Follow TV Tropes


Wrestling / Bray Wyatt

Go To
The Eater of Worlds.
The Fiend.
The White Rabbit.
The Everknown.
Windham Rotunda.

Windham Lawrence Rotunda (May 23, 1987 – August 24, 2023) was an American professional wrestler. He was best known for his tenures in WWE from 2010 to 2021, and then from 2022 until his death in 2023, where he most famously performed under the ring name Bray Wyatt.

He debuted in WWE in 2010 under the ring name Husky Harris on the second season of NXT and later as a part of The Nexus. After a punt kick from Randy Orton and a trip back down to developmental, he re-debuted in 2013 as Bray Wyatt, a creepy backwoods cult leader and the "patriarch" of The Wyatt Family along with Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman. He became known for his creepy, enigmatic promos and terrorizing other wrestlers like The New Day. Unfortunately, he never truly got that signature win that would put him over the top, which began to affect his ability to remain a credible threat, and he went on hiatus for much of 2018.

Wyatt returned in April 2019, repackaged as the unsettling host of the Subverted Kids' Show Firefly Fun House, where he'd help talk to eerily sedate children about issues like bottled-up emotions and psychopathy through his lovable cast of characters like Abby the Witch, Mercy the Buzzard, Ramblin' Rabbit, and Huskus the Pig. He revealed to the world in subtle ways that he had found a way to suppress the darkness within him, and it only manifested as a way to protect the Funhouse from danger. Said manifestation was The Fiend, a masked alter-ego who was much more aggressive than the original Wyatt ever was. He made his pay-per-view debut at SummerSlam 2019, where he beat Finn Balor in decisive fashion.

On July 31, 2021, Wyatt was released from his WWE contract. This was one of the more surprising releases that year among fans due to his high profile, and it was speculated to be part of a massive cost-cutting measure. Most of his time away from the ring would be spent teasing a transition to film work, which never materialized. He instead returned at Extreme Rules on October 8, 2022, nearly three months after Vince McMahon stepped down as CEO and retired from the industry temporarily.

He was the son of Mike Rotunda and the older brother of Taylor Rotunda, who is best known to wrestle for WWE as Bo Dallas. Other notable wrestling members of his family include Kendall and Barry Windham (maternal uncles) and Blackjack Mulligan (maternal grandfather). He was a one-time SmackDown Tag Team Champion, a one-time Raw Tag Team Champion, a one-time WWE Champion, and a two-time Universal Champion.

Rotunda unexpectedly passed away on August 24, 2023 at the age of 36 following a heart attack. He had fallen ill with what was initially reported as a "life-threatening illness", later revealed to be COVID-19, in February of that year, which left him with a heart condition that would take him off television for the remainder of 2023 and, ultimately, claim his life.

Follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole of tropes!

