Catchin' fliiiiies....in his moooooouth.... note L-R: Harper, Wyatt, Rowan.
"I have no followers, I have only brothers and sisters, all in the name of cause. People are sheep, you understand me? They can't lead themselves, they need to be led. People buy and sell fear. They worship war, they crave war. But I'm not afraid of their wars, I CREATED WAR! And I think it's time for the masses to wake up, wake up, WAKE UP! And look at this LIE they're living in, man! The world is deteriorating between their toes, and they do nothing about it. They only stand there, they whisper and wonder but never do anything about it! But I've seen it all in my dreams and in my thoughts, and above everything else I understand. This is not the beginning.....it's the end."
Hey, wanna see something REALLY scary?The Wyatt Family are a professional wrestling stable consisting of Bray Wyatt (real name Windham Rotunda), and his followers Luke Harper (real name Jon Huber) and Erick Rowan (real name Joseph Ruud). Their gimmick is somewhat hard to describe, but think of the hillbillies from Deliverance mixed with a creepy cult. Wyatt himself has a bit of Max Cady from Cape Fear and the mannerisms of a Southern bayou preacher. They are a very dark, creepy bunch with an ominous presence enhanced by Wyatt's incredible mic skills and hypnotic charisma. They debuted on the July 8, 2013 edition of Monday Night Raw attacking Kane and injuring him.
"Our tropes are here":
Aborted Arc: During his last few months in NXT, Bray Wyatt began cutting promos challenging then-NXT Champion Big E. Langston, and appeared to be heading towards a showdown with him. This ended up not happening, possibly due to the Wyatt Family being called up to the main roster sooner than expected, meaning it wouldn't have been all that worth it to put the title on Bray.
Abusive Parents: During his early hype vignettes, Bray said his daddy was a mean man who made Bray work on his shrimping boat instead of going to school. Bray set fire to his dad's boat - and implied that his dad died in that fire.
Acrofatic: While Wyatt himself is not exactly "fat" compared to how he used to be, he is definitely overweight compared to most of the roster. That does not stop him from being a very agile wrestler and flexible enough to do the reverse spider crawl from The Exorcist for real in the middle of the ring.
Affably Evil: Sure Wyatt is a cruel, psychotic egomaniac cult leader who fancies himself some kind of primordial force of nature, but he has a good sense of humor, is incredibly polite and is highly charismatic. Plus he's got a really nice singing voice!
"If you look up at me, you will see a friend. If you look down at me, you will see an enemy, but if you look me in the eye, you will see a god."
Incidentally, that's paraphrasing a quote from Charles Manson.
All There in the Manual: The story behind Sister Abigail, the namesake of Wyatt's finishing move, is told exclusively through an eerie video on WWE's website here.
Animal Motifs: Sheep. Wyatt often gives speeches about the sheep walking upright and turning on the wolves, and Rowan wears a child's sheep mask when not wrestling... not to mention Wyatt's occasional singing of "Mary Had A Little Lamb."
Arch-Enemy: It's a bit unclear, as the Wyatts goes after everyone. Even The Shield. Then they targeted Daniel Bryan, and now have set their eyes on John Cena
Authority Equals Asskicking: During the 2014 Royal Rumble, Bray told Harper and Rowan to go in the back so he can deal with Daniel Bryan on his own, and then proceeds to do so.
Big "YES!": Luke Harper's "YEAHYEAHYEAHYEAH" chanting, which were more trance-like in NXT but louder on Raw and Smackdown (likely due to venue sizes).
Bookends: In his farewell promo (as a regular member of the NXT roster that is) to the NXT crowd in July 2013, Bray ends his speech with his creepy rendition of "Time Is On My Side", as he did in the early days of the gimmick on FCW/NXT.
Bring It: During the Feburary 3 2014 edition of RAW, the Shield told the Wyatts that they're not scared of them and are gonna put them in a world of hurt. Bray just laughs and shouts "I WELCOME THIS WAR!"
Catch Phrase: The most simple, to the point one you could possibly come up with. It's a single word, RUN.
"Follow the buzzards."
Every now and again, "Down with the machine."
(whispering) We're here
Cheap Pop: A rare, weird example of a heel using this to great effect. At some point in early 2014, Bray started preceding his "We're here" Catch Phrase with the name of whatever city they were in for the episode.
The Corrupter: Bray officially became this to Daniel Bryan on the last episode of Raw in 2013. Proved to be a ruse on Bryan's part two weeks later.
Creepy Doll: Several are seen in their promos. The significance is currently unknown.
