Bray Wyatt underwent a total career resurgence in 2019. Cutting promos on par with the best of the best in his own way, he slowly but surely became one of the most talked-about and interesting acts in wrestling.
And yet, despite debuting brilliantly, his ‘Fiend’ character was booked on a somewhat up-and-down run.
The Fiend defeated Finn Balor only to then have that Hell in a Cell match. He won the Universal title and beat Daniel Bryan… then lost clean to Goldberg in Saudi Arabia in the time it takes to cook a Pot Noodle.
I really do believe there is still time to salvage the character but for him to go from the pinnacle of the industry to requiring such rehab in just under a year is simply not what Bray Wyatt deserved after the effort he put in to build the character.
And, avoiding such a quandary in the first place really wasn’t that difficult, in my opinion.
I would have the beginning stay pretty much the same. It was great. Have the Firefly Funhouse promos air, leaving everyone slightly uncertain about what exactly is going on.
One thing that I would have established a little better, however, is how this new mellow Bray and the terrifying Fiend are completely separate entities. We as the fans obviously knew that this is not the case but you could have it so that Bray clearly believes The Fiend is someone else who is there to protect him.
I won’t claim to write promos anything like Bray Wyatt and the creative team in WWE but if you have Bray talk about atonement and revenge for the past, it ties into the initial program with Balor which I really enjoyed and would then keep pretty much the same. Plus, you need that to happen for Finn to leave and go back to NXT.
Once the Balor programme is finished, keep The Fiend the hell away from the title picture. He doesn’t need to be there, and it doesn’t really make sense in terms of the character.
Instead, the next person I would have The Fiend attack would be Erick Rowan.
Around the time Rowan was revealed as Roman Reigns’ attacker and turned on Daniel Bryan, have Rowan beat Reigns and then… boom.
Lights out, lights up, Fiend attacks. Reigns can afford the loss anyway.
After this, have Bray doing the Funhouse talking about Rowan abandoning and betraying him, just like he has now done to Bryan. You want to make The Fiend look unstoppable, so you can even have Luke Harper return and let The Fiend take them both out.
In real life Harper left shortly after this so you can use this to write him off TV and get Rowan away from Daniel Bryan. Plus, the whole Rowan/Bryan/Reigns thing didn’t really go anywhere so you can just write that off and take Rowan away for a couple weeks to then come back and play with a robot spider.
This can then lead into the Daniel Bryan programme, which was a great feud in my opinion. Also, you don’t need the title to justify this, either. Bryan was involved with Rowan, so he is close enough to encounter Bray’s alter-ego and the whole storyline so far has been on the premise of Fiend ‘hunting’ those who have ‘abandoned’ him – so Bryan fits the bill nicely.
The mini side programme with The Miz isn’t really needed. You could have him be respectful to Bryan the way they did it in real life resulting in The Fiend hurting him, but you shouldn’t have The Miz be such a big focal point of the Bryan/Fiend feud because that should have all the focus.
After taking out Balor, Harper and Rowan, the Bryan feud is not only the next logical step but a true marquee programme for Fiend-era Wyatt. The only thing I would cut out is the confusing segment with Ramblin’ Rabbit trying to tell Bryan the Fiend’s “weakness”, because they didn’t actually bother going anywhere with that. Unless, of course, there’s a plan to revisit that down the line.
Now at this point we are approaching the present day, so in terms of loose ends, Seth Rollins can instead drop the title to Baron Corbin. With the win in King Of The Ring, he has the most claim to challenge for the title and being a chicken shit heel champion would tie in so well to his character. Plus, to be honest, the guy works hard.
This can lead to Saudi Arabia where Goldberg beats Corbin for the title to build the Roman Reigns match at Wrestlemania. Instead of everyone turning on Goldberg for ruining The Fiend, he would probably be loved for finally dethroning the irritating heel Corbin (the squash of Dolph Ziggler was enjoyed by most) and people won’t be as mad about the belt being on a “part-timer”, with the King joining the likes of Iron Sheik and Mr. Bob Backlund as a perfectly functional caretaker heel champ.