  • 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.
    • There looked to be a feud in the works with Big Show for Bray in mid-2014, but, perhaps due to the Wyatts' overall decline in recent months and the feud with Chris Jericho doing little to help re-elevate Wyatt, Show was placed into a feud with Rusev while the Wyatts have been repackaged with vignettes indicating Bray has "released" Harper and Rowan into the world, while Bray's vignettes potentially hint at the appearance of the unseen "Sister Abigail."
    • The early months of 2016 teases Bray feuding with Brock Lesnar. During the Royal Rumble, Brock had already eliminated the other members of the Wyatt Family but when it is Bray's turn to enter the ring, he has the other three eliminate Brock, removing the greatest obstacle to the match. The two were initially scheduled for a one-on-one match at Roadblock but because of Bray's injury at the time, he is joined by Luke Harper in a handicap match. During the said match, Bray spent most of the match at ringside.
    • He seemed to be on the cusp of a Heel–Face Turn in April 2016 when he began feuding with the League of Nations and even teamed with Roman Reigns against them in the main event of Raw. However, Bray went down with an injury just a couple of weeks later, and the League of Nations only lasted for two more weeks after that. When Bray returned, he remained a heel and hasn't shown any signs of turning again anytime soon.
    • Played for Laughs on the September 13, 2020 episode of the Firefly Funhouse. The segment ended with a To Be Continued when the puppet of Vince McMahon introducing Wobbly Walrus (a puppet in the likeness of Paul Heyman) as a new member of the fun house.
    • He was set up to a feud with Bobby Lashley in a build-up to WrestleMania 39. Unfortunately, Wyatt contracted COVID-19 around this time, leading to the program to be suddenly dropped and being taken off TV. The illness would aggravate a heart condition that sadly claimed his life months later. This also had the unfortunate side effect of cutting short his Uncle Howdy storyline, surrounding the nature of his inner darkness and the identity of Uncle Howdy.
  • Abusive Parents: During his early hype vignettes, Bray said his daddy was a mean man who made him 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: Bray was always a big man, albeit in a heavyset-but-extremely-strong way, but was also exceptionally quick for a man his size (especially as the Fiend) and agile enough to do do the Exorcist spider crawl at a moment's notice on live television.
  • Affably Evil: Sure he was 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!
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: As The Fiend, he carried the severed head of his previous Eater of Worlds gimmick as a lantern during PPV events.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: It's hard to call The Fiend a "villain" necessarily, but he's definitely not a hero. Despite the fact that The Fiend is implied to be a literal demon possessing Bray Wyatt and driving him to do horrible, wicked things to anyone who crosses him, Randy Orton was clearly painted as the heel during their 2021 feud, which says a lot about the kind of person Orton has become.
  • Alice Allusion: The RAW October 26 '20 episode of Firefly Fun House shows him having a tea party with his puppet pals and him dressed as The Mad Hatter and Alexa Bliss being Alice and having poisoned Ramblin' Rabbit's tea with arsenic. Bray and Alexa even quote the famous "We're all mad here" speech from the book.
    • He also employed the motif of the "White Rabbit" during the build-up to his return, using the eponymous song by Jefferson Airplane.note 
  • 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.
  • Ambiguously Human: His main roster character has always given off hints of this, but "The Fiend" takes it up to eleven. Even if you go with the most recent invokedWord of God explanation of a supernatural entity possessing and empowering Bray Wyatt's body, a human body is still a human body and should therefore, one would think, be subject to humanlike limits in terms of how much damage it can take before giving out. Not the case for the Fiend. Seth Rollins has done a number things to the Fiend that should kill a normal person outright but have only managed to stun The Fiend very temporarily. It's been discussed by both Rollins and commentators that they don't even think Wyatt is human anymore.
    Corey Graves: "That's not a damn 'man'... "
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Sheep. Wyatt often gives speeches about the sheep walking upright and turning on the wolves, and both Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman wore a child's sheep mask when not wrestling... not to mention Wyatt's occasional singing of "Mary Had A Little Lamb."
    • In 2019, he started focusing more on "Fireflies", including a Depraved Kids' Show Host gimmick prior to the reveal of a new direction.
    • In 2022, he's switched over to rabbits, taking after the White Rabbit from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • Anticlimax: His confrontation with Boogeyman at the 2015 Royal Rumble.
  • Anti-Hero: How Bray Wyatt sees The Fiend as anyway. He's the manifestation of Bray's darkness that "protects" the Funhouse.
    • He was pretty much this during his final feud with LA Knight, being portrayed as a Reluctant Psycho struggling with his inner darkness while still being a babyface.
  • Arc Words: "Let me/him in".
  • Art Reflects Personality: Episode 2 of the "Firefly Fun House" involves him painting a canvas where a house is burning with a girl (Sister Abigail) inside of it; the whole thing referencing Randy Orton burning the Wyatt Family's compound on the road to WrestleMania 33. He then hangs the painting on the wall.
  • Ascended Extra: After spending the first part of his career as Husky Harris and essentially being used as roster filler in the CM Punk-led incarnation of The Nexus.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • It's a bit unclear, as the Wyatts go after everyone. Even The Shield. Then they targeted Daniel Bryan, and have since targeted John Cena, The Usos, and Chris Jericho.
    • The Cena rivalry is the best example thus far; Cena took his rivalry with Wyatt more personally than he did his rivalry with Randy Orton, who has put Cena's father in the hospital on multiple occasions.
    • The Shield. Bray has had an obsession with the Shield boys ever since the Wyatt/Shield feud in early 2014, and absolutely refuses to leave any of them alone. Seth Rollins only evaded his wrath because he was under the protection of The Authority. Once he lost that and Bray was traded back to RAW, Rollins immediately became one of his next targets before Bray was distracted by Finn Balor.
      • Dean Ambrose became a fairly violent one as well. It all started when Bray wanted to "heal" Ambrose but Ambrose declined by smashing him with a chair. This spiraled down into Ambrose breaking his "sacred" rocking chair and Bray smashing Ambrose's neck with a chair against the steel steps. However, it's not as strong an example because Dean only went after Bray because he screwed Dean out of finally getting his revenge on Seth Rollins, his one, true foe, and the realization that Bray wasn't going to leave him alone any time soon.
      • Roman Reigns. While the Wyatt Family reuniting in 2015 and feuding with Reigns, Ambrose, and Orton has bad blood on all ends, at the core of it all, it comes down to Roman and Bray. It started with them, and considering how much the two hate each other now as the months wear on, it's going to end with them.
      Bray: Anyone but you, Roman. Anyone but you.
    • Randy Orton definitely takes the cake as Bray Wyatt's most hated nemesis, considering the level of Orton's actions. In fact, Orton had been involved with three of Rotunda's gimmicks.
      • While not as major than it was in the future, during Orton's feud with New Nexus, Orton punted Husky Harris in the head, taking him off television.
      • Orton would join the Wyatt Family near the end of 2016 after losing to Wyatt, exclaiming that "if you can't beat them, join them." Though Orton was seemingly shown to be a loyal member, he would betray Bray by burning down the Wyatt Family compound, knowing that the spirit of Sister Abigail laid underneath and captured the WWE Championship from him at WrestleMania XXXIII. Bray would avenge his loss in a House of Horrors match at the next PPV.
      • The feud was reignited again in 2020, when Bray and his new assistant, Alexa Bliss, constantly harassesd Orton and prevented him from regaining the WWE Championship. At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Orton would defeat the Fiend at an Firefly Inferno match. The Fiend would not appear again until Payback 2021 to avenge his loss and challenged Orton again at WrestleMania 37 only to lose again after being betrayed by Bliss and ending the feud for good.
    • Gets two in his 2017 solo run: with Finn Balor in the first half (beginning with their Summerslam outing); then later with Matt Hardy, whom he forces to unleash his "WOKEN" persona.
    • Daniel Bryan, their start a feud in early 2014 when Bryan joined Wyatt Family later betrayed them. Wyatt and Bryan have a match at Royal Rumble 2014 which Wyatt won and ended their feud. They renewed their rivalry in late 2019 after Bryan challenged Wyatt for the Universal Championship at Survivor Series 2019 and Royal Rumble 2020.
    • Braun Strowman; their feud started after Strowman defeated Goldberg and won the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 36. Afterwards, Wyatt challenges Strowman for the Universal Championship at Money in the Bank as his FireFly Funhouse presenter self, however he couldn't defeat Strowman. On the June 19th episode of Smackdown, Wyatt confronted Strowman, and reintroduced his "Eater Of Worlds" persona, with Strowman challenging Wyatt in a swamp match at Extreme Rules 2020. On the July 31st Episode of Smackdown, The Fiend made a shocking return attacking Alexa Bliss, Strowman's former partner in the WWE Mixed Match Challenge with a Mandible Claw and challenged Strowman for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam 2020.
  • Badass Boast:
    • During a promo to Kane, explaining that his flames could not hurt him, culminating in the rather unsettling claim of "I'm already dead."
    • Towards Chris Jericho on July 4, 2014:
      Bray: You may call me Bray Wyatt... but I have a thousand faces, and a million names! Seducer! Accuser! [whispers and smiles eerily] ... destroyer. [returns to normal cadence] I am the color red in a world full of black and white, and if you value your ability to breathe... don't get too close.
  • Badass Preacher: Although what he's preaching is still anybody's guess.
  • Beard of Evil: Always to some degree. Before 2019, it hung all the way down to Bray's chest, but just before his Firefly Funhouse repackaging, he had it trimmed neat and square, presumably so he could fit it into that Monster Clown mask.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Harming members of the family is this for Wyatt; if they're in a match, you've got leeway. If they aren't, leave them be. When John Cena drove Luke Harper through the barricade at WrestleMania XXX, Wyatt went ballistic.
