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Bray Wyatt

Bray Wyatt

American professional wrestler
Bray Wyatt
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American professional wrestler
A.K.A. Husky Harris, Windham Rotunda, Finska
Is Wrestler Athlete Actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio Sports
Gender male
Birth 23 May 1987, Brooksville, USA
Age 34 years
Star sign Gemini
Family
Father: Mike Rotunda
Siblings: Bo Dallas
Stats
Height: 191 cm
Weight: 129 kg
Sports Teams
Troy Trojans football
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

Windham Lawrence Rotunda (born May 23, 1987) is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the promotion's SmackDown brand under the ring name "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt. He is a two-time world champion in WWE, having held the WWE Championship and Universal Championship once each.

Rotunda is a third-generation professional wrestler following in the footsteps of his grandfather Blackjack Mulligan, his father Mike Rotunda, and two of his uncles, Barry and Kendall Windham. His younger brother Taylor Rotunda also performs in WWE under the ring name Bo Dallas. Alongside his brother, he held the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship twice while in WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where he wrestled under various ring names between 2009 and 2012. He also briefly wrestled on WWE's main roster from 2010 to 2011 under the ring name Husky Harris, most notably as a member of The Nexus.

After returning to WWE's developmental territories, Rotunda was rebranded as Bray Wyatt, the villainous cult leader of The Wyatt Family, with the group eventually making its main roster debut in 2013. Wyatt went on to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (with Luke Harper and Randy Orton under the Freebird rule) once, the WWE Championship once, and the Raw Tag Team Championship (with Matt Hardy) once. After taking a hiatus in August 2018, Wyatt returned to WWE programming in April 2019 with a new gimmick of a children's entertainer, hosting a show called Firefly Fun House while simultaneously debuting a sinister alter ego known as "The Fiend". Shortly after the in-ring debut of his Fiend character, he won the Universal Championship for the first time, becoming a two time world champion in WWE.

Early life

Windham Lawrence Rotunda was born in Brooksville, Florida, on May 23, 1987. He attended Hernando High School, where he won a state wrestling championship at 275 pounds (125 kg) in 2005. He graduated in 2005. He also played football as a defensive tackle and guard. Rotunda played at the College of the Sequoias for two seasons, earning second-team All-American honors as a sophomore offensive guard. He earned a football scholarship to Troy University, where he played collegiate football for two years. He left Troy 27 credit hours short of earning a bachelor's degree after deciding to become a wrestler.

Professional wrestling career

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE

Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2010)

Rotunda debuted in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in April 2009 with a victory, using the name Alex Rotundo. He later changed his name to Duke Rotundo. In June 2009, he began teaming with his brother Bo. At the FCW television tapings on July 23, The Rotundo Brothers defeated The Dude Busters (Caylen Croft and Trent Barretta) to become the number one contenders to the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. That same night, they defeated Justin Angel and Kris Logan for the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. They went on to successfully defend the championship against Dylan Klein and Vance Archer and the team of Curt Hawkins and Heath Slater. At the FCW television tapings on November 19, The Rotundo Brothers lost the championship to The Dude Busters.

The Nexus (2010–2011)

Rotunda as Husky Harris during his tenure as part of The Nexus in November 2010

On June 2, 2010, he joined NXT under the name Husky Harris, with Cody Rhodes as his WWE Pro. Harris made his debut on the June 8 episode of NXT, competing in a tag team match with Rhodes against Montel Vontavious Porter and Percy Watson, which they lost. Harris turned into a villain on the June 22 episode of NXT by attacking announcer Matt Striker, just as Rhodes had done the previous week. The following week on NXT, Harris lost to Montel Vontavious Porter in a singles match, and was ranked seventh out of the eight rookies in the first poll. In the second poll, Harris moved up to sixth place, narrowly avoiding elimination. On August 9, the rookies appeared in a six-man tag team match on Raw, which Harris' team won when he pinned Kaval, but his team lost a rematch the following night on NXT. In the poll later that night, Harris climbed to fourth place out of the six rookies. Harris was one of two rookies eliminated from NXT on August 17 and, following his elimination, Harris and Rhodes attacked Kaval, resulting in a brawl also involving Montel Vontavious Porter and Kofi Kingston. Harris reappeared in the season finale of NXT with the other eliminated rookies and joined in on the attack on the NXT winner, Kaval.

