Probably the best thing to happen at WWE’s most recent pay-per-view Summerslam, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt makes his grand debut against Finn Balor.
And it was everything.
From the entrance music to the severed head lantern, The Fiend was a massive hit amongst fans worldwide. Despite being a monster, the Toronto crowd was actually cheering for him. It is usually frowned upon for heels (aka wrestling villains) to get such a favourable crowd reaction. But even I couldn’t help but applaud the sheer genius that is The Fiend.
Wyatt’s ability to personify memorable characters is impressive. To think that he started out in WWE as Husky Harris in Nexus. Then he was repackaged as a new cult leader figure of The Wyatt Family stable. Alongside Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, they were the most feared wrestlers on the roster. Later, Wyatt “set free” Rowan and Harper before the group reunited, separated and returned again. They were later joined by Braun Strowman, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan at different times. Eventually, the cult head persona ran its course. Wyatt then had an interesting storyline with Matt Hardy and his “Broken” gimmick before taking a break to heal his injuries.
As dark and scary The Fiend is, Wyatt managed to establish the character well when he came back after a hiatus in April 2019. It started off with these creepy as heck vignettes before he started showing up in various pre-taped segments called Firefly Fun House. He takes on the role of an eerie children’s entertainer with puppets, two of which are from the vignettes, called Mercy the Buzzard, Abby the Witch, Ramblin’ Rabbit and Huskus the Pig.
He even had a cardboard cutout of his old self that he wrecked with a chainsaw before telling the viewers: “And remember, Fireflies, I’ll always light the way and all you have to do is let me in.”
In one of the later segments, things get so much more sinister as he’s dressed in full The Fiend getup and there’s a kid voiceover repeatedly saying, “Follow the leader”.
You watch all the segments here:
While all that sounds like his previous cult leader gimmick, The Fiend is nothing like him. As shown in his appearances when annihilating Kurt Angle and Finn Balor, The Fiend operates in a different way. So far, he’s only had one match (the one at Summerslam) and only shows up at certain times.
Since Summerslam though, there have been no signs of The Fiend and fans are wondering why. But I think it’s a really good call to keep him away from TV appearances at least for this week. Such a dark character deserves to be treated carefully and in small doses. This adds intrigue to the mystery shrouding them. Plus, horror works best when you can’t see the monster but know it’s definitely there.
Fans have compared The Fiend to The Undertaker, mainly because of the sinister vibes both characters bring. With The Undertaker no longer on the active roster, it’s about time WWE births their next monster icon. As long as it is handled properly, The Fiend could very well be that.