    • Multiple superstars have found out the hard way that disrespecting Sister Abigail is a one-way ticket to Bray Wyatt's bad side; Dean Ambrose suffered a steel chair to the throat for destroying Bray Wyatt's sacred rocking chair, which he revealed was a remnant of Sister Abigail herself, and Bray (as well as, by proxy, The Fiend) have gone after Orton for four years and counting since he burned down the Wyatt Compound, which was a physical embodiment of Abigail. We know almost nothing about Sister Abigail, though, so it's not often that she's the target of other wrestlers' mockery/disrespect.
  • Big Bad: Much like Chris Jericho for All Elite Wrestling, Bray serves as this for WWE as of his run as the Fiend. In the course of mere months, he has become an unstoppable Universal Champion, managed to corrupt company face Seth Rollins, outright destroyed Finn Bálor to the point of resurrecting his villainous Prince side after a two-month honeymoon, and forced preachy crusader Daniel Bryan to tap into the days of old and become a hero again in hopes of defeating him.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: The "Muscle Man Dance" episode of Firefly Fun House has a very clear Vince McMahon puppet with devil horns barging into the program to yell at Bray. During a later episode, it showed up to yell at him for trying to get the Universal Title at Hell in a Cell, only for Bray to calm it down by literally feeding it some of the money he's been making.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Even in a sport that has seen the likes of undead cowboys and demons from Hell itself step into the ring, the Fiend is terrifying and unknowable to completely unprecedented degrees, having absolutely no regard for the Face/Heel spectrum in who he chooses to victimize and seemingly possessing no concept at all of mortal, earthly morality.
  • Book Ends: 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.
  • Break Them by Talking: His "Firefly Funhouse Match" against John Cena at WrestleMania 36 was a vignette that broke down Cena's WWE career in the most brutal way possible. This article explains more about it.
  • Breakout Villain: As The Fiend, thanks to Wyatt's genuinely terrifying acting performances and the wildly-entertaining Firefly Fun House segments, becoming far and away one of the most popular characters in the WWE if not the wrestling industry as a whole.
  • Bring It:
    • During the February 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!"
    • When Sheamus threatened to shove his foot down Bray's throat, Wyatt just laughed and clapped and shouted, "I LOVE IT!"
  • Broken Tears: Sheds these at the end of the February 28th 2017 edition of Smackdown, after Randy Orton turns on him and burns down the compound, along with Sister Abigail's remains.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ramblin' Rabbit was often the butt of Bray's cruelty during the "Firefly Fun House" segments and was killed at least three times by either Bray, Mercy, or other miscellaneous mischief.
  • Call-Back:
    • During their mid-2014 feud, Wyatt constantly taunted Chris Jericho to "Save us" and to "Save yourself," both of which are phrases used by Jericho during his comeback in 2007.
    • The Fiend only appeared if Bray was feuding with someone he already dealt with in the past. Notably, he wrestled "normally" against The Miz in TLC 2019 because they hadn't feuded yet.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Follow the buzzards."
    • Every now and again, "Down with the machine."
    • [whispering] "We're/I'm here."
    • "♫He's got the whoooooole world in his hands...♫"
    • "Yowie Wowie!" seems to be his go-to for when he's excited on Firefly Fun House. Even worse, it's actually carried over to his Monster Clown persona; hearing a deep, demonic voice growl the words "Yowie wowie" is obscenely creepy.
    • "Let me/him in," used both by Bray and The Fiend.
    • "See you in Hell!", delivered in a disturbingly happy voice.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The start of the Firefly Funhouse match against John Cena was surreally weird and comical, even outright funny at places, during the Ruthless Aggression segment with Bray poking fun at Cena's debut and the Saturday Night's Main Event segment with "Johnny Largemeat". But during the subsequent Doctor of Thuganomics segment, covering the point in Cena's career where he stopped floundering and started to get over and rise to the top, Bray stops joking at Cena's expense and begins to seriously deconstruct the core of the Thuganomics gimmick, the same core of bullying and belittling his opponents that he carried over into his subsequent face turn even after he stopped rapping, and really started to lay into Cena. The segment ended with Bray offering Cena a Last-Second Chance and Cena responding with a "Deez nuts" joke. From here out, most of the rest of the match was much grimmer and more serious, with Bray reverting to his clasic cult leader persona to cover Cena's burial of him at WrestleMania XXX, with even the hilarity of nWo Cena and Bray as Eric Bischoff on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro being undermined by the subtextual accusation that Cena has really just been a "cool heel" all along.
  • Cheap Heat: A rare example of a heel using a cheap pop to great effect. In early 2014, Bray started preceding his "We're here" Catchphrase with the name of whatever city they were in for the episode.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Dear lord... every promo Bray Wyatt cuts is basically a scenery buffet.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Bray Wyatt is a villainous version of this. He's extremely eloquent and yet most of the time nobody but he himself (and maybe Rowan and Harper) knows what he's actually saying.
  • Composite Character:
    • John "Bradshaw" Layfield described Wyatt as "Duck Dynasty meets Charles Manson." A more accurate description would probably be "Max Cady from Cape Fear meets Azazel from Fallen." Either way, combine the fact that it's Husky Harris's body doing this, and it's freaking scary.
    • His new gimmick is something more akin to Jekyll & Hyde, with "Jekyll" being Steve from Blue's Clues and "Hyde" being what would happen if The Joker locked himself in a Room Full of Crazy for a year with naught but his own dark thoughts and a set of weights.
    • When Wyatt returns in 2022, he incorporated elements from his past gimmicks into his latest one such as the Eater of World's screechy sounds on the titantron and saying "I'm here" before blowing out his lantern, hosting the Firefly Funhouse and keeping the Fiend's Mandible Claw. Not only that, he also briefly breaks the fourth-wall during the first few weeks of his return and acting like plain old Widham Rotunda.
  • Continuity Snarl
    • As Wyatt's gimmick evolved since his NXT times, we have got at least three distinct biographies for his character: a disturbed bayou dweller who burned his father alive, a dark cult leader whose very birth is related to the enigmatic "Sister Abigail", and now an ancient evil possessing Husky Harris's body. But the scariest part is that the three lives are implied to be somehow one and the same. We just could realize how little we know about him.
    • According to one interpretation, his different life histories could belong to his previous vessels, whose personalities he keeps in some way. The implications don't make the matter less eerie, certainly.
  • Cool vs. Awesome:
    • The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family, Elimination Chamber 2014. The crowd was eating it up and were chanting "This is awesome!" even before the bell rang!
    • Bray Wyatt vs. "WOKEN" Matt Hardy. And insanity ensued.
  • The Corrupter:
    • He officially became this to Daniel Bryan on the last episode of Raw in 2013, though this proved to be a ruse on Bryan's part two weeks later. Bray also did something to Kane after kidnapping him that drove Kane into a Face–Heel Turn when he finally resurfaced, and tried in vain to tempt and cajole John Cena into giving into the monster Bray saw inside of him.
    • Implied to be this to the entire fanbase during the course of his feud with John Cena, mostly as a way of justifying the fact that he frequently gets cheered over Cena and tying it into the storyline.
    • It's also worth mentioning that the first signs of The Shield imploding happened while they were feuding with The Wyatt Family...
    • Could be the case with Braun Strowman as well, considering he seemed like a cheerful guy as a Rosebud, far from the violent bully he is now.
    • His Fiend persona has been acknowledged as this, "No one is the same after facing The Fiend." Finn Bálor, Seth Rollins, The Miz, Braun Strowman? While all were babyfaces before facing The Fiend/Bray Wyatt, they all became heels after he defeated them.
      • Inverted towards Daniel Bryan; The Fiend's influence had the opposite effect, causing Bryan to make a Heel–Face Turn and become the champion of the YES! Movement once again.
    • And now Alexa Bliss is slowly falling under the spell of the Fiend. Cemented as Little Miss Bliss took his hand on the October 2 2020 episode of Smackdown, and shortly thereafter joined the demented Firefly Funhouse which has fans equating them to Harley Quinn and The Joker respectively.
  • Creepy Children Singing:
    • On April 28, 2014, Bray scared the living hell out of John Cena by bringing in a crowd of children who sang "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" while wearing sheep masks.
    • Taken even further at Extreme Rules 2014.
    • On the June 16, 2014 edition of Monday Night Raw, Jerry Lawler claimed that earlier in the week, a four-year-old girl asked him for his autograph. While he was signing it, he asked her who her favorite Raw superstar is, and she replied by staring Lawler square in his eyes and singing "He's got the whole world in his hands..."
  • Creepy Doll:
    • Several are seen in their promos. The significance is unknown.
    • Abby the Witch is fairly tame, but still an archetypal example. She gets significantly worse once it's hinted that's Sister Abigail trapped in that doll.
  • Cult: Though how old the whatever the group is has not been established. We know Bray Wyatt was introduced to it by 'Sister Abigail' (about whom we know almost nothing), who he claims told him he was chosen before he was even born.
    • Although it may be Wyatt himself that seeks to elevate his belief system from cult status. More often than not, cults may give lipservice to expansion but are decidedly insular. It seems that Wyatt, on the other hand, would like nothing more than to see his message reach every distant corner of the (WWE) Universe.
  • Darker and Edgier: Most would probably agree that The Wyatt Family stood out distinctly from the less extreme gimmicks in the "Early-mid 2010s" era of WWE. Normally, the darkest character WWE would create during the Cena Era is someone like Randy Orton, who "hears voices in his head" and has "anger management issues." Then, enter The Wyatt Family, led by a possibly-demonically-possessed, ax-crazy, backwoods cult leader who speaks in dark, cryptic riddles and preaches sermons about death and destruction on a nearly weekly basis. He can also manipulate (and possibly possess) children in a somewhat hypnotic manner, and pretty much anyone he wants (including the entire WWE Universe— the commentators often note that "The movement is spreading" as the crowd supports Wyatt more and more despite being a heel). Their entrance begins with a sudden flash of horror-movie-esque images and sounds, and the things Bray Wyatt does in the ring are creepy and unnerving to say the very least.