While on NXT, Rotunda continued wrestling in FCW while retaining the Husky Harris ring name. In September 2010 following his elimination from NXT, Harris began a feud in FCW with Percy Watson when he attacked Watson while teaming with him in a tag team match, which led to Watson being pinned for the loss. When Harris and Watson faced off in a match, they were both counted out as they brawled out of the arena, which led to a no disqualification match that Harris lost. The feud ended in October, with Harris defeating Watson in a lumberjack match.

At the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on October 4, a disguised Harris and Michael McGillicutty interfered in a match between John Cena and Wade Barrett, and helped Barrett win, forcing Cena to join Barrett's faction The Nexus per the pre-match stipulation. Harris' and McGillicutty's identities were revealed on the following day's episode of Raw, though Barrett claimed he had not asked for their help and refused to make them full-time members of The Nexus. The following week on Raw, Harris and McGillicutty cost Cena a match against The Miz, prompting Barrett to give them the opportunity to win membership in the Nexus. On the October 18 episode of Raw, Harris and McGillicutty failed to earn a place in The Nexus when they lost to Cena and Randy Orton in a tag team match. In spite of their loss, Harris and McGillicutty were inducted into The Nexus on Raw the following week. In January 2011, CM Punk took over The Nexus and had each of its members put through an initiation. Harris passed his initiation, a lashing from the rest of the group, and was allowed to remain a member of The New Nexus, alongside Punk, McGillicutty and David Otunga. On the January 31 episode of Raw, Harris and McGillicutty unsuccessfully challenged Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov for the WWE Tag Team Championship, after which Orton attacked the duo as part of his rivalry with the Nexus and punted Harris in the head, which was used to write Harris off television.

Return to FCW (2011–2012)

Following the punt by Orton on Raw, Rotunda returned to FCW and in March 2011 adopted the gimmick of the hockey mask-wearing Axel Mulligan, but the character never made it to FCW TV, and Rotunda continued to play the Husky Harris character on FCW TV. In August 2011, Harris became embroiled in his brother Bo's (then FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion) feud with Lucky Cannon and Damien Sandow. The two brothers later teamed up to defeat Cannon and Sandow in a tag team match. Later, Harris voiced his displeasure of Bo's relationship with Aksana, and when Bo suffered a legit injury his title was vacated and a tournament set up to determine the new champion, during which Harris defeated Big E Langston to make it to the final, a fatal four-way match against Dean Ambrose, Leo Kruger and Damien Sandow, which he lost after Richie Steamboat (who was at ringside to aim for Ambrose) performed a superkick on Harris instead. Despite Aksana managed to get Steamboat to attack Harris again, he still won a triple threat match against Ambrose and Sandow to earn a match for the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship against Kruger, which Harris lost when he was distracted with Steamboat's interference once again. As a result, Harris and Steamboat began feuding, with their first match ending in a no contest. Kruger later defeated the pair in a triple threat match to retain the title. However, Harris defeated Steamboat in a No Holds Barred match. After the pair continued to frequently attack each other, they were suspended for 30 days. Upon their return, Harris defeated Steamboat in a bullrope match to end their feud. On February 2, 2012, Harris and Bo Rotundo defeated Brad Maddox and Eli Cottonwood to win the vacant FCW Florida Tag Team Championship for the second time. They successfully defended the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship against Antonio Cesaro and Alexander Rusev, but lost the championship to Corey Graves and Jake Carter on March 15.

