The WWE has something special on its hands. Will Creative allow a once-in-a-generation talent to flourish?
I don’t know how many of you follow pro wrestling, but if you do, you’re fortunate. Because right now we’re witnessing the emergence of probably the most interesting new talent since Steve Austin discovered the Stone Cold gimmick. I’m talking, of course, about the mesmerizing Bray Wyatt.
Not only is Wyatt (real name Windham Rotunda) maybe one of the four or five best guys on the mic I’ve ever heard (Ric Flair, Austin, The Rock), he’s doing it with what is ultimately a political message. (He’s also a not bad in-ring worker. He ain’t Ric Flair, but he beats the hell out of a lot of wrestling icons, like Hogan, Warrior, Rock and even John “Five Moves of Doom” Cena.)
What WWE creative has done is to add a topcoat of crazy to what is essentially #Occupy/99%er rhetoric. I was struck by this early on in his run last year and it has gotten not only more pronounced, but more nuanced and intimate with time.
And despite the fact that he’s being played as a heel, he’s getting over with the live crowds. I don’t know how much longer they’re going to be able to continue along this track without turning him babyface because the audience is going to demand it. It’s either that or change the character – have him do something that’s unarguably heinous, like beat up Jerry Lawler and give him another heart attack.
Of course, I never underestimate the ability of WWE’s creative team to fuck things up. Wyatt wouldn’t be the first fantastic young talent they ruined, and no, it wouldn’t surprise me to tune in a year from now and find him jobbing to El Torito. Such a fate would probably begin with them deciding to wrap up the Wyatt Family’s current feud by having Super Cena destroy the lot of them single-handed against Insurmountable Odds®. Because that’s what he do. Remember back when The Nexus looked like the next big thing?
Still, you hope that things are different now with Paul Levesque (Triple H) at the helm. He’s a real wrestling guy with a far better sense of talent development than those who preceded him, so maybe on his watch we’ll get to see the emergence of an icon. The potential is certainly there.
If you missed Wyatt’s promo on Monday night’s RAW, you missed one of the truly special moments in the history of the business. Have a watch.
(If this link is dead, please let me know in the comment section. I never know what’s going to get hit with a takedown notice.)