Sometimes, you need to just start over.
Drop off the grid. Take care of yourself. Eat better and be better so you can come back better. And when the time is right, discover the wonders a new haircut and outfit can do so the world can be astounded by your new glow as… a children’s TV host?
Yup, Bray Wyatt’s back with a brand new gimmick. He’s traded the swamp chic for a cashmere sweater; his compound for a Fun House; his Family for hand puppets.
The reaction to this was as polarizing as Bray’s old character was as a backwoods cult leader possibly possessed by his own mother figure (it got really confusing towards the end there). I’ve seen joy at the gimmick, joy at him just being back, that Cody gif and, of course, general thirst.
I don’t blame them this time.
He even went as far as destroying a depiction of the demonic persona with a chainsaw, saying “that part of me is dead now” and that he’d never be “that pathetic slob loser” ever again. However, I have my doubts. This entire skit was beautifully produced; it was so well done that Sky Sports UK mistook it for a real advert and went to commercial early. It successfully captured the tone of a tongue-in-cheek parody like “Tim and Eric”, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” or a “Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared”.
It was also absolutely terrifying.
One of the prevelant horror tropes is the corruption of youth. Look at The Exorcist, The Ring and Carrie. There are even the chilling real life stories of Jimmy Saville, Bill Cosby and Ian Watkins of the band Lostprophets (specifically their song A Town Called Hypocrisy). Bray may not be a “pathetic slob loser” anymore, but his roots have always been in the horrific; I doubt he had no input on this brand new turn for his character.
Possibly the most exciting thing is the possible identities of Mercy the Buzzard and Pammy the Witch. While they could just be sock puppets Bray keeps on his hands, they may also be other people – Bray’s never been the type to work alone. Some of us at the TWM Family have already given their opinion on who it could possibly be…
… but somehow I doubt it. It is fairly interesting we’ve not seen Eric Young, Bo Dallas, Nikki Cross or (to an extent) Sarah Logan since the Superstar Shake-Up.
No matter your opinion of the skit itself, we can all agree Bray Wyatt needed a change. After treading water in overly long feuds and poorly conceived tag teams, he needed an overhaul to ever be taken seriously again. The reasons for this being the choice to press forward with, in or out of kayfabe are unknown (be it the Lake of Reincarnation or Bray deciding to clean his act up because his father-in-law does not suffer fools lightly), but this is just a small piece in the jigsaw this gimmick could become.