The Wyatt Family (2012–2014)

In April 2012, Rotunda debuted a new character, Bray Wyatt, who initially associated himself with Eli Cottonwood in FCW. When WWE rebranded FCW into NXT Wrestling, Wyatt debuted on the July 11 episode of the rebooted NXT taped at Full Sail University, where he defeated Aiden English. In July, Wyatt suffered a torn pectoral muscle and required surgery. Despite the injury, Wyatt continued to appear on NXT, founding a faction known as The Wyatt Family in November, with Luke Harper as his first "son" and Erick Rowan as his second. Wyatt had his first match back from injury on the February 21, 2013 episode of NXT, where he defeated Yoshi Tatsu. Wyatt suffered his first loss on the March 13 episode of NXT to Bo Dallas. On the May 2 episode of NXT, Wyatt was defeated by Chris Jericho. On the May 8 episode of NXT, Harper and Rowan defeated Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey to win the NXT Tag Team Championship. The Wyatt Family began a feud with Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno, with Wyatt defeating Graves on the May 22 episode of NXT. The following week on NXT, Wyatt eliminated both Graves and Ohno during an 18-man battle royal to determine the number one contender to the NXT Championship, being eliminated by Neville. On the June 19 episode of NXT, The Wyatt Family defeated the team of Graves, Neville and Ohno. On the July 10 episode of NXT, The Wyatt Family defeated Graves, Neville and William Regal in a six-man tag team match. On the July 17 episode of NXT (which was taped on June 20), Harper and Rowan lost the NXT Tag Team Championship to Neville and Graves.

The Wyatt Family at WrestleMania XXX, with Wyatt (center) sitting on the top turnbuckle

From the May 27 episode of Raw, WWE aired vignettes promoting the upcoming debut of The Wyatt Family. The vignettes showed The Wyatt Family's backwoods origins and Rowan wearing a lamb mask. On the July 8 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family made their debut by assaulting Kane. The Wyatt Family continued their attacks on wrestlers such as R-Truth, Justin Gabriel, Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal while sending cryptic messages to Kane asking him to "follow the buzzards". Following another assault, Kane challenged Wyatt to a Ring of Fire match at SummerSlam on August 18, which Wyatt won following interference from Harper and Rowan. After the match, Harper and Rowan again attacked Kane, carrying him away. Wyatt's next targeted Kofi Kingston, who he defeated at Battleground on October 6.

The Wyatt Family began feuding with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in late October, leading to Punk and Bryan defeating Harper and Rowan at Survivor Series on November 24. The Wyatt Family continued their feud with Bryan as Wyatt attempted to recruit Bryan, and The Wyatt Family defeated Bryan in a handicap match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 15. On the final Raw of 2013, Bryan defeated Harper and Rowan in a gauntlet match so that he could face Wyatt, where Harper and Rowan interfered for a disqualification and attacked him until a frustrated Bryan finally gave up and joined The Wyatt Family. After Bryan joined them, The Wyatt Family could not find success. This caused Wyatt to punish Bryan, leading to Bryan attacking all the other members of The Wyatt Family on the January 13 episode of Raw to signal him breaking free of the group. At the Royal Rumble on January 26, Wyatt defeated Bryan. Later at the event, The Wyatt Family cost John Cena his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Randy Orton, with The Wyatt Family attacking Cena also after the match.

On the January 27 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family attacked Bryan, Cena and Sheamus during an Elimination Chamber qualifying match against The Shield, meaning Bryan's team won by disqualification and The Shield lost a chance to enter the Elimination Chamber match. A six-man tag match was instead set up between The Shield and The Wyatt Family at the event on February 23, which The Wyatt Family won. They later interfered in the Elimination Chamber match, leading to Cena's elimination.

