Bray Wyatt's opportunity at WrestleMania redemption
- Bray Wyatt has a chance to finally gain redemption of his WrestleMania 30 loss when he once again faces John Cena.
- A look back at how his defeat to John Cena at WrestleMania 30 begun Wyatt's downward spiral.
WWE are currently scrambling when it comes to producing content for RAW, NXT, SmackDown. Honestly, it's more than understandable. The Earth is currently in chaos with the current worldwide pandemic that is dominating the daily news cycle, and WWE news are no different.
Therefore, during the recent broadcasts of RAW and SmackDown, we have seen WWE resort to showing replays of previous matches throughout WWE's history. This has included the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match, the 2020 Men's Royal Rumble match and on last week's episode of Friday Night SmackDown, the showdown between John Cena and Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX.
By replaying this WrestleMania match between Bray Wyatt and John Cena, WWE has further developed the storyline that Cena was responsible for Wyatt's trials and tribulations throughout his up and down WWE career.
Let's travel back in time. April 6, 2014. New Orleans, Louisiana. The Mercedes Benz Superdome (or Silverdome, if you ask Hulk Hogan). Bray Wyatt was set to square off against WWE's franchise player in The Wyatt Family leader's first WrestleMania appearance. My only real recollection from this match, before watching it again on Smackdown last week, was that Bray Wyatt had a ton of momentum heading into the match, and that the loss to John Cena was devastating to said momentum. Friday's repeat viewing reinforced this tenfold.
Bray Wyatt on the WWE main roster was a prospect that WWE fans had been salivating at. His work in NXT in creating "The Wyatt Family", a take on the infamous "Manson Family", had been captivating television on WWE's developmental brand at Full Sail University. From the eerie vignettes, the bizarre promos to the ginormous Wyatt Family members in Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, the stable had it all.
Once the cult faction made it to WWE's main roster, Bray Wyatt and his Wyatt Family would have spectacular feuds with the likes of Kane, Daniel Bryan and a series of show-stealing matches with The Shield, which fans still talk about to this day. Bray Wyatt was ascending to the top quick. Next up, a WrestleMania showdown with John Cena.
John Cena, on paper, was the perfect WrestleMania opponent for Bray Wyatt. The franchise player, Superman of WWE was the ideal foil to Wyatt's creepy, eerie, destitute villain. More importantly, a victory over John Cena, at the time a 14-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, on WWE's biggest stage would establish Bray Wyatt as the future top tier talent that the former NXT star was destined to be. Bray Wyatt would have then gone on to become a top talent to help carry the company for years to come. But this did not go to plan for 'The Eater of Worlds'.
Watching back this past week, it was difficult at times to figure out who the true babyface in this match was. Numerous times throughout the match, the sellout crowd in the Superdome would stand on their feet and wave their arms in the air as they sang "he's got the whole world in his hands" in unison. Bray Wyatt's fireflies were captivated. Not only were they behind Bray Wyatt, but they wanted him to win. This perfectly fit into Bray Wyatt's character. The leader of The Wyatt Family had manipulated the WWE Universe into cheering for the evil villain and turning them against the ultimate good-guy in John Cena.
However, John Cena would go on to win the match, overcoming the odds and The Wyatt Family, pinning Bray Wyatt after hitting his signature Attitude Adjustment for a pinfall in the middle of the ring. "John Cena has cemented his legacy," the WWE commentators would say over and over again. But, in cementing his legacy, John Cena had set Bray Wyatt on a new journey. A journey that would lead to a downward spiral ending in a Fun House and a future WrestleMania showdown with Cena himself.
Bray Wyatt's career would never go on to recover from this loss to John Cena at WrestleMania 30. Yes, Wyatt would have future WrestleMania showdowns with the likes of The Undertaker at WrestleMania 31, a segment with The Rock and the aforementioned John Cena at WrestleMania 32 and even defend the WWE Championship against Randy Orton at WrestleMania 33. But, there was a common theme here. Bray Wyatt lost. Every...single...time. Every time that Bray Wyatt would have a "big match" on a "big stage", Bray Wyatt would lose. Bray Wyatt couldn't win the big match and get himself to the next level and this could all be traced back to his WrestleMania 30 defeat against John Cena.
Fast forward to WWE in 2020 and what has changed? Bray Wyatt has completely reinvented himself. Gone is the 'Eater of Worlds' and his Wyatt Family. Instead, we have the fun-loving, children's entertainer, sweater-wearing version of Bray Wyatt inside his Firefly Fun House. Along with this character, we have Bray Wyatt's darker, evil, sinister alter ego in The Fiend.
The Fiend would even go on to claim the WWE Universal Championship in 2019 defeating Seth Rollins but would then shockingly lose the title to Goldberg at Super ShowDown in February 2020 in 3 minutes. The Fiend kicks out of seemingly a million stomps, running knees and chair shots to the head during his feuds with Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan, but one Jackhammer from Goldberg and that's enough to keep The Fiend down? How? Why?
But, it was later made apparent that this loss was to facilitate a WrestleMania rematch with John Cena at WrestleMania 36. Could the quick loss to Goldberg have been intentional by Bray Wyatt? The Fiend would jump up quickly after his defeat, staring at Goldberg before quickly running away. Did he sacrifice his Universal Championship for a chance at redemption? After The Fiend's WrestleMania challenge had been accepted by John Cena, the story was then told that Bray Wyatt wanted to once again face John Cena at WrestleMania as the loss at WrestleMania 30 had "broken" him.
After losing to John Cena at WrestleMania 30, Wyatt's career had never recovered, the voices in the former Universal Champion's head had become louder, louder and louder until a Fun House was created and Bray Wyatt manifested into the two versions of the character which we see. By defeating John Cena at WrestleMania 36, Bray Wyatt could finally right the wrong that sent him down the path of despair and destruction that derailed his career in the first place. Therefore, Bray Wyatt will finally be made 'whole' in WWE, six years after his initial matchup with John Cena.
Once made 'whole', Bray Wyatt could then turn his attention back to reclaiming the WWE Universal Championship. After the Roman Reigns vs Goldberg Universal Title clash at WrestleMania 36, either man who leaves The Grandest Stage of Them All with the gold should be wary. A Bray Wyatt who is fresh off of a victory against arguably the greatest WWE Superstar of all time will be a serious threat to not only the WWE Universal Championship but the very foundations of World Wrestling Entertainment itself.
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