Opinion: Why Bray Wyatt's impending return is make or break for his career
A few years ago, that might have been an exciting prospect. Wyatt, was a wild, innovative character that had followers based upon the infamous Manson Family, aptly named the Wyatt Family and also had shades of Cape Fear's Max Cady character or Waylon Mercy for longtime WWE fans.
He was a star on the rise in NXT and upon his debut on main roster WWE television in the summer of 2013. However, Wyatt ran into the same problem many new superstars faced in the company between 2006 and 2016: John Cena.
Wyatt's aura was permanently damaged by his long running series with Cena in which he lost and lost again and his once memorable creepy promos became nothing but a series of empty threats.
After two years of meandering in the mid-card it appeared Wyatt's character was heading for a reboot when he took a dip in Matt Hardy's "Lake of Reincarnation" on the Hardy Compound.
However, despite disappearing beneath the water, the next time we saw Wyatt, there was no discernible difference in his look or demeanour other than he was now a follower rather than a leader.
After pledging his allegiance, to Hardy's "Woken" incarnation, Wyatt achieved some degree of career resurgence as the new team won the Tag Team Titles on Raw before Hardy was sidelined by what was first feared to be a career ending neck injury.
Wyatt then disappeared.
He has not been missed.
The problem with Wyatt's character is that it has never evolved. It was essentially the same in 2018 as it was in 2013, only substantially less over, due to his poor booking ever since the 2014 Cena feud.
His perplexing return video in which WWE informed it's viewers that it was a buzzard emerging from a cardboard box does not appear to bode well for a positive character transformation.
In fact, what it actually does is evoke memories of the ludicrous Gobbledygooker character that "hatched" out of an oversized egg at the 1990 Survivor Series. Wyatt had better hope his return will have a longer run than the Gobbledygooker did.
For his career to truly rejuvenate, Wyatt needs to take a leaf from the Kane playbook circa 1999.
Originally brought in as a "once and done" character for a feud with storyline brother, The Undertaker, Kane greatly evolved over time and against the odds became one of the longest serving WWE characters of all time, racking up over two decades on WWE television on and off.
Following his feud with "The Phenom", Kane teamed with his brother as the allure of Championship gold proved greater than sibling rivalry. He was then betrayed by his father and without guidance went on a rampage and was committed to an insane asylum. He was given a sense of belonging and guidance by Vince McMahon and his corporation only to be betrayed yet again at Wrestlemania XV and unite with former foe, X-Pac to unite against a common enemy in Triple H, Chyna and the rest of the Corporation.
That was a 12 month journey the character embarked upon, just six months after his debut. He went on many, many more over the subsequent 20 years. Five years after his debut on the main roster, Wyatt hasn't developed as a character anywhere close to what Kane did in the space of one year.
2019 really is make or break for Wyatt, if he is to enjoy anything like career longevity.
It would be nice to see him form another stable, possibly in tandem with Daniel Bryan. An eco-warrior style faction with Bryan, Rowan and others would offer numerous possibilities. Perhaps they could look at 1999 WWE for influence once more, with The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness, who attempted to seize control of the company from the McMahons.
The Wyatt Family 2.0 could try and do the same citing President Trump supporter, Vince McMahon as unfit to lead a company the size of WWE and they as eco-friendly leaders would be a better fit to head up the company going forward.
This would be a multi-layered storyline uncommon in WWE in 2019 and could set up interesting bouts between Wyatt, Bryan and McMahon representatives, Triple H and Shane McMahon and others.
It remains to be seen, whether WWE will try anything new with Wyatt or if his latest return will be nothing more than a false dawn.
However, if Wyatt is to achieve the career longevity that Kane had before him, then he needs to evolve. If not, then the Wyatt character will no longer exist by the time 2020 rolls around.