After Elimination Chamber, Wyatt feuded with Cena, with Wyatt wanting to prove that Cena's heroic act was a facade characteristic of "this era of lies" while also trying to turn Cena into a "monster". Wyatt went on to accept Cena's challenge for a WrestleMania match, with Cena successfully resisting the urge to become a "monster" and overcoming interference from Harper and Rowan to defeat Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX, thus marking Wyatt's first pinfall loss on WWE's main roster. The feud continued after WrestleMania XXX based on the story that Wyatt was capturing Cena's fanbase, which was exemplified by Wyatt leading a children's choir to the ring on the April 28 episode of Raw, with the children later putting on sheep masks. At Extreme Rules on May 4, Wyatt defeated Cena in a steel cage match, after repeated interference from the rest of The Wyatt Family and a "demonic" child. Cena's feud with Wyatt continued with a Last Man Standing match being set up for Payback on June 1, where Cena buried Wyatt under multiple equipment cases to win the match and end the feud. On the June 13 episode of SmackDown, Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose to qualify for the 2014 Money in the Bank ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship on June 29, which Cena won.

The following night on Raw, The Wyatt Family attacked a returning Chris Jericho. This led to matches between Wyatt and Jericho at Battleground on July 20, where Jericho won, and at SummerSlam on August 17, where Wyatt won with Harper and Rowan banned from ringside. The feud with Jericho ended on the September 8 episode of Raw, when Wyatt won a steel cage match by escaping the cage.

Various feuds (2014–2015)

Beginning on September 29, vignettes were shown of Wyatt "setting Harper and Rowan free". Wyatt returned alone at Hell in a Cell on October 26, during the main event match between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, costing Ambrose the match. In the following weeks, Wyatt taunted Ambrose while offering to "fix" him like he had done with Harper and Rowan. On November 23 at Survivor Series, Wyatt eventually defeated Ambrose by disqualification after Ambrose used a steel chair to attack Wyatt. At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 14, Wyatt defeated Ambrose in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match which main evented the event. Wyatt once again defeated Ambrose on the December 22 episode of Raw in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight. The feud culminated in an ambulance match on the January 5, 2015 episode of Raw, which Wyatt won to effectively ending their feud.

At Royal Rumble on January 25, Wyatt competed in the Royal Rumble match entering at number 5, and he lasted for almost 47 minutes, eliminating six other contestants before being eliminated by Big Show and Kane. Following the Royal Rumble, Wyatt began a series of cryptic promos, referring himself as "The New Face of Fear"; at Fastlane, Wyatt emerged from a casket and challenged The Undertaker for a match at WrestleMania 31 on March 29, which Undertaker accepted, but Wyatt was unsuccessful in defeating The Undertaker.

Following WrestleMania 31, Wyatt launched another series of enigmatic promos, which were revealed to be directed to Ryback on the April 27 episode of Raw, after Wyatt attacked Ryback following his match with Bo Dallas. On the following episode of SmackDown, Wyatt again attacked Ryback after his match. Wyatt won the subsequent match at Payback.

The Wyatt Family reunion (2015–2016)

At Money in the Bank on June 14, Wyatt interfered in the Money in the Bank ladder match and attacked Roman Reigns (who had defeated him in a qualification match on Raw) as Reigns was close to retrieving the briefcase. This led to a match between the two at Battleground on July 19, where Wyatt defeated Reigns with the help of former Wyatt Family member Luke Harper, reforming the team (without Erick Rowan, who was injured at the time but rejoined the group later). At SummerSlam on August 23, Wyatt and Harper lost to Reigns and Ambrose. The following night on Raw, Wyatt introduced a new Wyatt Family member named Braun Strowman, who attacked both Ambrose and Reigns. At Night of Champions on September 20, The Wyatt Family defeated Reigns, Ambrose and Jericho in a six-man tag team match. At Hell in a Cell on October 25, after Wyatt was defeated by Reigns in a Hell in a Cell match to end their feud, The Wyatt Family attacked The Undertaker and carried him backstage, reigniting their feud. The next night on Raw, Wyatt was confronted by former rival Kane, who was attacked by the Wyatts and also carried backstage. On the November 9 episode of Raw, The Brothers of Destruction returned and attacked The Wyatt Family. At Survivor Series on November 22, Wyatt and Harper lost to The Brothers of Destruction.

