Bray Wyatt was introduced to the WWE Universe five years ago.
It feels longer than that.
Since getting called up to the main roster from NXT in 2012, Wyatt has just been around. He’s had feuds with Kane, John Cena, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, The Shield, and big name after big name. And yet, I couldn’t tell you, really, anything about those feuds — outside of the Bryan storyline, of course, and the long-term damage that it almost caused — which is a shame. Wyatt’s five-year run shouldn’t have been this forgettable. It should have been more, but it wasn’t.
So what do you do?
What do we usually do when something just isn’t working or resonating? We move on. Breaking up is hard to do, yes, but Wyatt, even at just 30-years-old, feels like he’s already done it all in the WWE. He’s had his opportunities, far more than he deserves, probably, but he’s had them and hasn’t delivered. Without his fan-friendly entrance, what gets people excited about a Wyatt appearance anymore? It’s more about the iPhone and less about a Sister Abigail. His promos are as over-the-top and silly as they were when he debuted half a decade ago.
Nothing has changed.
With Bray Wyatt, you’re not getting an in-ring technician, a maestro on the microphone, or a character that wins the majority of his feuds. You’re getting a character that WWE has never been entirely sure how to use. Whenever you think the company is inching towards handing him the keys to one of their main shows, they’ve pulled the rug out from under him. His latest feud with Randy Orton being the most-recent example. The company looked like they were finally moving past simply dipping their toes in the deep end and just diving in by putting the WWE title on the leader of the Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber.
But they weren’t.
Wyatt dropped the title in a boring, heatless match against his former tag-team partner Randy Orton at WrestleMania 33. To be consistent, though, the company ensured Wyatt got his win back in the main event of Payback in a match that produced more memes than five-star reviews.
There may not be a better way to look at Wyatt’s run in WWE than his two awards from The Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 1) Best Gimmick (2013), 2) Worst Worked Match of the Year (2014). Since his arrival, the potential of the gimmick that is Bray Wyatt has always been the most-intriguing thing about his future. The gimmick could be great. But it hasn’t. And it probably won’t.
After five years, is it really wise to believe the Wyatt gimmick is going to evolve, the improvements are going to come to the content of his promos, or that he’ll ever be an above-average, in-ring worker? At thirty, this might just be who Wyatt will always be in the WWE. At some point, you just are who you are.
Do we really want to see the Bray Wyatt character float around Raw and Smackdown for the next 15 years with a few more random, forgettable world title reigns sprinkled in along the way? What else can he really do to salvage his character? Feud with Finn Balor over the summer? Challenge, and lose, to WWE Universal champion to Brock Lesnar this fall? Get the Wyatt Family back together next year and attack Alleister Black in his debut on the main roster?
Who is dying to see that?
But at 30, Wyatt can go elsewhere. He could go the Cody Rhodes route and revitalize his career working for a large variety of promotions. Or he could go the Christian route and make the jump to Impact Wrestling where he’d immediately be treated as their top guy and main attraction.
Wyatt can go elsewhere, and he should.
Because it’s time.
It’s time for the two parties to go their separate ways because ten-to-fifteen more years of the last five is of no use to anyone.