Religious sentiment is always something that pro wrestling has embraced.
Stone Cold Steve Austin became a sweeping sensation after beating the converted Jake “the Snake” Roberts and coined the “Austin 3:16” phrase. It was the religious, almost sacrilegious aspects that became so wildly popular, starting at King of the Ring.
Later, Shawn Michaels made his electric return and started kneeling down and throwing his hands up to Jesus Christ before he performed. The former arrogant superstar who shook the world with his matches and worshiped himself began glorifying a higher power on the world’s stage. This was also embraced by the WWE fan base with open arms.
Now the WWE has a new religious character and he is called Bray Wyatt.
Wyatt’s character was abused as a child, and he supposedly killed his dad and was sent away for a bit. While at what is assumed to be an institution, he taught himself to read. First it was Clifford the Red Dog, and then it was the Bible, or the “good book.”He used the bible and the decline of morality many times as motivations for his character when he wrestled in NXT.
Now he frightens the crowd with his entrance. He walks in pitch darkness with nothing but the pale light of an orange flame from a rusted lantern. It sways as he joins the center of the ring. He does not bow to God or seek crowd approval, and he has intimidating underlings. One is a red-bearded monster wearing a sheep’s mask. The other is a giant that resembles Charlie Manson.
WWE has all the ingredients in making the Wyatts the next great heels if they allow them to tell their story like they did in NXT. Unfortunately, I am seeing them team with the Shield as of right now, and they seemed to have taken away that biblical, eerie, cult-ish version of them in these past weeks.
They will face CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Goldust, Cody Rhodes and the Usos this Sunday in Survivor Series. They will most likely lose, but this will be good for them. Bray Wyatt has to be allowed to tell his story because it is what makes them effective. Hopefully that religious angle won’t be buried in the Authority storyline or get tangled up with an attempt to turn the Shield into babyfaces.
It is the Wyatt family’s dark religion that will take them to the top.