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Grappler's Choice #25 - Bray Wyatt Returns

Right now we have the perfect opportunity to bring back Bray Wyatt with a fresh feel. Unfortunately, Bray Wyatt has lost some of his mystique owing to continual losses and poor booking over the last few years. To rectify this I have come up with some fantasy booking ideas that could allow Bray's character to grow once again.

Bray joins the Hardy Boyz

This feels to me like natural progression. Having Bray join the Hardy Boyz would add a new element to his character, and it makes sense in terms of the similarities that the characters share. I would turn the Hardy Boyz heel, and have them mistreat Bray. The idea coming out of this would be to eventually turn Bray babyface by having him fight back against the Hardy Boyz, when he can take no more. I guess it really comes down to how much chemistry Bray has with the Hardy Boyz, in terms of whether or not this would work, or what they could create with this.

Tag team with Braun Strowman

This idea came directly from a twitter conversation I had with a friend on Twitter. He suggested this idea when we were discussing who could form a tag team with Braun Strowman to compete for the Raw tag team championships at Wrestlemania 34. I honestly cannot see Braun with anyone else at the moment. Some people have suggested Elias as a potential partner, but given the feud that Braun and Elias have had, I think it would take a lot of work to put them together. That being said, strangers pairings have worked, and with the right booking, there are plenty of wrestlers are the roster that could work well with Braun.

Given their history, it makes sense to put Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman together. However, I think that if this is the way WWE chooses to go, then it should go down like this. Bray Wyatt should be kept off TV and live events until Wrestlemania. There should be a story line running on RAW that continues into Wrestlemania 34 where everyone is either too scared or not good enough to team with Braun (I initially wrote about this idea in Grappler's Choice #24). At Wrestlemania 34, Kurt should tell Braun that he either needs to find a partner or he won't be able to have a 'Wrestlemania moment' this year (just because WWE loves to say that). I think this should play out exactly as I wrote in #24, with Bray Wyatt being announced as Braun's partner at the very last minute. I would then have Bray & Braun win the titles at Wrestlemania.

On the Raw after Wrestlemania I would have them engage in a brief backstage segment where Bray says to Braun ''Things are different now Braun....When I was cast into the lake of reincarnation and was deleted...I came back weeks later....a new man....Braun, you were my brother once before...will you be my brother once again....and help me fight the great fight?'' to which Braun would respond ''I'm in....But we're equal are not my leader''. Bray would respond ''Those days are long gone my brother....and I lost my way....I lost all of you....but now I am reborn...and I know what must be me defeat them brother''. Braun responds ''who?'', Bray replies ''The anointed ones....the damaged vessels...the tainted ones'', to which Braun asks ''who in the hell are you talking about?'', and then Bray replies ''The Hardy Boyz Braun....they must be eliminated''.

I think that this could be a decent feud, which I think Bray & Braun should win. I would keep them as champions for awhile (maybe 2-3 months) before putting Braun into a mid-card title race (i.e. intercontinental or US championship). Bray would of course be elevated from this too, though I am uncertain as to how he could progress from this going forward. No immediate ideas come to mind other than him either being a manager for Braun, whereby his mic work would help put over Braun, or to build up Bray through several feuds with legitimate opponents in a bid to move him back into the main event picture again.

The key character change in Bray would be a limit to his vignettes. I would save them for special occasions, and have him engage more in strange segments. For instance, he and Braun could perform spooky rituals on opponents they capture in the ring, or possess people to follow them etc. I am thinking of the Undertaker's Ministry with this, particularly with how they used Midian. Bray needs to be turned into a fearsome character again, and I don't think this can be done with the long promos we're used to seeing him cut. Whilst he is very talented at delivering these, I think that having less of them, combined with the strange segments, would actually give his promos more gravitas.

- Christian Reeve

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