Everything else going on around this can stay pretty much the same and you have made the KOTR tournament mean something instead of calling him King and losing every week to Roman Reigns. You can even still have him feud with Reigns but win via shenanigans which means Reigns is in the title picture which justifies hm challenging Goldberg.
This brings us to where we are at time of writing where WWE announced John Cena vs The Fiend at Wrestlemania. And whatever happens with the big event in the wake of the Corona outbreak, The Fiend needs to win this match. And I mean needs to win.
It’s so important for the whole revenge and redemption theme that The Fiend doesn’t get into meaningless feuds and even more important that he doesn’t lose them. Just have The Fiend decisively win, clean as a whistle. It is so important for him to look like an unstoppable monster.
Also, let’s face it, Cena is at the point in his career where he is giving back and putting guys over (except Elias) so he can take this loss.
After WM, have Bray talking more about revenge and betrayal. It is important to focus on the ‘betrayal’ aspect because the next feud is going to be Randy Orton. This makes the most sense as Randy is the man that ruined Bray Wyatt’s first and only title run and betrayed him and burned down his house. I think this could be a very good, heated rivalry.
Again, when they do face off, have a decisive, dominant win for The Fiend which means one after the other, The Fiend has just destroyed two legends. You can even make this last a couple of months, as you don’t want to overexpose The Fiend himself. It makes him seem like a big deal when he does turn up, but you still have Bray on TV every week keeping viewers invested.
The next opponent for The Fiend to focus on I think should be Braun Strowman which obviously has a built-in storyline. Have Strowman put up a slightly bigger fight because you don’t want to ruin a potential future star by having him get destroyed in seconds, but again The Fiend wins clean.
After the win, air a Firefly Funhouse with Bray talking about only having one more debt to collect. The last remaining soul who wronged him: The Undertaker.
Now I know this is obviously dependent on UT’s health and fitness, but it’s nonetheless something that can be worked around with due care. Have him essentially call out Taker in every Funhouse episode. You can ride this all the way to Wrestlemania 37 because it builds the intensity and excitement of “will he accept?”
Then, during an episode of FFH, the lights go out and Taker appears. They could come to blows or, better yet, simply stare down and save the good stuff for the big show.
Here’s where I’d really get daring. At WM37, I would actually have The Fiend squash Taker. I feel like this protects both guys especially because it stops Taker looking weak if he can’t do a full-on match to his own standards. And if the maniacal Fiend starts things off with a vicious attack before the bell, it’s less of an emasculating defeat and more of a horror film monster shockingly wiping out one of the lead characters. At this point, Undertaker can take such a loss at Mania, especially to The Fiend.
Going forward, you can then have Bray just be Bray. Have him talk in FFH about how he got what he needs, and The Fiend serves no purpose to him now. He doesn’t need protection anymore. This is when you introduce him into the title picture.
Whoever the champ may be at that time, have Bray Wyatt win. Not The Fiend, but Bray. Have him keep it to the PPV before Summerslam where, after a great defence, lights go out. When they come back on, standing behind Bray is Finn Balor. Demon King Finn Balor, to be precise.
He attacks Bray and lays him out. It would be intriguing to see happy-go-lucky Bray, having ‘dismissed’ The Fiend and then won the title amidst a roster frozen in fear at the prospect of Fiend returning at any point during Wyatt’s regular matches, realising he has to resort to the personality he claimed wasn’t him in order to survive the return of The Demon on a revenge quest similar to Fiend’s own.
So as a result, this leads to Summerslam 2021 where the main event is Demon King vs The Fiend for the Universal Championship. We’ve had Demon punish Bray and Fiend punish Balor, and now we’re ready for the clash of the monsters to decide it all.
With this match, you can give it time. Make it an intense “slobberknocker” with explosive offense. And this is when I would have Finn beat The Fiend. This is a match that has been in the making since Summerslam 2017 with the two spookiest dudes in wrestling squaring off.
You’ve now finally given Finn his career resurgence after a refresher spell in NXT and put him back to the top five years after that fateful injury which ruined his first run. You’ve also made a compelling retirement for The Undertaker if he wants it. And you’ve made Bray Wyatt an unstoppable force in a logical way with, for the most part, no championships necessary.