    In terms of being dark and edgy, they give Ministry Undertaker of the late 1990s a run for his money, and he was known for (amongst other things) crucifying people, kidnapping them and taking them to God-knows-where, and even in one instance attempting to embalm Steve Austin alive. The Wyatt Family's creepiness factor can probably be perfectly understood by watching this video of a visit by WWE to their home, especially the seemingly random Madness Mantra that occurs roughly 20 seconds in.
    • Taken to the next level by his persona as "The Fiend," which somehow manages to be darker and edgier than even the previous incarnation of Bray Wyatt.
  • Darkness Equals Death: The Fiend's arrival is signified by all of the arena lights slowly turning off, after which point he attacks his victim in the dark amid flashing lights.
  • 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.
  • Dark Reprise: "Live In Fear" was already a pretty creepy, if subdued Villain Song. When Wyatt debuted his Fiend persona at Summerslam 2019, he brought with him a new cover of the song that trades in all of the ominous restraint of the original for something much louder and more intimidating.
  • 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. This is noted when the group fought on April 8, 2014. The New Orleans crowd was ecstatic. Today, when participating in televised championship matches or pay-per-view championship matches, he doesn't even bother with having his hometown or weight being billed, preferring to make a dramatic entrance with the arena lights blacked out, or suddenly popping up in the ring under the cover of darkness.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Losing to Matt Hardy in the "Ultimate Deletion" match seemed to have done this. He used his teleportation power to help win the Andre the Giant trophy for Matt and then appears the next night on Raw as Matt's giddy partner with an oddly friendly talk with Jeff Hardy over feeling wonderful that Sister Abigail has been rendered "obsolete" and appears to be Birds of a Feather with Woken Matt Hardy.
    • This defeat may have also led to the creation of The Fiend, as the exact effects of the "Lake of Reincarnation" on Bray have never been clearly explained unlike "Brother Nero" Jeff Hardy. In an interview, Matt Hardy "harnassing" his Woken side speculated that, while he cleansed Sister Abigail from Bray, he seems to have been taken over by a much stronger force (The Fiend).
  • Demonic Possession:
    • Whilst never made entirely clear, Bray is implied to be some malevolent entity that's using Husky Harris' body as a vessel. 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' 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."
    • Wyatt himself eventually became this to his inner demon, The Fiend.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: What he shockingly emerged as when he returned on the April 22, 2019 episode of RAW as the host of the "Firefly Fun House", dressed like an evil Fred Rogers and using a chainsaw to cut up a cardboard standee of his old character while laughing maniacally. The third episode also featured Mercy the Buzzard (who speaks in a voice that sounds like it's coming out of an old, tinny speaker) killing and partially eating Rambling Rabbit after the latter tried to force him to adhere to his bohemian worldview and ideologies, which Bray quickly shook off with An Aesop about self-expression and Forgiveness. Jesus.
  • Determinator: Where losses like the one to Cena at WrestleMania and Payback would normally deter an opponent or force them to take a different tact or approach in their character, Wyatt's still preaching his word, his hope that the rest of the world will "open their eyes" like he did. JBL summed it up best when he said that to Bray, "wins and losses don't matter." Bray, one way or another, finds a way to his goal regardless of the setbacks he suffers. and even then, victories against him and the family can come at a physical and mental cost.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: One episode of Firefly Fun House has Bray feeding Ramblin Rabbit to Mercy the Buzzard for being a fan of Bray's upcoming opponent, Seth Rollins.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Downplayed. Parts of his new theme, Let Me In, were done by Wyatt himself — specifically, the "Yowie wowie!" and "Let me in!" spoken portions in the beginning. But the outro phrase, "I'm really sorry what I did. (Let Me In)", were done by both Wyatt and Code Orange.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Bray finds out the hard way during his match against The Undertaker in WrestleMania 31. He didn't seem to learn his lesson, prompting 'Taker (along with Kane) to give him and the Family a refresher the following November at Survivor Series.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: Came back after an injury in 2016 with his long hair in dreadlocks.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Has become more and more of one over the course of his run, culminating in the appearance of the monstrous, clearly-supernatural Monster Clown known as The Fiend.
  • Eldritch Location: What essentially amounts to the Firefly Fun House. When Seth Rollins invaded it, Bray, on Twitter, wondered how he got there, alluding to the fact you needed to be deceased to access the Firefly Fun House. His "Firefly Fun House" match with Cena has it described as a place where "Angels, monsters and demons" are all welcome.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • The Wyatts introduced themselves to the WWE in person by beating the hell out of Kane and giving him a Con-chair-to with steel steps.
    • His ECM as the host of the "Firefly Fun House" includes him using a chainsaw to chop off the head of a cardboard standee of himself.
    • And his ECM as the Fiend might be his entrance at SummerSlam 2019: The metal remix of "Broken Out in Love" and carrying his own severed head with a lantern in it tells you everything you need to know about how much darker The Fiend is compared to the old Bray. Which is saying a lot. Even commentator Michael Cole, a man usually never at a loss for words, would solemnly ask "... What on Earth did we just witness?"
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: There was only one person in the world that Bray truly loved, and that was Sister Abigail, to the point that destroying her rocking chair was enough to piss him off. But when Orton burned down the compound that contained Abigail's soul, Bray was livid.
  • Evil Is Hammy:
    • A terrifying case, as he could switch between this and ordinary volume at the drop of a hat.
    • Subverted slightly when Wyatt, instead of yelling, dropped his voice to a whisper in his recent warning to Kane: "I heard you like to call yourself 'The Devil's Favorite Demon.' You might want to 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 members of The Wyatt Family were depicted as living in a dark shack in the middle of nowhere with very little electricity. Their entrance was always made through a darkened arena, lit only by Wyatt's lantern.
    • Holds true up to eleven as The Fiend. As with his previous gimmick, the stadium lights going dark often precedes something bad happening to whoever happens to be in the ring at the time. On top of that, The Fiend's matches have taken place under a filter of blood red light, as if he wasn't terrifying enough under normal circumstances.
  • Evil Laugh: Wyatt had a very high pitched, almost childlike giggle. It is eerie. Following the emergence of his Fiend persona, almost all of the Fiend's assaults ended with a audio loop of Bray's laugh playing over the pitch-black arena.
  • Expy:
    • To Max Cady (and by extension, to Waylon Mercy) and that might just be the obvious one. The underlying hints that he's possessed by an abomination also liken him somewhat to Azazel from Fallen.
    • Husky Harris was similar to Samoa Joe both in build and some of their moves. At one point, fans even chanted "BRAY IS GOING TO KILL YOU!"
    • In terms of other well-known wrestlers, he compared in a lot of ways to a young Mick Foley (the original Mankind persona in particular). He even used a variation of the Foley pop. Foley himself even signs off on this comparison, tweeting the day of WrestleMania XXX that Wyatt was "A darker, meaner, more athletically gifted version of what [he] brought to the table." And The Fiend adopted the Mandible Claw, even using it on Mankind himself once.
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has compared the transition from the deadend Husky Harris gimmick into the exceedingly popular Bray Wyatt gimmick as having shades of his own transition from The Ringmaster to the Stone Cold persona.
    • As the host of Firefly Fun House, he essentially played a psychotic Mr. Rogers. And it is absolutely creepy.
    • The reworking into a self-created high-concept Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane gimmick with seemingly its own pocket 'universe' and Satellite Characters within the promotion's wrestling continuity, after inconsistent booking by the promotion and an extended absence, make Bray an expy to TNA's "Broken" Matt Hardy around 2016-2017. Ironically, Wyatt's last singles feud before his gimmick change to The Fiend was "Woken" Matt Hardy, which was basically WWE's Suspiciously Similar Substitute for the aforementioned character.
  • Fat Bastard: He's stocky and thoroughly evil.
  • A Father to His Men:
    • An interesting example, since Bray Wyatt is many years younger than both Rowan and Harper (See "Freeze-Frame Bonus" below), but he is clearly the leader, and is a damn good one. He doesn't hide behind Rowan and Harper and allow them to come into harm to save himself, nor does he mistreat them overall. As well, hurting either of them is a one-way ticket to a beatdown from Bray Wyatt. Say what you will, but he does seem to actually care about his family on a significant level, flying into a rage at WrestleMania XXX, for example, when John Cena drove Luke Harper through the barricade; his first priority was checking on Harper to see that he was all right. He even refuses to refer to them as his "followers", instead considering the whole Family his "brothers and sisters in cause."
    • Adversely, Bray once did a running senton over John Cena while he was locking Rowan in the STFU, showing an utter disregard for his partner being directly under Cena and thus eating the move as well. He seems to be belligerently against any person harming his brothers — except himself. Which makes sense, since it's clear he gathered the family by breaking the members down and building them back up in his image.
  • Faux Affably Evil: As the host of the "Firefly Fun House" he acts like Mr. Rogers... and then he shifts into the side known as "The Fiend" and he's absolutely sinister, malevolent and downright evil.
  • Finishing Move:
    • 'Sister Abigail', a swinging reverse STO.
    • As The Fiend, Wyatt adopted the Mandible Claw as a secondary finisher after attacking the move's most famous user, Mick Foley, at Raw Reunion.
  • Forced to Watch: On May 26th, 2014, he tried to force John Cena to watch him beat down Jerry Lawler, having Harper and Rowan hold John's eyes open. Thankfully the Big Damn Heroes came before he could do it.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In one early promo, Bray said that the Family would 'pry open their eyes and force them to watch'. Fast forward a couple of years, and that's exactly what they did to John Cena.
    • On Halloween of 2015, WWE uploaded this to their Youtube channel. While at the time, it seemed nothing more than Bray being cryptic and telling a story from his childhood, it ended up being so much more. The "man in the woods" had no pigment in his skin, long yellow hair, and yellow eyes. When he got back to Abigail, she explained to him that he was the "man in the woods". Fast forward three and a half years, and Bray reveals the Fiend to the world, a pale masked, blond haired, and golden eyed Monster Clown.
    • In the first episode of "Firefly Fun House", Bray uses a chainsaw to chop off the head of a cardboard standee of his. In The Fiend's SummerSlam match he carries a lantern... that's kept inside the severed head of his previous gimmick.
    • At one point during his feud with Kane, Wyatt tells him that his flames "cannot hurt him." Some years later, during an Inferno Match against Randy Orton, The Fiend completely no-sold being on fire. Subverted moments later, though, when Orton hit him with an RKO and burned his lifeless body, with the implication that this killed The Fiend.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Sister Abigail's two known "physical manifestations" are vastly different from the other, implying this. During Bray's feud with Finn Balor, Sister Abigail simply takes the form of Bray himself. During Bray's feud with former ally Braun Strowman, Sister Abigail takes on the form of another one of Braun's former partners, Alexa Bliss.
  • 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: April 7, 2014. The audience displayed what could be described as cult-like behavior with the Wyatt Family... clapping, swinging their arms in the air and the... oh yes, sending "BRAY IS GOING TO KILL YOU!" chants (although Tazz, Kurt Angle, and Samoa Joe have invoked this chant long before Wyatt even debuted) to Big E., Wyatt's opponent that night. Creepy.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The mid-2014 pay-per-view "Battleground" used a futuristic heads-up display for its matchup promos, featuring facts such as height, weight, hometown, and birth date. If one watched in high-definition and paused at the right time (as seen in the screenshot), it's possible to see information unavailable anywhere else (officially), such as Luke Harper's hometown (Lincoln, Nebraska) and birth date (December 16, 1979, making him 34 in kayfabe), and the same for Erick Rowan (Minneapolis, Minnesota and November 28, 1981, respectively, making him 33 in kayfabe).

