Yesterday, on WWE’s Monday Night Raw, Bray Wyatt revealed the latest update to his ever-evolving monstrous character. Reaching deeper into horror movie territory than ever before, Wyatt is now sporting a monster mask designed by horror VFX master Tom Savini, paired with red-and-black Beetlejuice pants. It’s scary as hell, even if he also looks like a zombified Doink the Clown. But is this new “scary” persona leading Bray anywhere good?
Bray Wyatt is a hugely talented performer, but his character has always been a poor fit for today’s WWE. The Bray Wyatt gimmick demands a company that’s willing to take risks, both in terms of content and storytelling. Successful horror-themed characters like the Undertaker and Kane got to ply their trade during the Attitude Era when new stars were being made and blood, mayhem, and literal crucifixions were fair game. The Wyatt concept may have flown then, but it doesn’t work on a PG family-friendly show where the most-marketable stars always win in the end.
Wyatt can cut a hell of a spooky, apocalyptic promo, but eventually, fans cottoned to the fact that none of it means anything. Wyatt’s never going to be allowed to do anything truly scary, and until his character connects in a real way his promises to upend the system are just bluster. I’m sure the Brayman Who Laughs will have a kickass new entrance, but then what? Maybe WWE will finally let Wyatt off his leash, but it’s just as likely he’ll return to projecting bugs on the ring and brawling in haunted houses.
And therein lies the brilliance of the Firefly Fun House – it let Wyatt be creepy within the confines of modern PG WWE. You can’t be Freddy Krueger in WWE. The disparity between what the character should be and what can make the whole endeavor come off as pointless and silly. But a creepily overenthusiastic Mr. Rogers who annoys the crowd and steals kids’ candy? That’s exactly the WWE’s speed!
Of course, we don’t know the fate of the Firefly Fun House yet. Hopefully, it won’t be jettisoned now that Wyatt’s unveiled his new slasher movie look. Maybe they’ll do a Finn Balor/The Demon thing with Bray switching personas. That said, if it needs to be one or the other, let’s hope Fun House Bray puts Auxiliary Slipknot Member Bray in a permanent time out.