The Wyatt Family confronts The Rock at WrestleMania 32

At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 13, The Wyatt Family defeated Team ECW in an eight-man tag team elimination tables match. Wyatt was scheduled to face Brock Lesnar (whom The Wyatt Family eliminated from the 2016 Royal Rumble match) at Roadblock on March 12, but - reportedly due to a serious back injury - Wyatt was joined in that match by Luke Harper; Lesnar won that handicap match. At WrestleMania 32, The Wyatt Family confronted The Rock, who defeated Rowan in an impromptu match in six seconds; the Wyatts were fended off by John Cena and The Rock.

On the April 4 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family attacked The League of Nations, starting an unexplained feud between the two villainous factions. On April 13, during a match against Reigns at a live event in Italy, Wyatt suffered an injury to his right calf and was pulled off WWE's European tour. His injury resulted in the suspension of the feud between The Wyatt Family and The League of Nations. The Wyatt Family returned on the June 20 episode of Raw, getting into a feud with the WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day, who interrupted Wyatt during his return speech. The New Day later confronted The Wyatt Family at their compound before the Wyatts defeated them at Battleground on July 24 in a six-man tag team match. In the 2016 WWE draft, Wyatt and Rowan were drafted to SmackDown while Strowman was drafted to Raw.

The "New" Wyatt Family as SmackDown Tag Team Champions: (from left to right) Luke Harper, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton

On the August 16 episode of SmackDown, Wyatt walked away from Rowan after he lost his match against Dean Ambrose, leaving Rowan's sheep mask on Wyatt's rocking chair. Wyatt confronted Randy Orton, who he called "damaged" and challenged him to a match at Backlash, which Orton accepted on the August 30 episode of SmackDown. At Backlash on September 11, Wyatt attacked Orton before the match, winning by forfeit. Wyatt then faced Kane in a No Holds Barred match, which he lost when Orton interfered. Orton then challenged Wyatt to another match at No Mercy on October 9, which he accepted and won with the help of the returning Harper. On the October 25 episode of SmackDown, Orton interfered on Wyatt's behalf in his match with Kane and joined The Wyatt Family.

WWE Champion (2016–2017)

At Survivor Series on November 20, Wyatt and Orton were the sole survivors for Team SmackDown in the traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match after Orton saved Wyatt from a spear from Roman Reigns. The pair then began focusing on stopping the momentum of American Alpha, and to a bigger degree capturing the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, defeating them in a match to become number one contenders. At Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 4, they won the championship from Heath Slater and Rhyno, marking Wyatt's first title win in WWE. Wyatt and Orton retained the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against the former champions on the December 6 episode of SmackDown but on the December 27 episode, Orton and Luke Harper (who defended the championship under the Freebird Rule) lost the title to American Alpha in a four corners elimination tag team match. This started dissent between Harper and Orton, who faced each other on the January 14, 2017 episode of SmackDown, which Orton won, leading to Wyatt delivering Sister Abigail to Harper, exiling him from the group. On January 29, Wyatt entered the Royal Rumble match as the 21st participant and lasted until the final three: Wyatt and Orton cooperated against Roman Reigns, who eventually eliminated Wyatt but was himself eliminated by Orton, who thereby won the match and a title match at WrestleMania.

