career that almost runs parallel to Roman Reigns, Wyatt or Windham Lawrence Rotunda to give him his real name is the antithesis of the current trend of the manufactured champion. He comes from a traditional wrestling family, he doesn’t look like some form of chiselled greek god but he can do many things others can’t.
Bray, can share the ring with any superstar. This past week he has two clean pinfall victories over John Cena, the originally manufactured champion. Despite his size, he is as agile as a cat and has a ring persona second only to the Undertaker in aura, he can easily be compared to a modern day Jake Roberts. With his faction the Wyatt Family, he has always been seen as a dependable star, used to put over whatever star the hierarchy in WWE needed put over at the time. It used to be a running joke that the fearsome Wyatt family lost every feud they were in. From the Shield and Daniel Bryan to Undertaker and last year, there was the Wrestlemania humiliation at the hands of The Rock. Despite all this, the defeats didn’t hurt Bray at all. Lesser characters would have slipped down the card and become also-rans after one feud. See Ryback, Swagger and many more recent failed stars. Wyatt kept on performing in-ring and on the mic, even after the losses he was still there.
Now he sits on top of the mountain having got there the old way. Think of the great champions through the ages. The ones with the legacies. They weren’t handed the championships on a plate. They weren’t protected by the powers on high even if they came from a respected family. Bray’s father Mike Rotunda, was a consummate professional. As IRS, he was always a heel, who carried out his in ring work to a high standard. He was only rewarded with the tag team titles with Ted Dibiase as Money Inc. He never reached the top. His Brother Bo Dallas, despite being one of the most successful NXT champions in history has flopped ever since he went up to the main roster. No gimmick or character change helps. Bray is different. He has stuck to one character, one gimmick and is now reaping the rewards. Like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage and even HHH and The Rock, Wyatt suffered losses throughout his career. Losses are what builds character. Look at John Cena, Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior and Roman Reigns. They never seem to lose, they overcome incredible odds and keep the belt despite adversity. When a champion is crowned who has suffered losses, the crowd is immediately enthralled. Compare the reaction from Elimination Chamber to Roman Reigns first title win.
Hopefully, this is a watershed moment for the WWE. Hopefully, it returns them to building champions over a long period of time. If they learn from the recent mistakes and use the Bray Wyatt example, they may even get Roman Reigns to the point of success.