Cult: Though how old the whatever the group is has not been established. We know Bray Wyatt was introduced to it by his sister, who he claims told him he was chosen before he was even born.
Dark Messiah: Bray presents himself as one but unlike most examples, his rhetoric is quite disturbing and he isn't afraid to agree with that sentiment. However, he still fits the criteria.
Deep South: The Wyatt Family was based in Louisiana on NXT. Parts of the pre-Family Bray Wyatt hype vignettes took place out in the bayou, and Bray's father was a shrimp boat captain. They're now based in the real Ghost Town of Snake Bight, Florida.
Demonic Possession: Whilst never made entirely clear, Bray is implied to be a reincarnation of a malevolent entity, using Husky Harris's body as a vessel of sorts. A few of his NXT promos have shown him briefly slip back into using Husky's voice and mannerisms, before promptly switching back.
At least one fan recalls him openly telling them this when asking him "whatever happened to the Army Tank with a Ferrari Engine?" (Husky Harris's former Red Baron) during an autograph session.
Wyatt has also confirmed this on Twitter, answering a fan's question on the matter with "he needed me, and I needed a vessel."
Evil Is Bigger: Fits the trope pretty solidly. Bray himself is the shortest at 6'2", but weighs about 285 or so (and that's down significantly from his HuskyHarris days... Luke Harper's 6'5" and about 265 or so, and Erick Rowan comes in at about 6'8" and well over 300 pounds. No flyweights in this stable.
Subverted slightly when Wyatt, instead of yelling, dropped his voice in a whisper in his recent warning to Kane: "I heard you like to call yourself 'The Devil's Favorite Demon.' ...You wanna be careful who you say that in front of, because you never know who might be listening."
But then double subverted when the next thing Wyatt did was scream at the top of his lungs, "FOLLOW THE BUZZARDS!" loud enough for half the arena to hear him without the aid of a mic.
Evil Is Not Well Lit: The three of them live in a dark shack in the middle of nowhere with very little electricity. Their entrance is through a darkened arena, lit only by Wyatt's lantern.
Evil Laugh: Wyatt has a very high pitched, almost childlike giggle. It is eerie.
Finishing Move: Wyatt's 'Sister Abigail', and Luke Harper's monstrous discus clothesline.
Big Name Fan: JBL can be seen as one of Harper in-universe chiefly because of that movement.
Found Footage Films: The promos hyping them up on the Raw of their debut were done in the style of shaky hand-camera horror movies.
The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: 4.7.14, the audience is almost in a cult-like behavior with the Wyatt family with the clapping, swinging their arms in the air and the...oh yes, "BRAY IS GOING TO KILL YOU!" chants to Big E. Creepy.
Jump Scare/Hell Is That Noise: Their Titantron video starts with a muddle of screechy sounds as well as a very fast slideshow of disturbing images that take over the full screen out of absolutely freaking nowhere. It's officially no longer safe to watch Raw with the lights off.
Most TV segments end with a quick few frames of a close-up Erick Rowan's masked face, and Wyatt's voice yelling something (it sounds like "DEATH!") before it cuts out.
A minor one, but anyone watching their entrance for the first time is likely to jump upon noticing Erick's sheep mask right behind Bray just before he says "We're here".
Not so minor is their tendency to use the above Titantron effect, cut the lights, and then, just when you're expecting the Wyatts to start their long, deliberate entrance, the lights come back on and the Family is instantly standing around or in the ring.
Knight of Cerebus: With the WWE's current Lighter and Softer atmosphere of PG-rated family friendly fun, it's really jarring to see a gimmick like this one, especially considering it may be one of the most disturbing and genuinely unnerving characters in the history of the company.
Large Ham: In terms of sheer hamminess, Wyatt sticks out even in WWE - and that's saying a lot.
Hell, his real name is WindHAM (named after uncle Barry Windham).
Madness Mantra: In one of the vignettes leading up to their debut, the WWE.com reported toured their residence, a dimly lit shack of sorts with minimal technology. The reporter ignored Harper's warning to "not stray" and stumbled upon a room where an unnamed man stood on his knees repeating the word "obey" endlessly.
Malevolent Masked Men: Erick Rowan's aforementioned sheep mask. Wyatt himself also wore a half mask while tending to a facial injury. It gave him a very creepy, serial killer effect.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: Bray Wyatt is a twisted, sadistic cult leader who delights in destruction, twists people's minds, and may or may not be demonically possessed. Windham Rotunda...was worried that one of his promos would hurt Nikki Bella's feelings and made sure to apologize to her before the promo aired.
