Where Has This Man Gone?

Where Has This Man Gone?


Where Has This Man Gone?

To those who pony up the $9.99 a month for the WWE Network, have you noticed that one of the latest additions to the on-demand library is old NXT episodes? By old, I mean the pre-Network days…so 2012-2013. It has been interesting going back and looking at the start of some of the top names in the game today.

I’ve noticed a heel Roman Reigns, proof that he can play a heel very well! Big E (Langston at that time) pulling one out from the old bag of King Kong Bundy tricks and demanding a five count instead of a three. Plus a long introduction to who was made out to be the next John Cena! His name? … Bo Dallas. Oh, and about 10 minutes later we got the equivalent of “oh, and someone else will make their debut soon as well. His name is Seth something.”

The first few episodes also gave us some familiar looking vignettes. A now familiar song playing while we get some clips of this bearded man in an open Tommy Bahama shirt preaching his form of the gospel to those who would listen to his back-wood ways.

Do you know who I’m talking about? I’m sure most of you do, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if some didn’t know that these were the introduction vignettes for Bray Wyatt.

It was a character that is far different than what we have now. Hell, he didn’t even have the lantern back then! It was such an interesting and unique character that easily got the minds of the NXT Universe thinking, and would soon do the same on the main show. The eerily flamboyant ways that Wyatt would profess his “ways” made you excited for what he would say next.

I hate the fact that everything in that last paragraph was written in past tense.

When Wyatt, along with family members Luke Harper and Erik Rowan made their main roster debut in the summer of 2013, he instantly had the crowd captivated simply with the energy and passion that he delivered his cleverly worded promos. Again, what would he say next?

He took this momentum to his first WrestleMania when he was in the ring with John Cena. Say what you will about the outcome (still doesn’t make sense to me that Cena won) but having the match alone seemingly meant the Wyatt was destined for big things.

These big things were coming for him based on the back-of-the-woods cult leader character that he had perfected. He took that momentum into next year’s WrestleMania when he was put in one of the most desirable positions you can have for The Grandest Stage of them All – one-on-one with The Undertaker.

This is where things started to go downhill.

The buildup for that WrestleMania match was handled entirely by Wyatt as The Deadman wasn’t even on WWE TV until WrestleMania. In a WrestleMania preview I wrote I had mentioned that the buildup was phenomenal, by far the best for the entire card. The angle used for the match is that Wyatt had taken the “powers” of The Undertaker and HE was the new Phenom of WWE. At the time, with some of the stunts and special effects used to exemplify this concept made for very entertaining TV.

Unfortunately, we had no idea how far they would go with these stolen “powers.”

Anyone that had an opinion and access to the internet would mention something along the lines of “Bray Wyatt is the new Undertaker.” WWE has taken that WAY too close to heart.

It had been a gradual transition but everything is now based way too much on “paranormal activities.” The crescendo of this change came during his match this past WrestleMania against Randy Orton with the random images appearing in the ring during the match. It’s just not necessary. I just want to see Bray have a good match. Save all of the extra stuff for after the match.

It just seems like WWE has tried too hard to make Wyatt the new Undertaker. The Undertaker is something that should not be replicated in any way. When ‘Taker laid his gear in the ring at the end of WrestleMania, that was it! No more! He was The Phenom and there will NEVER be another like him.

Wyatt would have his mind-games that he would use back in the day, but it was, to a point, realistic. Getting a large group of children to follow you and dawn the sheep masks while singing “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” is just brainwashing – it’s realistic. Rubbing dirt all over you because it will allow the soul of your God to take control of your body is not, and it’s just weird.

Now on Raw, it will be interesting to see what direction Wyatt goes. He still has the potential to be a perennial championship contender, but he needs to focus more in-ring than on what his next Undertaker-like trick will be.

I’m still holding out hope for him. The buzzards are getting lonely, Hopefully the WWE Universe will follow as strongly again soon.


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