On February 12 at Elimination Chamber, Wyatt won the WWE Championship by defeating John Cena, AJ Styles, The Miz, Dean Ambrose, and Baron Corbin in an Elimination Chamber match; it was the first singles title in Wyatt's wrestling career, and the first world title of his career. This raised the possibility of Orton challenging his teammate Wyatt but on the following SmackDown, after Wyatt successfully defended the WWE Championship in a triple threat match involving John Cena and AJ Styles (despite a pre-match attack by Harper), Orton pledged allegiance to Wyatt and refused to face him at WrestleMania 33. However, this was revealed to be a ruse as Orton destroyed The Wyatt Family compound, including Sister Abigail's grave, two weeks later, and defeated Wyatt for the title at WrestleMania 33, ending Wyatt's reign at 49 days. On April 10, Wyatt was moved to Raw as a part of the Superstar Shake-up; his title rematch at Payback, billed as a House of Horrors match, was changed into a non-title match; Wyatt defeated Orton after being helped by Jinder Mahal.

Deleters of Worlds (2017–2018)

Wyatt and Matt Hardy at WrestleMania 34

At Extreme Rules in June, Wyatt failed to become number one contender for the Universal Championship in a fatal five-way match, as the match was won by Samoa Joe. After Seth Rollins was unveiled on the cover of WWE 2K18, Wyatt targeted him and defeated him both at Great Balls of Fire in July and again on the following Raw. In the following weeks, Wyatt began a feud with Finn Bálor, resulting in a match between the two at SummerSlam in August, where Bálor defeated Wyatt under his "Demon King" persona. Wyatt again lost to Bálor at No Mercy the following month. The two were due to face for the third time at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in October, but Wyatt was unable to compete due to an illness concern and was subsequently replaced in the match by AJ Styles, bringing the feud between Wyatt and Bàlor to a quiet end. Wyatt returned on the November 13 episode of Raw, facing Jason Jordan in a losing effort.

In November, Wyatt began a feud Matt Hardy after defeating him in a match, resulting in Hardy's "Broken" gimmick reemerging. The two fought again during Raw 25 Years in January 2018, where Wyatt was victorious once again. On January 28, Wyatt entered the Royal Rumble match at number 8, but he failed to win the match after Wyatt and Hardy eliminated each other simultaneously. At Elimination Chamber in February, Wyatt was defeated by Hardy in a singles match. On the March 19 episode of Raw, Hardy defeated Wyatt in a Ultimate Deletion match. Following the match, Hardy pushed Wyatt into the "Lake of Reincarnation", where Wyatt disappeared, making his status unknown. At WrestleMania 34 in April, Wyatt returned and became a fan favorite for the first time in his WWE career, after he interfered in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, helping Hardy win. They formed a team and won the vacant Raw Tag Team Championship on April 27 at Greatest Royal Rumble, defeating Cesaro and Sheamus. They lost the titles to The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) in their first pay-per-view title defense at Extreme Rules in July. On the July 23 episode of Raw, they invoked their rematch clause against The B-Team, but were unsuccessful. Soon after, Hardy took time off to heal his injuries, disbanding the team.

The Fiend and Universal Champion (2019–present)

In April 2019, ominous vignettes began airing across WWE programming depicting a sinister buzzard puppet, a witch doll, and various other toys. Later that month, Wyatt began to appear in pre-recorded segments as the host of a surreal children's program known as Firefly Fun House, sporting different hair and a shorter beard with a leaner physique. The segments featured the aforementioned puppets, called Mercy the Buzzard (a reference to Waylon Mercy, an inspiration for Wyatt's previous gimmick) and Abby the Witch, with Ramblin' Rabbit and Huskus the Pig Boy introduced later (the latter a reference to Wyatt's previous gimmick of Husky Harris), as well as one for Mr. McMahon that occasionally appears. During the initial segment, Wyatt destroyed a cardboard cutout of his old self with a chainsaw and cheerily told viewers that all they had to do was "let [him] in". Over the next few weeks, the Firefly Fun House segments became more sinister. One featured Wyatt painting a picture to "express his suppressed feelings", which was a painting of the Wyatt Family compound being burned with Sister Abigail inside—a reference to his WrestleMania 33 feud with Randy Orton. Another featured him having a picnic with expressionless kids, while another revealed that Wyatt was able to control his darkness. He then appeared in more sinister clothing and a demonic mask, a persona he called "The Fiend" that was here "to protect us".