Reality Ensues: A strange, rare storyline example saw the Wyatts end up in a feud because their actions inadvertently pissed off a third party. They went after John Cena during an important match teaming him and two other Superstars against The Shield, with the winning team being awarded 3 of the spots in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Since they attacked Cena, the Shield were disqualified and lost their shot at headlining Wrestlemania. The Shield, predictably, were not happy about this, to the point where they demanded that Triple H give them a match against the Wyatt Family. TheresultwasAWESOME.
Red Baron: The Eater of Worlds, The Angel in the Dirt, among many others for the big man himself.
The commentators seem to like calling Bray "The False Prophet".
Scars Are Forever: The bald spot on Luke Harper's head is actually a scar from taking an unprotected chair shot during his indie days. He actually chose to keep it instead of having it repaired.
Shout-Out: The whole family reminds some of Deliverance. Bray himself is a Call Back to former WWE wrestler Waylon Mercy, down to the Hawaiian shirts and soft-spoken demeanor. This is mostly due to sharing a mutual inspiration in Robert De Niro's Max Cady portrayal.
Silent Antagonist: Erick Rowan spoke in a couple of the hype videos, but mostly he just silently stares behind his sheep's mask. To a lesser extent, Luke Harper, who talks normally but only when Bray Wyatt isn't around... at least up until recently, where Luke's splits the promo segments with Bray roughly 80/20.
Sleeves Are for Wimps: Luke Harper, in his archetypical white trash getup of a plain white wifebeater and dirty jeans. Eric Rowan too, in a jumpsuit with the sleeves ripped out. Possibly an Inverted Trope, considering the wardrobe choices of the one they serve - although when Bray himself steps into a fight, he dispenses with the shirt and favors a sleeveless tank top as well.
Take That: Delivered a subtle one in a promo against John Cena when he referred to Cena's 'plastic girlfriend'. Most people that have done their homework (or watch Total Divas) know that Cena is dating Nikki Bella (and for an extra point, Nikki got a boob job during the time she and her sister spent away from WWE).
Terrible Trio: Wyatt is the leader, with Harper and Rowan his devoted followers and henchmen.
Verbal Tic: Find one promo where Wyatt does not use the word "man" at least 3 times. We dare you.
Villain Song/Leitmotif: "Live In Fear" by Mark Crozer and the Rels (formerly known as "Broken Out In Love" prior to WWE buying the rights to the song) is an incredibly unnerving track with a perfect creepy backwoods Southern sound that accompanies their promos and entrance.
Waxing Lyrical: Back on NXT, Wyatt would often break out into a creepy rendition of The Rolling Stones's "Time Is On My Side" as a punctuation to end his promos. He doesn't do this anymore, but he did treat us to a similar rendition of "Mary Had A Little Lamb."
In the Sister Abigail promo he opens and closes with a rather creepy version of "Down to the River to Pray." During his feud with Cena leading up to a match at Wrestlemania XXX, Wyatt began singing "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands" during promos. This lead to the New Orleans crowd to sing the song during the match.
They can't love you, not like I can Bryan, and I understand that together we can tear the walls of this place.
And then, finally, Bryan joined the Wyatt Family on December 30 on Raw. Only to turn on the Wyatts two weeks later.
The entirety of Bray's match against John Cena at WrestleMania 30 is basically an extended attempt by Bray to invite Cena to become a monster like he is.
Wild Card: Just to reiterate, they go after everyone. The only people they have not antagonized when given the chance to were Triple H and the Mcmahons. But would you put it past them?
What Happened to the Mouse?: Can invoke this in-universe; on more than one occasion, the Wyatt Family has beaten the tar out of someone only to carry them off to God-knows-where. Kane disappeared for several weeks and was not thesame guy when he came back. DanielBryan has similarly been assaulted and abducted, and it's subverted for he returns 1 week later.
Worthy Opponent: Bray seems to consider Roman Reigns to be this; while he viciously mocks Dean Ambrose, and denounces the likes of John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and CM Punk, he treats Reigns with the closest we've seen him come to respect, and describes him as an "interesting creature."
You Look Familiar: Wyatt was Husky Harris. Luke Harper was known to indie wrestling fans (especially in CHIKARA) as Brodie Lee for years. Erick Rowan, on the other hand... his most notable run pre-Wyatt Family was probably as a lower-midcarder in Pro Wrestling NOAH named Thoruf.
Younger than They Look: Bray Wyatt believe it or not was giving out such world wearing promos as the youngest male wrestler on the WWE main roster at only 26 years of age.