I think it’s safe to say that Bray Wyatt’s WWE career has seen some highs and lows over the last few years. But when The Fiend was let in, it’s as if every bad booking decision he has faced throughout his career has been made irrelevant.
The Fiend is arguably the best character that WWE has produced in a very long time. Kudos has to be given to Wyatt for successfully reinventing himself and for gaining a ton of momentum so early on.
The Firefly Funhouse did come across as a bit cheesy at first. We originally thought Bray’s new character would be a children’s TV presenter.
Quite a change considering that the original Bray Wyatt played the role of a sadistic cult leader. But as the Funhouse segments became more and more sinister, The Fiend began to emerge. The story behind it is that Bray was encouraging the audience to ‘Let Him In’.
The Fiend is born
It’s not just The Fiend that has emerged as a result of the Firefly Funhouse. We’ve also been introduced to his various puppet pals, all of which give a subtle nod to his past.
We have Mercy the Buzzard, based off of his former catchphrase ‘Follow the Buzzards’.
We have ‘Abby the Witch’ in reference to Bray’s ‘Sister Abigail’ from the Wyatt family.
There’s ‘Huskins the Pig’, a reference to his original NXT character; Husky Harris. And of course, we can’t forget ‘Ramblin Rabbit’, who may not have a direct reference to the previous gimmick but still memorable to see him get killed off numerous times on the Funhouse!
It’s these little nods to Bray’s old persona that have really made the difference in the development of his character.
The puppets have also been hidden in plain sight throughout various backstage segments on WWE TV. This has created the effect that The Fiend is somewhere watching them from within the shadows. It’s the stuff of nightmares!
The cherry on top for his return was his SummerSlam match against Finn Balor.
The entrance alone stole the show! A new death metal cover of his old theme song, a lantern with an effigy of Bray’s head around it and references to classic horror movies such as Beetlejuice and ‘It’ which have been incorporated into his attire and titantron.
His in-ring work has also noticeably changed. The Fiend is a lot more aggressive, hard-hitting and has incorporated new moves such as the Mandible Claw as a finisher.
Rumour has it that The Fiend will be making sporadic appearances going forward.
This makes a lot of sense as The Fiend has been regarded as a ‘special character’, so it only makes sense that he be treated as such.
Only save him for the occasional segment or attack on Raw and keep his matches to a minimum. Continuous over-exposure at this stage would only dampen The Fiend’s eerie persona over time and the audience would quickly start to lose interest.
It seems as if WWE has learned from their past mistakes with Bray and are now trying to rectify it. They have done an excellent job with the execution of the new character and with this potential new booking pattern, it’s clear that they want to take their time with him going forward.
His big return match was a definitive win over Balor. This could potentially lead to a rematch with Finn as the Demon.
Other dream opponents may include guys like Aleister Black, Braun Strowman and maybe even, The Undertaker.
If The Fiend is only going to make sporadic appearances when it comes to in-ring matches and random attacks, it would make sense to have the Firefly Funhouse booked in the same way.
Keep the segments spread out so that there is enough material for long term booking and we get to see more of Bray as the happy presenter as well as the evil monster.
The two sides to his character create an almost Jekyll/Hyde type persona. This is reflective of his in-ring return in which he seemed to be facing an internal struggle between being the Bray of old and The Fiend.
A Potential Stable?
With the Fiend being brought to life through the Firefly Funhouse segments, there’s every chance that his puppet pals could evolve into something more sinister too.
They could be represented by superstars who have been under-utilised on the main roster and join The Fiend as part of a new stable. A good example would be the B-Team.
Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel have been MIA for some time now. Why not give them a new booking direction?
Plus with Bo being Wyatt’s real life brother, it would add some natural chemistry.
It doesn’t need to be anything fancy either; it can be as simple as wearing masks of Mercy, Huskins or Ramblin Rabbit with regular street clothes.
Their faces would be concealed so identities would remain anonymous and it would be a tribute to another classic horror movie, ‘Pet Sematary’.
With Fiend appearances likely to be kept to a minimum, having his ‘Funhouse’ stable do all the attacks going forward would be a good way to remind the audience of his presence.
The one thing they’ll need to be careful with is timing and how frequent the attacks will be. They could have one character appear once a week or they could all appear every few weeks.
Either way, it could keep both the audience and superstars in check and keep everyone consistently on edge.
This would also catapult The Fiend into a position where he has a complete psychological advantage over the entire roster, a position that realistically, only the Undertaker has been able to do in the past.
The Fiend’s arrival has made an impact not just on WWE TV but to their other outlets too.
Masks of The Fiend and Mercy the Buzzard are now sold as merchandise whilst the WWE 2K20 game has included a Halloween themed add-on which features The Fiend as a playable character.
It’s safe to say we are all intrigued to see what happens next.
There’s unpredictability, numerous different booking directions and a genuine emotional investment with the character.
WWE appears to have struck gold with Bray Wyatt finally and now’s the chance to strike the iron while it is hot. It would be a massive disappointment if they let this go to waste.
Competition between promotions is fierce in 2019 and The Fiend has the potential to be WWE’s trump card.
Let Him In.
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The analyst of the team and the inaugural ESSR Champion, David provides all the random facts and stats of the wrestling world, until another team member slams him for botching or micro-hosting.
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