On the July 15 episode of Raw, Wyatt returned as The Fiend and attacked previous rival Finn Bálor with a Sister Abigail, thus re-establishing himself as a heel. The Fiend character then had his debut match at SummerSlam where he defeated Bálor in only a few minutes. Over the next several weeks, Wyatt as The Fiend attacked several WWE Hall of Famers and legends, like Kurt Angle, Jerry Lawler, Kane, and Mick Foley, adopting Foley's finishing maneuver, The Mandible Claw. Wyatt as The Fiend then began targeting old rivals.

At Clash of Champions on September 15, The Fiend attacked Seth Rollins after he successfully retained the Universal Championship against Braun Strowman, starting a feud between the two. They faced each other at Hell in a Cell in a Hell in a Cell match, but the match ended in a no-contest after the referee stopped the match when Rollins used a sledgehammer on The Fiend, who was buried under a ladder, a steel chair, and various tools. Despite the match ending, The Fiend rose as officials checked on him to chase down Rollins and again incapacitate him with the Mandible Claw. The finish was noteworthy for the response from the fans in attendance who booed loudly and chanted negatively even after the show had gone off the air. After he was drafted to the SmackDown brand during the 2019 WWE Draft, The Fiend defeated Rollins at Crown Jewel in a falls count anywhere match under the stipulation that their title match could not be stopped for any reason, capturing the Universal Championship for the first time. The title was subsequently transferred to SmackDown, due to Wyatt being a member of the brand (the WWE Championship was in turn transferred to Raw).

After his title victory, Wyatt introduced two new belt designs for the title. The first was a blue-strapped version of the Universal Championship to signify its move to SmackDown, which his Firefly Fun House character held, while the other was a custom championship belt for The Fiend. Featuring the character's face in the place of the center plate and on a black and red worn leather strap, his phrases "Hurt" and "Heal" as well as "Let [Me] In" were on the belt (the word "Me" being represented by The Fiend's face). Wyatt then began a feud with Daniel Bryan, retaining the title over him at Survivor Series. After Bryan accepted a rematch on the following SmackDown, The Fiend attacked Bryan and ripped out his hair. With Bryan absent the following week, Wyatt started a short feud with Bryan's old rival The Miz, culminating in a non-title match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, where Wyatt, wrestling for the first time as his Firefly Fun House character, defeated Miz. After the match, Bryan, now with a buzz cut and short beard, made his return and attacked Wyatt. The Fiend then defeated Bryan in a strap match at the Royal Rumble, ending their feud.

On the February 7 episode of SmackDown, Hall of Famer Goldberg challenged The Fiend for the Universal Championship during an onscreen interview, which was scheduled for Super ShowDown. At the event, The Fiend character suffered his first loss to Goldberg, ending his Universal title reign at 118 days. The following night on SmackDown, The Fiend confronted a returning John Cena and challenged him to a match at WrestleMania 36 that Cena accepted—a rematch from 2014's WrestleMania XXX. At the event, rather than a traditional wrestling match, the two squared off in a surreal trip through history as moments from Cena's and Wyatt's history were played out including Cena's debut against Kurt Angle, a moment featuring the Doctor of Thuganomics and the two's match at WrestleMania XXX. Wyatt ultimately sought to right the wrong that was loss at WrestleMania XXX and ended up defeating Cena after a Mandible Claw into Sister Abigail. Following Wyatt's victory, Cena's motionless body vanished from the middle of the ring.

