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Opinion: WWE Hell in a Cell 2019 might only be the starting point for The Fiend's underwhelming booking

Modified 17 Oct 2019, 11:09 IST

Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt's first TV appearance after Hell in a Cell 2019

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Sportskeeda.

The Fiend has been widely regarded as one of the most popular gimmicks in wrestling, not only in 2019, but over the last several years. For the first few months since his debut, this phenomenon of a character received overwhelming support and admiration from fans and was also backed by WWE. Not often does such a talented wrestler get so much creative control over his character and also receive the push Bray Wyatt has. Leading up to the Hell in a Cell 2019 pay-per-view, The Fiend’s popularity reached unparalleled heights, but with one questionable ending, that has all since changed.

Unfortunately, many fans were disappointed with the outcome of Wyatt’s Universal Championship bout against Seth Rollins at HIAC. The Fiend’s momentum was severely undermined with the match ending in a “no contest” by a referee stoppage. 

On the next week’s episode of SmackDown, Wyatt was drafted to the Blue brand as the fourth overall pick. The Fiend also attacked Seth Rollins in his match against Roman Reigns earlier in the night.

Bray Wyatt was in the first round of draft picks last Friday
Bray Wyatt was in the first round of draft picks last Friday

The Fiend's loss at Hell in a Cell has managed to chip away at some of his popularity. It caused some fans concern regarding The Fiend’s future in WWE. Despite some supporters considering his recent roster move as a nice first step to restore the character's momentum, the audience's concern over his future presentation is still prevalent. Keeping that in mind, let's look at The Fiend's WWE future and why it might not look as bright as it did only weeks ago.

Wyatt’s performance at HIAC 2019

Bray Wyatt was the beneficiary of an impressive push heading into the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. His Universal title program was WWE's chance to show how far they were willing to go with such a popular act.

The company, however, decided not to give Wyatt his first Universal Championship at HIAC. Instead, creative tried to protect The Fiend by making him no-sell most of Rollins’ brutal offense. Despite being the recipient of a brutal onslaught, WWE allowed Wyatt to bounce back and attack Rollins post-match. Unfortunately, nothing could have saved the questionable ending.

We saw The Fiend’s resilience, which may restrict the writing for him in the future. Despite having great potential and being booked almost perfectly up to the point of the match itself, Wyatt's first Universal Championship storyline turned out to be his first serious obstacle on his way to the top of the promotion.


Bray Wyatt receiving another
Bray Wyatt receiving another "Stomp" from Seth Rollins at HiaC 2019

What about the latest episode of SmackDown?

After not having a TV appearance on the RAW after Hell in a Cell, Bray Wyatt has returned to our screens via the last episode of SmackDown. The Fiend tore through the ring canvas during Rollins' opening match with Roman Reigns. He eventually put the Mandible Claw on the Universal Champion. After that, he dragged Rollins through the hole in the ring. Rollins managed to escape. Then the menacing Fiend stared at Rollins from that hole and after a brief blackout, Wyatt simply stood on the ramp. The scene seemed overly staged and overly produced, providing for an awkward visual.

Why is this situation worrying?

First, The Fiend’s quest for the Universal Title still feels unfinished. The current champion Seth Rollins was drafted to RAW last Monday. Separating these two when their only match ended in a “no contest”, makes Bray Wyatt look like he didn’t achieve some of his goals. That could change at Crown Jewel, but with the two Superstars now on separate brands, that is highly unlikely.

The Fiend has kicked out of a whopping eleven "Stomps” and survived multiple horrifying weapon attacks by Seth Rollins at HIAC. Booking his matches in a balanced and logical way may not be an easy task for the SmackDown writers going forward.

What's next?

The Fiend is still involved in the Universal Championship picture. Fighting for something less than a world title or against a mid-card performer won't suit him well, especially with expectations still high.

We saw a questionable course of events for The Fiend at Hell in a Cell 2019 and that continued on SmackDown. Now, creative has to try as hard as they can to re-establish Wyatt’s character and restore his lost momentum. Booking an unbeatable monster heading forward will prove difficult, as they have cornered themselves with some questionable creative decisions.

If WWE could give creative control entirely to Wyatt, there still could be hope for The Fiend character. He comes from a famous wrestling family, grew up with the sport, and has already proven that he knows how to handle his character better than anyone else does.

Published 16 Oct 2019, 16:04 IST
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