    The same can be done by the viewer for Bray Wyatt, who the promos confirm is 27 years old (born May 23, 1987) and is from Brooksville, Florida. Bo Dallas, Wyatt's brother in real life, is also booked from Brooksville. Now that's continuity.
  • Freudian Trio: His three WWE gimmicks since debuting as Bray Wyatt are this.
    • Id: The Fiend, a hellish being with no rational thoughts
    • Ego: The Firefly Funhouse host, a charismatic man with a smile on his face
    • Superego: The Eater of Worlds, an Evil Genius who manipulates his opponents and everybody around him
  • Friend to All Children: Bray played with this trope for invokedNightmare Fuel - very effectively - in his feud with John Cena. When you consider Cena's main target demographic, it's probable that Bray did this just because he knew it would mess with Cena's head.
    • As the host of “Firefly Fun House”, he is explicitly pitching himself towards kids.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Remember Husky Harris? The fat guy from The Nexus, a stable that was essentially roster filler for a stable specifically designed to push CM Punk, in which he was the first one to get kicked (as in a "''punt'' kick") off programming after having been more or less a punching bag for everybody in the company? Who would have thought that he would not only turn into one of the biggest monsters in the WWE's recent history, but join the handful of Superstars to become World Champion before the age of 30?
  • Genre Throwback: One of the things that makes Wyatt (and by extension, his family) stand out is he's a high-concept character in an era that doesn't really use them anymore unless they're holdovers from a previous age. The high concept of his gimmick looks a lot more like something that would have been seen in the early-to-mid-90s.
  • The Ghost: Bray's beloved "Sister Abigail," whom he refers to often in his promos and has even named his Finishing Move after, but who has yet to actually appear. (Assuming that she is a person, not a disembodied entity. Also assuming she even exists.) For what it's worth, what Bray's said about her heavily implies that she is a real person, but she died some time ago. From what he has said of her, she is responsible for making him into what he is today (so she's either evil herself or just plain messed up bad) and possesses the power to save the world with a touch or destroy it with a kiss. Abby the Witch, the Creepy Doll seen in Bray's Firefly Fun House segments, is implied to be an effigy of her. And more disturbingly, may even contain her trapped spirit.
  • A God Am I: Wyatt said as much to John Cena:
    Bray: 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.note 
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair:
    • Sported a long, shaggy mane of curly hair that emphasizes his untamed, unhinged nature.
    • After his return in 2019, the version of Bray who hosts the Firely Fun House wears his hair neatly and professionally; The Fiend, meanwhile, lets his hair hang loose and haphazardly, befitting the chaos that defines him.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: One of his many brawls with Roman Reigns saw him grab a cameraman out of the crowd and, with no warning whatsoever, just throw the man at Reigns.
  • Guttural Growler: in comparison to Bray's higher, cheerier tone in the Fun House, the Fiend's voice is a deep, gravelly, demonic growl.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: His "White Rabbit" persona seems to make use of such imagery. He wears a rather fiendish looking rabbit mask, and uses lots of rabbit imagery in his promos and symbolism.
  • Happily Adopted: According to Bray, Sister Abigail took him and several other children into her care in a cabin in the woods.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Wyatt wears a Hawaiian shirt, but he is far from a harmless tourist...
  • Heel–Face Turn: Bray Wyatt's last promo on NXT was definitely face-like. He didn't break character at all, which actually made it kind of scary...
    • Pulled one at WrestleMania 34 when he helped Matt Hardy eliminate Baron Corbin to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, then teaming up with him in the weeks that followed in pursuit of the RAW Tag Team Championships.
    • Had another one in the summer of 2020 as a part of a Face/Heel Double-Turn with Braun Strowman. After the Fiend attacked Alexa Bliss, Braun claimed to not care about her and believed she had been changed by him like everyone else who had come into contact with the Fiend. Braun became hellbent on destroying Bray and anything associated with him, which included Bliss. Just when it looked Braun was going to throw her, the Fiend appeared and stopped him.
  • Hell Is That Noise: With a heaping second helping of Interrupting Meme and Jump Scare:
    • The entrance video for The Wyatt Family 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. They even used this to interrupt WWE's "Then. Now. Forever." opening on May 19 of 2014.
    • 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."
    • The Wyatts had a tendency to use the creepy interrupting Jump Scare as normal, only to cut the lights and appear instantly standing around or in the ring.
    • As The Fiend, when he appears, he attacks wrestlers accompanied by the single light reminiscent of a swinging lamp, the loving closeups on his mask, and the high-pitched ringing and screamlike ambiance.
  • Hero Killer: Both of his gimmicks are portrayed as such.
    • As leader of the Wyatt Family, Bray had decimated many wrestlers such as Daniel Bryan (even succeeding in turning Bryan into a member of his cult for a brief moment), Dean Ambrose, John Cena, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Finn Balor and Matt Hardy. Even legends such as the Undertaker fall victim to him. Unfortunately for him, during that run he rarely won any of his feuds.
    • The Fiend's first match has him defeating Finn Balor at SummerSlam 2019 (which Balor was undefeated in for 3 straight years). He also had attacked legends with the Mandible Claw, such as Angle, Foley, Lawler and Kane. Subsequently, he has absolutely destroyed Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan, both multiple-time world champions that have operated as the top faces in all of WWE at different points. Perhaps his crowning achievement has him breaking John Cena mentally and physically during the Firefly Funhouse match at WrestleMania 36 by subjecting him to a long and horrifying character deconstruction combined with a curbstomp beat down.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Anyone who fights the Fiend or even Funhouse Bray and doesn't come out on top tends to suffer a Face–Heel Turn (or in the case of John Cena, fading away into the darkness) as a result.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: How his "Firefly Inferno Match" with Randy Orton ended. After locking in the Mandible Claw, The Fiend attempted to shove Orton's back into a wall of fire he had conjured up. At the last second, while still in the hold, Orton managed to spin them around and shove The Fiend's back into the fire, igniting him.
  • Horrifying the Horror: His debut as The Fiend at Summerslam 2019 made Finn Balor who has done this to the Ascension back when he first debuted his Demon King paint, realize that he was in a load of trouble.
  • Humanoid Abomination: His character is an entity implied to be of eldritch origin possessing the human form of Husky Harris. The Fiend is even more of one, said to be the darkness within Bray's mind harnessed and unleashed.
  • The Illuminati: Bray has periodically RT'd tweets from a philosophical Twitter account bearing their name, as well as made reference to them in a short few of his own tweets.
  • Infernal Retaliation: When Randy Orton managed to set his back on fire, he continued to attack Orton until Orton knocked him out with the RKO.
  • Irony: For all the praise he gives his "brothers" Rowan and Harper and the others who follow and be a part of his "family", Brays's greatest successes in the WWE have often come when he's been alone, against the likes of Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho, without the Wyatt Family at ringside. He may have realized this with his later decision to set them free at the tail end of 2014, as all three men have come back stronger since going their separate ways.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: As of 2019, Bray is the Jekyll to The Fiend's Hyde. Bray is (or at least pretends to be) a fun-loving kid's show host who inspires his viewers to be their best selves and isn't above being goofy and playful. The Fiend, meanwhile, appears to be nothing more than a twisted, demonic entity out for blood. In The Fiend's in-ring debut, he wore gloves with the words "HURT" and "HEAL" written on the right and left knuckles respectively, emphasizing this apparent psychological conflict. Notably, when Seth Rollins invaded the Firefly Fun House, Bray was intially furious, but then suddenly started whimpering and asking him why he was doing this to him.
