Finally, The Fiend!

When WWE debuted the character of Bray Wyatt (real name, Windham Rotunda) on Monday Night RAW in May of 2014, wrestling fans with a passion for horror were instantly captivated. While the character had already had a successful run in the early days of WWE’s NXT developmental territory, it was in the vignettes predating his on-screen debut as part of RAW that it truly came into its own.  The haunting music combined with eerie visuals that conjured the imagery of the backwoods south with a smattering of apocalyptic religious zealotry was unlike anything that had been seen in the ring since the days of Raven in ECW.  The character proved an instant hit, swiftly being launched into programs with Daniel Bryan and John Cena, undeniably the biggest stars of the time.

Sadly, the good times were not to last.  Bray Wyatt’s character eventually drifted into obscurity, delivering monotonously vague promos and repeating the same storytelling over and over with various opponents. Despite a brief reign as WWE champion in 2016, the character seemed to have lost its meaning as WWE could not seem to decide what it wanted Bray Wyatt to be. Insane cult leader? Supernatural force? Or just babbling lunatic?  It garnered little notice when the character vanished from television in late 2018, not to be seen again for months.

Then came Firefly Funhouse, and a seeming rebirth. Bray Wyatt was now revealed as a Mr Rogers style children’s icon, talking in over the top delight to his canned in audience as he introduced his bevy of puppet sidekicks and delighted the little ones in the audience with is antics.  Yet in each promo some ominous signs were given that this new and happier Bray Wyatt was hiding something.  Sinner dark, inner side to himself that he struggled to repress.  Just as swiftly as they began, the promos ended and it seemed this story had gone nowhere. Until last night, Summerslam 2019.

And boy, did it ever deliver!  Under the new moniker of The Fiend, this ghastly figure stalked to the ring amidst a haunting remix of Bray Wyatt’s old theme music.  Sporting a lantern resembling a human head (his own, in fact), garishly mismatched ring gear, and a downright nightmarish mask designed by no less than FX legend Tom Savini, The Fiend came to make an impression.  And promptly did so by destroying the first ever Universal Champion, Finn Balor, in short order.  In less than 24 hours wrestling fandom has been set abuzz by this gruesome new visage, and wait with tense anticipation to see where this new angle shall lead.

Posted by Daniel Ryan

I am a 36 year old man from New Jersey with a lifelong passion for horror, science fiction, true crime, and cryptozoology. I will do my utmost to be a worthwhile contributor to House of Tortured Souls.

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