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Recently when WWE was in Bakersfield, California, I attended RAW to visit everyone and I brought my neighBRO Arnold along, with whom I do my weekly podcast called 'Pro and Bro Wrestling', to experience the controlled chaos of live combat theater, that always gives me a high!
He’s Windham to me. But to the wrestling world, he’s known as “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and he’s been absolutely terrorizing the WWE Universe. I enjoy watching every minute of it. I’ve known Windham since I stepped foot in Florida Championship Wrestling back in the Spring of 2009 and very recently, Arnold and I recently ran into Bray backstage. He gave me the biggest hug and was so excited to see me as always. Of course, the feeling was mutual.
When I came out publicly to the world, he embraced me. When I came back from being off the road after having the Tommy John elbow surgery, he literally knocked me over in the locker room and gave me a bear hug because he was so excited to see me back after being away for months. At RAW, he and Jojo had their newborn baby with them and we were all laughing and having a blast backstage.
From working with Bray's brother (who’s Taylor to me but Bo Dallas to the world), to having the their younger sister Mika Rotunda (who was recently on my podcast and one of our first female guests on the Pro and Bro Wrestling Podcast), I love the entire family including their father Mike Rotunda with whom I worked with a great deal in WWE as he would help produce a lot of the matches I fought in.
I told Mika when she was on our podcast that I never wanted to let her dad down when he would help produce our matches. Mike Rotundo would always find me backstage and want to sit down with me and run through the match. He wouldn't do that with anyone else but me.
Throughout our Florida Championship developmental days, Bray and I have had so much fun and it’s those experiences I’ll always cherish and share with the world because I always say, ”Don’t die with a story in you…tell it!
While backstage recently in Bakersfield, CA, Windham began reflecting on the first time he and I met in developmental way back in 2009 and his exact words about me were, “I thought you were weird, dude!” WOW! We were all cracking up! I was quiet but I wasn’t weird. Hell, we're all a little weird to do what we do in the crazy world of sports entertainment.
What's funny is that both Bray and Bo are big into the conspiracy theory stuff. Well, Arnold and I asked Mika on our podcast if she was into it too and she wasn’t at all. I said, 'Girl, I hear it all the time in the locker room, on tour, and it goes through one ear and out the other!'
Anyway, we went through the Florida Championship Wrestling system eventually making it up onto the main roster where Windham briefly wrestled on WWE's main roster from 2010 to 2011 under the ring name Husky Harris, where Cody Rhodes was his “WWE Pro”, and his most notably time as a member of the New Nexus.
Husky was eventually sent back down to WWE's developmental territories and so began the evolution of Bray Wyatt, a character that made his main roster debut in 2013. From 2013 to 2018, Bray was an evil leader who was believed to be more of a monster than human, leading The Wyatt Family.
Being in the entertainment field myself, you have to keep the WWE Universe on their toes at all times. It’s only after we’ve stepped outside our comfort zone that we begin to change, grow, and transform into what we want and in 2019, Bray changed it up!
Bray would go from a friendly children's television show host who had seen the errors of his past ways and become The Fiend. Bray’s repackaging as The Fiend has been a hit with fans including myself. Bray Wyatt is one of the most interesting characters in WWE right now, thanks to a bold new persona.
I do enjoy horror films but I’m not a huge fan of them. However, I absolutely love the look of Bray’s character. I love the fact that he has a split personality. I love the fact he does his promos as the lovable Bray Wyatt but when it comes time for prime time action, he is this demonic creature under a mask.
I enjoy watching The Fiend because it’s very organically created and he is believable. My friend Bray is one of the most creatively gifted superstars in the world and he’s completely invested into his character. In my opinion, The Fiend will be successful as long as Bray continues to have creative control over his "stuff".
But I am pretty sure, speaking from my own experiences, that if The Fiend isn’t booked properly, this character too shall pass.