Professional wrestling style and persona

Wyatt's character from 2013 to 2018 was an evil cult leader who believed himself to be more monster than human, leading The Wyatt Family and using a lantern to light the way in the dark arena during entrances, with entrance music by Mark Crozer. The character drew comparisons to Max Cady of the 1991 film Cape Fear and fellow wrestler Waylon Mercy. He would use a swinging reverse STO as a finishing move that would be referred to as Sister Abigail.

Following a hiatus from summer 2018 to spring 2019, Wyatt returned and changed his character to that of a friendly children's television show host who had seen the error of his previous ways. He soon debuted an evil masked alter-ego called The Fiend, who remembers all the wrongdoings that others had inflicted on Wyatt in the past. Since his return, Wyatt appears as both characters, but his friendly show host character mostly only appears in the Firefly Fun House, while his Fiend character does most of the in-ring wrestling. There are exceptions, and that is mainly for opponents in which Wyatt did not have a previous feud, as The Fiend generally only manifests himself against those who have done Wyatt wrong. During The Fiend's entrance, he carries a severed head resembling Wyatt's old cult leader self with a lantern inside its mouth and uses a heavy metal cover of his old theme music by Code Orange. He also adopted the mandible claw as a finishing move. During in-ring bouts, The Fiend has been presented as having unnatural endurance and strength, being able to withstand multiple finishing moves, weapon attacks and more, before kicking out of pins at a one count. Several of The Fiend's matches had also been done under a red lighting. Conversely, when Wyatt wrestles as his show host character, he comes out very cheerfully to the Firefly Fun House theme and his name graphic matches that of the Fun House, as well as interacting with some fans, similar to what face wrestlers usually do. When he wrestles as this character, however, he has little offense against his opponent and tries to calm them, as seen in his match against The Miz at TLC 2019. The character has mood swings throughout and takes pleasure in receiving pain. Both characters continue to use Sister Abigail as a finisher.

Rotunda has been praised for his character work. Journalist Dave Meltzer said his Fiend character was "fantastic" and he is a "genius" as a performer.

Personal life

Rotunda's ex-wife Samantha filed for divorce in 2017, following which Rotunda filed an injunction stating that she had made "defamatory statements" about him in order to ruin his reputation. During the divorce proceedings, she demanded that he pay her $15,000 per month in spousal and child support. The pair was eventually forced into mediation at a family practice in Tampa, Florida. In March 2019, Rotunda and WWE announcer JoJo Offerman announced they were having a child. On May 18, 2019, their son Knash was born. Fellow WWE wrestler Braun Strowman is the child's godfather.

Other media

Rotunda made his video game debut in WWE '12 (as Husky Harris) and later returned, as Bray Wyatt, in WWE 2K15, WWE 2K16, WWE 2K17, WWE 2K18, and WWE 2K19. His alternate persona The Fiend is a pre-order bonus for WWE 2K20.

Championships and accomplishments

  • CBS Sports
    • Comeback Wrestler of the Year (2019)
  • Florida Championship Wrestling
    • FCW Florida Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Bo Rotundo
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • Feud of the Year (2010) – The Nexus vs. WWE
    • Match of the Year (2014) vs. John Cena in a Last Man Standing match at Payback
    • Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (2010) – as part of The Nexus
    • Ranked No. 6 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2014
  • WrestleCrap
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Best Gimmick (2013) as part of The Wyatt Family
    • Best Gimmick (2019) as "The Fiend"
    • Worst Gimmick (2017) as Sister Abigail
    • Worst Feud of the Year (2017) vs. Randy Orton
    • Worst Feud of the Year (2019) vs. Seth Rollins
    • Worst Worked Match of the Year (2014) vs. John Cena at Extreme Rules
    • Worst Worked Match of the Year (2017) vs. Randy Orton at WrestleMania 33
    • Worst Match of the Year (2019) vs. Seth Rollins at Hell in a Cell
  • WWE
    • WWE Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Universal Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Matt Hardy
    • WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Luke Harper and Randy Orton
    • WWE Year-End Award for Male Wrestler of the Year (2019)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 11 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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