  • The Juggernaut: The Fiend officially crossed from Implacable Man into this territory after managing to get back up unscathed and pin Seth Rollins for the Universal Title despite eating EIGHT Curbstomps, getting kicked off the stage and into the lighting equipment, and subsequently exploding.
  • Kill It with Fire: The apparent outcome of his 2020 Tables, Ladders and Chairs "Firefly Inferno" Match with Randy Orton ... the Fiend, unconscious in the ring, having his body doused with gasoline and then set on fire by Orton. note 
  • Kiss of Death: Wyatt kisses his victim on the forehead right before executing his Finishing Move.
  • 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. Exaggerated with The Fiend. How so? When he debuted at SummerSlam 2019, the show was given a TV-14 rating simply because of his presence.
  • Large Ham: Doesn't even begin to do him justice.
  • Laughably Evil: In his Firefly Funhouse persona. He's just as sinister and crazy as he's ever been, if not even moreso, but there's also a lot more goofiness in his act due to the wacky sound effects and Bray's enthusiastic hamminess as a parody of a kid's show host. Black Comedy is aplenty too.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • On the May 27, 2019 episode of Firefly Fun House, he says he has problems finding his confidence and courage when he's alone, a possible reference to the common fan perception that his character works best as the leader of a stable rather than a solo competitor.
    • With the exception of Ramblin Rabbit, Bray's puppets references his previous gimmicks:
      • Huskus the pig is based on Bray's old name, Husky Harris.
      • Mercy the Buzzard is based on one of Bray's previous gimmick catchphrase "Follow the buzzards".
      • Abby the witch references Sister Abigail, the mysterious spirit behind the Wyatt Family and the namesake of Bray's finisher move.
    • A Vince McMahon puppet appears on Firefly Fun House, with devil horns and always yelling at Wyatt, most likely a reference to Vince's tendency to invokedmicromanaging wrestlers' promos. After it was announced that Wyatt would challenge either Seth Rollins or Braun Strowman for the Universal title at Hell in a Cell 2019 and the Vince puppet appears to chew him out for it (claiming that they're very important to the company), Wyatt shuts him up by pulling out a stack of cash and feeding it to him, referencing how the success of the gimmick most certainly is making Vince money.
  • Light-Flicker Teleportation: He and his family make use of this on occasion, a la The Undertaker, to appear in the middle of the ring for a surprise attack on whatever poor dumb bastard is there.
  • Limited Wardrobe: He occasionally changes his pants, but he has always wrestled in the same black tank top, or his character-themed t-shirt.
  • Made of Iron: Took it to unseen levels at the 2019 Hell in a Cell event, where The Fiend faced Seth Rollins inside the titular structure. At first, The Fiend no-sold two kendo-stick attacks from Rollins; impressive, but nothing that The Undertaker, Kane, or Braun Strowman haven't done already. Things escalated when he kicked out of a sequence consisting of four Curb Stomps and a Pedigree after a count of one (keep in mind that Seth defeated Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam with just two stomps). Seth would then hit The Fiend with five consecutive Curb Stomps and smash his face into the mat with a chair. Another count of one. Next, Seth placed the chair on Wyatt's face and smashed it with a ladder. Two count. Finally, after Seth placed the ladder, with the steel chair inside of it, on Bray's face and repeatedly pounded it with a metal toolbox and then a sledgehammer, the referee stopped the match to keep Seth from killing him. But as The Fiend was being loaded onto a stretcher, he rose from the dead and forcefully attacked Seth with the Mandible Claw, appearing to be completely unaffected by the unholy amount of damage that had just been done. Despite everything that had happened, The Fiend walked away under his own power, and Seth laid in a pool of his own blood as the show went off the air.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase:
    Wyatt: [lights lantern] [city/arena name]... we're/I'm here.
  • Madness Mantra: In one of the vignettes leading up to their debut, the reported toured their residence, a dimly lit shack of sorts with minimal technology. The reporter ignored Harper's warning not to stray and stumbled upon a room where an unknown man stood on his knees repeating the word "obey" endlessly.
  • Malevolent Masked Men:
    • Wyatt wore a half mask while tending to a facial injury. It gave him a very creepy, serial-killer effect.
    • Became one in 2019 with the revelation of "The Fiend", his new Monster Clown masked persona.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Either the Wyatts are a supernatural cult led by the demon inside Bray Wyatt, or they're a group of delusional hicks whose actions most people are too afraid to challenge because they'll get beat up... or worse.
  • Mind Rape: Bray thrives on mentally torturing his opponents. He usually does so using his supernatural powers, though Bray being "hands-on" isn't uncommon (e.g stalking his targets before giving them brutal beatdowns). He doesn't discriminate gender either, seeing what happened to Alexa Bliss.
  • Mind Screw: Bray rose to prominence by giving his opponents mental tortures using surreal, absurd, and ominous imagery. Because of this, many compare him to director David Lynch, who is similarly acclaimed for being a bizarre fetishist.
  • Monster Clown: Bray's 2019 repackaging was finally revealed to be along these lines during the fourth episode of Firefly Funhouse, with a mask that looks like a demented combination of Beetlejuice, New 52 Joker and Sweet Tooth.
  • Nice Guy: Most of his coworkers and fans who've met him out-of-kayabe will tell you that Windham was one of the nicest guys alive, constantly being an encouraging presence to the new blood and a supportive friend to the rest.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: His decision to go after John Cena at an inopportune time set off a chain of events that ended up wrecking The Authority's power base. The Wyatt Family interrupted a match involving The Shield vs. the team of Cena, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan, with the winning team earning spots in the 2014 Elimination Chamber for the WWE Title. They attacked Cena mid-match, thus causing the Shield to be disqualified through no fault of their own. This severely pissed off The Shield, leading to a direct, public clash with Triple H, as they demanded a match with the Family for revenge, and Trips wanted them to stay on task doing the Authority's dirty work. The Shield started to tire of being used as pawns, which earned Kane's ire, and made it next to impossible for The Authority to control him any longer either. Case in point: Kane accidentally outing Triple H as having tried to pull a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on the Shield at one point. Predictably it was the last straw. The relationship between the Shield and the Authoritys was severed, leading the Shield to turn face, pound the New Age Outlaws back into retirement at Wrestlemania XXX, and directly cost Triple H the championship the next night on RAW. Triple H's only remaining in-ring hands were himself, Randy Orton, and a bunch of lower-card Mooks that had little to no investment in Trips's personal vendettas. Triple H had to take drastic measures in a last-ditch effort to keep any semblance of in-ring presence (or at least whatever's left of it), and even that didn't work quite as planned. And maybe, if The Wyatt Family had waited before or after Cena's match to beat the hell out of him that night, the first half of 2014 would have gone very differently.
  • No Indoor Voice: He could easily cut a promo without a microphone if he felt like it, and sometimes does go on mini rants after a match or a segment:
    Wyatt: We are war! Famine! Pestilence! Death! WE ARE THE RIDERS! And I say you better make your pleas while you still can, BECAUSE AT THE ROYAL RUMBLE, THERE WILL BE NO SALVATION! The apocalypse... is here.
  • No-Sell: Kicking out of Seth Rollins' Finishing Move before the count of two at Hell in a Cell 2019 was an immediate signal that, whatever Bray Wyatt was before, The Fiend was something else entirely...
  • No Sense of Personal Space: What with his kissing victims on the forehead and whispering directly in people's ears. It adds to his creepiness factor. He's also, at least once, slow-danced with the limp body of John Cena during a match. It's exactly as disturbing as it sounds.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Tend to ambush people and subject them to these.
  • Oddly Small Organization: While promos have shown that the Wyatt cult is composed by at least a dozen of people, it seems that there were only three among them who could wrestle besides Bray himself. (It's possible that at some point more wrestler members of the group were planned - see The Pete Best on the Trivia page for more.)
