A Matter of Character - Bray Wyatt & The Wyatt Family
In June of 2010 on the Second Season of NXT, the WWE Universe was introduced to Husky Harris. The stupid name aside, he impressed many with his athletic ability at his large size. His speed and flexibility in ratio to his girth was somewhat incredible to see (Community reference) and the moniker “The Army Tank With a Ferrari Engine” was apropos. He would go on to join the Nexus and eventually get punted off WWE TV by Randy Orton.
Since then, Husky Harris has reinvented himself. He now goes by the name Bray Wyatt (only 1000x better than Husky Harris) and portrays a Max Cady inspired character. The character is creepy, narcissistic cult leader that gives Wyatt a chance to show off charisma that he never could have as Husky Harris. Wyatt is currently injured and serves as the mouthpiece for a Tag Team made up of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, otherwise known as the Sons Of The Wyatt Family. The entire act is gold and in my opinion is more than ready to make a splash on the main roster.
This week’s “A Matter of Character” is going to put the spotlight on Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family. I will analyze his character and point out its strengths and flaws, as I perceive them. I will also make suggestions for improvement where I see fit. So enough wasting time, Let’s Do This!
At 6’3 and just a shade under 300 pounds, Bray Wyatt is a physically imposing man. He moves quicker than his physique would suggest, and hits as hard or harder than you’d expect. It is no surprise to see a man of his stature take and dole out punishment in his matches, in fact its very believable. As if he weren’t capable of being a brutish force on his own, he has two monstrous followers in Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, who serve as his heavies. The thought of a guys as big as Bray Wyatt having bigger, more physical heavies to back him up certainly daunting and absolutely makes The Wyatt Family one of, if not the most physically imposing trio’s in the history of the WWE.
Here's the Wyatt Family in action.
What makes I really like about the trio is the fact that their collective size is not the only thing that makes the group stand out. They all have very distinct looks, Bray Wyatt with his fedora and Hawaiian shirts, Rowan with his green jumpsuit, and Luke Harper looking like the filthiest man to ever step foot in a WWE ring. There is nothing conventional about how these three men with their wild and unkempt facial hair, look to an audience. They’re creepy, they’re different, they’re downright scary, and the fact that the WWE Universe has rarely if ever seen anything like them only adds to their intimidation fact (as if they needed help being intimidating).
Not much is known about the so far silent “Sons of the Wyatt Family”, other than their insatiable appetite for the destruction of their opponents and making their “Father” Bray Wyatt proud. Because so little is know about Harper and Rowan, the personality that really sells the “Wyatt Family” is Bray Wyatt’s, as it should be.
Bray Wyatt is an odd, oxymoron of a man. On one hand he can come across as a very playful and affable, only to moments later display a thirst for violence and destruction that is only matched by his enormous “Sons”. He is charismatic, deceptive, and very persuasive. He is sadistic and for all intents and purposes certifiably insane. His personality and his mind are equally if not more dangerous than his physicality. Bray Wyatt is a perverse and obtuse cult leader; selfish and narcissistic, capable of warping the weak-minded into becoming members of his “Family” and having them hang off his every word. To say that I enjoy this character and the performance of Bray Wyatt would be an understatement. He perfectly conveys all these traits whenever he is on TV showcasing this personality.
WORDS AND ACTIONS
Bray Wyatt’s charisma and personality come out in spades when he has a microphone in his hand. He proves to be as self-centered, narcissistic and more importantly captivating. He is confidant and often speaks about the path he is on being the right one. While he may not fool you, it’s certainly understandable why characters in the WWE’s fictional universe would follow this man that preaches of righteousness and strength so confidently. If I did have a complaint about his promo ability, it would be the frequency with which he employs his maniacal laugh to make himself seem more menacing. He uses it a lot, and while it doesn’t ruin his performance (which is fantastic), using it only at the right moments would make his performances better in my opinion.
Here’s what I consider his best promo to date.
Again, because Luke Harper and Erick Rowan have yet to speak on NXT, it’s impossible to judge their respective mic skills. Each does however have actions that they regularly perform in the ring that gives us insight into the mental state of their characters. Luke Harper constantly looks back to the stage where Bray Wyatt sits and watches his matches. You can read “Am I Doing Good?” etched very clearly in his facial expressions whenever he looks to his “Father”. Each time he does, the look on his face is the same. It’s one that begs indulgence and approval. Rowan on the other hand is simply obedient and almost certainly crazier. He is always lurching around zombie-like and counting God knows what on his fingers. These physical quirks serve as small gateways into these Superstars’ psyche, and there’s nothing I would change about the whole act these three monsters have got going.
The strength of any character is their motivation, and if the motivation is clear and concise, you have yourself a well-constructed character. So what is Bray Wyatt’s motivation? It’s control. He wants to control everything that surrounds him. He wants to control how others think and how others act. He wants to be seen as greater than all around him. He wants to be loved and revered, respected and feared, worshipped and terrifying. Simply put, he wants to be God.
This motivation is not only ambitious, but also dismaying to all around him. Bray has little to no compassion for anyone but himself, and is willing to do anything to others because he considers himself God-like. He has the chance to be one of the WWE’s most terrifying and monstrous characters of all time, which is saying something.
The personal and ultimately irresolvable conflict within Bray Wyatt is the fact that he will never ever be able to attain what motivates him. Nothing he accomplishes will make the world see him as a walking incarnation of God. This means he will never be satisfied or happy with any success, which makes him considerably more dangerous with each triumph.
There is no question that Bray Wyatt is one of the best developed characters in developmental and The Wyatt Family is one of the most intriguing acts on any of WWE’s current television programming. The question is not if they are ready to be called to the main roster, it is how to bring them up? There are two schools of thought on this matter in my opinion; you can either go the conventional route or you can think outside the box.
The conventional route would be to have vignettes like the one I’ve included in this piece hype the debut of Bray Wyatt and his Family. Each vignette would show how creepy, egomaniacal and power-hungry he is. Once you’ve built him up as a monster through these vignettes, have them strike, likely on Team Hell No. Allow Harper and Rowan to do the dirty work until Bray Wyatt is 100% at which point he will make his long awaited in-ring debut. It’s a simple concept and one that has worked in the past.
I like to think outside the box, so if it were up to me, I’d go the unconventional route. Make their introduction a big production, the likes of which we’ve never seen. The February 18th Edition of Monday Night Raw takes place in Lafayette, Louisiana. On that edition of Monday Night Raw, I’d do a series of pre-taped vignettes where Vince McMahon’s limousine breaks down in backwoods area in Lafayette (the billed hometown for none other than Bray Wyatt). I would the proceed to present a mini horror flick, in which member’s of Vince’s small entourage encounter Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, who lay waste to them before taking Vince back to their small commune. There they would toy with and scare Vince until he says he’ll do anything if they let him go. That’s when we finally see Bray Wyatt who’ll proclaim, “There is something you can do for us”.
The key to these segments is to take them seriously and honestly attempt to make them scary. Make people wonder who these monsters are, and what are they going to do to Vince? The next week it is revealed that Vince has given the three men contracts with the WWE, so that Bray Wyatt can spread his message to a more global audience. From there you have The Wyatt Family chase the Tag Team Titles and when Bray Wyatt is cleared to compete he will wrestle as a singles competitor. It’s certainly less conventional, but done right could create a lot of buzz.
There you have it, but as always I want to hear your thought. What is your opinion of Bray Wyatt? Can you think of a more monstrous trio in the history of the WWE? How would you bring him and his “Family” up to the main roster?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying Les Miz was an awesome movie! Definitely in my Top 10 of 2012! Have a great week everybody.