Image copyright of WWE 2017
He’s been a member of the WWE for 8 years under various guises, but it’s as the cult-leader known as Bray Wyatt that Windham Lawrence Rotunda has really become a wrestler fans could get behind.
Acting as a heel throughout all of his tenure this far, Bray has teased resemblances to the Undertaker from the ’90s – a contentious claim that has followed Rotunda throughout the gimmick.
And when you consider that, since the character’s debut on the main roster in 2013, the vast majority of storylines he’s been attached to has led to Rotunda being beat more often than not, the comparison seems less and less complimentary to the Undertaker.
With that being said, Bray Wyatt is a hugely popular wrestler, whom the WWE’s fanbase have gotten behind more and more as the years have gone by. A workhorse in the ring who showcases some of the best charisma on the microphone, Bray has often earned the popularity vote among fans whilst still being overlooked by management.
Even as a member of the “Wyatt Family” with fellow wrestlers – and beardy men – Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman, and most recently, Randy Orton, Wyatt was never overly successful. Then, in December 2016, Bray and Orton won the Smackdown Tag Team titles together, marking Rotunda’s first title in WWE ever. This new found success was shortlived though as they dropped the belts later in the month.
After an unsuccessful showing at the 2017 Royal Rumble PPV – which was actually won by current teammate Randy Orton – it seemed all was back to normal for the “Eater of Worlds.” That was, until the “Eliminaion Chamber” PPV in February which featured 6 wrestlers trapped inside a steel chamber together in an elimination style contest for the WWE Championship. Against all speculation, Bray finally scored a major singles victory, and in doing so earned himself his first WWE Championship, which he will defend at the biggest and most famous wrestling show on the planet, Wrestlemania.
Whether his run is a long one, or even an overly successful one, the image of seeing Rotunda finally hold a championship that no-one else in his illustrious family was ever able to is a truly heart warming sight.
As a long-time fan of the Bray Wyatt character, I looked at my phone early on Monday the 13th of February to see the results following the Elimination Chamber. I was a little gobsmacked it happened, and certainly shocked that the WWE actually went ahead with it, but more than anything else, I was so proud of Rotunda. So well deserved.
Mr Rotunda, if you somehow read this blog, you are my hero and should my attempt to become a professional wrestler actually go anywhere, your gimmick would be my biggest influence.
Follow the Buzzards!
-James Wright (15/02/17)