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Wyatt was the youngest male wrestler on the WWE main roster until Bo Dallas (his younger brother) debuted on SmackDown in May 2014. His feuds with Kane at SummerSlam 2013 and Backlash 2016, John Cena from WrestleMania XXX to Payback 2014, Chris Jericho from Battleground 2014 to September 2014, The Undertaker at WrestleMania 31, and Matt Hardy in later half of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 in particular pitted him against long-tenured stars of the industry.
  • Opposites Attract: With "Woken" Matt Hardy. Hardy is obsessed with light and shouts constantly, whereas Bray is characterized by darkness and often prefers to talk quietly during his monologues.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Bray Wyatt (or rather, Husky Harris) appears to be possessed by some kind of demonic entity with the goal of spreading his influence and gaining followers. A few promos have very heavily implied that the demon possessing Bray Wyatt is none other than the Devil himself, or that he at least has some sort of tie(s) to Lucifer.
    Wyatt: I heard you like to call yourself "The Devil's Favorite Demon." You might want to be careful who you say that in front of, because you never know who might be listening...
  • Parts Unknown: Announcers usually don't even bother to bill his hometown in championship matches, since he prefers to make his own dramatic entrance in the form of the arena lights going out or suddenly emerging from out of nowhere without having his weight or hometown billed.
  • Perky Female Minion: It took a few weeks to fully take hold, but after some brainwashing, the Fiend has one in Alexa Bliss.
  • Power Stable: The Wyatt Family. Previously his vessel was part of The Nexus.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Has shades of this.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: During the 2014 Royal Rumble, as leader of the Wyatt Family, Bray told Harper and Rowan to go in the back so he can deal with Daniel Bryan on his own, and then proceeded to do exactly that.
  • Red Baron:
    • The Eater of Worlds, The Angel in the Dirt, The Necessary Evil, The (New) Face of Fear, among many others for the big man himself.
    • The commentators seem to like calling Bray "The False Prophet."
  • Red Filter of Doom: Full matches wrestled as The Fiend are wrestled under a blood red light scheme, just to add to the creepy factor.
  • Restart the World: Bray admits to Cena in the May 5, 2014 edition of RAW that he wants to watch the world burn so it can be reborn in his image.
  • Retcon: When the Bray Wyatt character first debuted in NXT, he was more of a preacher and less of a messianic archetype. He was also ambiguously Christian - he was careful never to outright refer to Christian mythology, but he often talked about "the Good Book" and once cut a promo comparing himself (unfavorably) to "a certain carpenter." He also had a backstory in which he grew up poor white trash on the bayou, working on his father's shrimping boat. His father died in a fire on that boat that Wyatt implied he set himself. But when Wyatt received 'Husky Harris' chants the night he debuted on the main roster, his backstory was rewritten to incorporate Harris. It was implied that Bray was some kind of supernatural entity with whom Husky Harris made a deal ("He needed me, and I needed a vessel").
  • The Runner-Up Takes It All: Of WWE NXT season 2. While Curtis Axel has won the Intercontinental Title, Bray Wyatt is getting a much bigger push than Axel ever got.
  • Self-Deprecation: His fat, greedy pig boy puppet is named “Huskus”, a reference to his original and not particularly well regarded “Husky Harris” gimmick.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • When Wyatt debuted, he was not portrayed as anything more mundane than a mildly crazy Southerner in the vein of Waylon Mercy and Max Cady. When Harper and Rowan joined, he became a less civilized, wilder hillbilly in the vein of Deliverance before they started playing up the cult aspect until it completely overtook the rest of the gimmick. As of mid-2014, he's hinted to be some supernatural force of an unknown kind (He needed me, and I needed a vessel.), akin to The Undertaker, circa late 1990s.
    • Taken even further by 2019. The Fiend appears to be some sort of Eldritch Abomination, manifest from Bray's inner darkness.
    • At this point, you have to wonder whether every new gimmick Bray takes on is a response to the question, "How can we make Bray's new persona even creepier than the last one? Creepy bayou preacher? Frighteningly charismatic cult leader with an army of brainwashed followers? Psychotic Mr. Rogers parody? Demon in human form the likes of which hasn't been seen since Kane? You have to wonder how he's possibly going to top himself next time, but no doubt he's certainly going to figure out a way.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The whole Wyatt Family reminds some of Deliverance.
    • Wyatt himself in his "cult leader" persona 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. Mercy the Buzzard from the Firefly Fun House is another reference to Waylon Mercy, complete with a snuck-in "You know what I mean?"
    • Uncle Howdy was a reference to Captain Howdy, a character played by Richard Kiel in the 1983 comedy/horror parody film Hysterical.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Averted. He has a tendency to interrupt the promos of others and start rambling in riddles and mysterious speech, yet everyone he interrupts simply stands there and listens rather than cutting him off mid-sermon. Perhaps invokedFridge Logic in that part of Bray Wyatt's character is his hypnotic charisma, which can possibly make even his enemies unable to resist listening to his words.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: He dispenses with the shirt and favors a sleeveless tank top as well. The Fiend also wears a black tank top during his in-ring appearances.
  • The Speechless: It's not entirely clear whether or not The Fiend can't speak or chooses not to, but as his demonic alter ego, Wyatt communicates exclusively with guttural groans, screams, wails, and evil laughs.
  • Start My Own: Husky Harris, not too long ago, was part of a Power Stable with a charismatic, super-hammy, preachy leader at the helm...
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!:
    • In his WrestleMania XXX match with John Cena, he repeatedly tried to goad Cena into attacking him with weapons and getting himself disqualified. It didn't work.
    • Implicit in his appearances as The Fiend. Just by virtue of typical tactics having little to no effect, opponents - Seth Rollins in particular - have found the need to tap into a very dark place just to do enough to keep him down. And even that hasn't been entirely effective.
  • Subverted Kids' Show: The "Firefly Fun House", the platform for Bray's new Depraved Kids' Show Host gimmick when he returned to RAW on April 22, 2019. It featured Bray's friend Mercy the Buzzard, a creepy Hand Puppet and an eerie doll called Abby the Witch, as well as Bray using a chainsaw to cut up a cardboard standee of his old gimmick while laughing like a loon in the first episode. All set to a soundalike of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: The Fiend, to be precise, has utterly unnatural irises that turn from blood red to bright gold from edge to pupil.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Well, Superpowered Eviler Side. His demonic masked alter ego “The Fiend” is absolutely more powerful and durable than Wyatt himself. Surviving multiple consecutive finishers or weapon attacks almost completely unscathed, as well as vanquishing top-level foes with ease is standard fare for The Fiend, while Wyatt has high-tier, but definitely not supernatural-level, physical attributes.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: 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 the three spots that were left 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 Hounds of Justice, predictably, were not happy about this, to the point where they demanded that Triple H give them a match against the Wyatt Family. The result was AWESOME.
  • 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).
    • It seems like there's a lot of invokedReality Subtext within the "Firefly Fun House", with Huskus the Pig Boy, the Vince McMahon devil puppet, etc.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: As part of Sister Abigail, Bray Wyatt will plant a quick kiss to his opponent's forehead before planting said opponent on the ground.
  • Terrible Trio: Wyatt is the leader, with Harper and Rowan his devoted followers and henchmen.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Ramblin' Rabbit getting killed or victimized by Bray, one of the other puppets or even Alexa Bliss is a repeated gag in the Firefly Fun House segments.
  • Token Good Teammate: Among the Funhouse puppets, Ramblin' Rabbit seems to be the most unambiguously good one, siding with the faces Bray torments and being brutally punished for it. If you believe this article's theory that he's the physical manifestation of Bray's love for professional wrestling, his "inner fanboy" as it were, it makes sense (as does why he keeps coming back to life no matter how many times he gets destroyed).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Multiple over the course of his career. Comparing Bray's initial persona - low-card doinker Husky Harris - with his proceeding reinventions and repackagings is like comparing night and day, with the Fiend putting all comers before him completely to shame.
  • Troll:
    • At Fastlane 2015, Bray staged a perfect re-enactment of The Undertaker's entrance, only with himself instead of Taker.
    • In the go-home show before WrestleMania 31 he was interrupted by Undertaker's thunder and dark light effects to make people think Taker was coming, only to reveal he was the one "commanding the spirits of the night" now.
  • Two First Names: Wyatt is a common male given name in European countries.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Happens occasionally on the Firefly Funhouse segments.
    • Ramblin’ Rabbit has a tendency to die during the segments only to return next week no worse for wear.
    • The Funhouse itself was subject to this when Seth Rollins tried to burn it down after attacking Bray. You’d think that would be the end of the segments, but Bray returned the following week, not even acknowledging how the Funhouse is still intact after Seth tried to destroy it.
  • The Unintelligible/Convulsive Seizures: Appeared to go through a combination of the two on May 23, 2014, during a promo on John Cena. Neither Rowan nor Harper, standing behind him silently, so much as batted an eyelash as Wyatt dropped to all fours and went through some sort of supernatural/religious breakdown. Bray himself didn't miss a beat, either, as he began singing "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" only seconds afterwards. Just another average day with the Family.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Initially (right after their debut), Bray Wyatt appeared to be unable to keep from using "man" as a filler word during promos ("They lied to you, man!"), but has gotten much better with avoiding the tic since then.
    • Interestingly, there is a not-small segment of the fanbase who enjoyed it because it lent Bray's promos a unique cadence and went a long way towards making them sound unscripted and genuine.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show:
    • It may be a bit inaccurate to call WWE "saccharine," but when most of the bad guys are just cowardly Smug Snakes and brutish Jerk Jocks, it definitely makes the Family stand out.
    • In regards to "Firefly Fun House", the Fiend really stands out as a dark and malevolent force.
  • 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. As The Fiend, it's given a dark metal remix.
    • Has taken a habit to using "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" as one of these.
  • Villainous Breakdown: During his WrestleMania match against the Undertaker, Bray said something along the lines of "I won't let you take this from me! I OWN this! This! All of this is mine now!" During the final minutes of the match when the Undertaker recovered from another fall, Bray appears to have had enough and starts going batshit on him, only to end up as the 22 in 22-1. The Undertaker holds the honor of being the very first to truly get under Bray's skin.
    • The February 28, 2017 episode of Smackdown has Bray go into one when Randy Orton burns down Bray's house, which also holds the remains of Sister Abigail!
  • 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 led to the New Orleans crowd singing the song during the match, and since then, he's used it as a Villain Song to enchant his "followers" (and the crowd buys it hook, line, and sinker).
  • We Can Rule Together:
    • Said several times to Daniel Bryan during the lead up to TLC 2013.
      Bray: 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 XXX is basically an extended attempt by Bray to invite Cena to become a monster like he is.
  • Wham Episode: On the April 22nd, 2019 episode of Raw, he returned from hiatus as the demented sweater-wearing host of “Firefly Fun House”. Claiming to have been "barbarically punished", he announced that he would never turn back into “that pathetic slob loser”, and sliced up a cutout of his former self with a chainsaw while laughing maniacally.
  • Wham Line:
    • "But don't worry! There's still a lot of darkness in this ol' noggin! But this time's different. This time, I learned how to harness it. How to control it. So, whaddaya say? You wanna see my secret?"
    • Right after that one, while Bray's just back to his cheery self, he starts teasing Abby the Witch again, which makes her belt out a somewhat unnerving response when the whole context pre-Funhouse is considered. Bray's answer only makes things worse.
    Abby: Why won't you let me rest?
    Bray: *wheezing laughter* I'll never let you rest! NEVER!
  • 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. The most well-known example happened to John Cena in the Firefly Funhouse Match at WrestlaMania 36, seeing as he just vanished out of existence and no one has seen him since.
    • Wyatt individually (due in no small part to bookers seemingly having no idea what to do with him) has picked up the habit of disappearing completely for weeks at a time. He'll usually resurface at a PPV to attack someone and set up his next feud.
  • White Mask of Doom: He wears a Monster Clown designed mask as The Fiend.
  • Wild Card:
    • Just to reiterate, they go after everyone. The only people they have not antagonized when given the chance to do so are Triple H and the McMahons. But would you put it past them?
    • Bray can be extremely detrimental to the plans of even The Authority as well. At Money in the Bank 2014, when Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Randy Orton and looked to capture the WWE World Title, Triple H and Stephanie had a massive Oh, Crap! moment that he could come away with the championship, because they know there's no way he could realistically be corralled under The Authority.
  • Worthy Opponent: He seemed to have considered Roman Reigns to have been this; while he viciously mocked Dean Ambrose, and denounced the likes of John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and CM Punk, he treated Reigns with the closest we've seen him come to respect, and described him as an "interesting creature." However, this all went to hell after Wyatt started to feud with Reigns after Money in the Bank 2015, with Wyatt outright bringing Reigns' push as the reason, telling Reigns that he wishes "anyone but you" to have that opportunity.
    • Though come the build up to Extreme Rules 2017, and Bray refers to Roman as an "old friend", and seems to mean it as genuinely as he means anything, and out of his rivals in the build to the PPV, treats Roman with the most respect and cordial behavior(all things being relative, of course). It could be that after suffering the betrayal from Randy and watching his family dissolve and abandon him, he really does view Reigns as the closest thing to a friend that he has left.
  • Would Hit a Girl: On July 31, 2020, The Fiend out of nowhere attacked Alexa Bliss with the Mandible Claw.
  • Wrestling Family:
    • *deep breath* Here goes: Bray's maternal grandfather is Blackjack Mulligan, his father is Mike Rotunda (Irwin R. Shyster in early-90s WWF), his uncles are Barry and Kendall Windham, and his brother is Bo Dallas.
    • Adding onto this, before his premature passing Bray was in a relationship with former wrestler-turned-ring announcer Jojo Offerman, with whom he has two children, Knash and Hyrie. And on top of that, Knash's godfather is Braun Strowman.
    • Wyatt picked up a win on the 4/11/16 Raw, getting the full face treatment alongside Reigns. (Bray was the hot tag guy vs. the League of Nations.) Pretty clear it was out of respect to Blackjack Mulligan, who died that previous week.
  • Younger Than They Look: Believe it or not, he was the youngest male wrestler on the WWE main roster at the time of his debut at only 26 years of age. At the time of his passing at age 36, despite being a fixture of WWE programming for a decade by that point, Bray barely looked any different from the day of his debut.

He's got the whole world in his hands.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Husky Harris, Duke Rotundo


Bray Wyatt's Rocking Chair

After the 10 bell salute and the video tribute to the recently departed Bray Wyatt, the crowd sang "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," and the camera points to Bray Wyatt's rocking chair from his Wyatt Family days.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / EmptyChairMemorial

Media sources: