Bray Wyatt is now WWE Champion, and as fans at this Tuesday’s SmackDown Live chanted, he deserves it. But it would appear that he’s got the support of one of the company’s biggest stars, and the very man whom he dethroned as WWE Champion at Elimination Chamber 2017; John Cena.
It took close to four years on the main roster, but Bray Wyatt finally achieved the goal of many a WWE Superstar upon joining the company. The son of Mike “IRS” Rotunda and grandson of Blackjack Mulligan, both former WWE wrestlers in their own right, the 29-year-old Wyatt had a less-than-stellar run as Husky Harris from 2010 to 2011, and as he spent the next two years in WWE’s developmental ranks, he tweaked his character and changed his ring name, adopting the backwoods cult leader gimmick he uses today.
Since re-debuting on the main roster in 2013 under the Wyatt ring name, the man known in real life as Windham Rotunda had often appeared to be running in place in the upper mid-card, losing in pay-per-view matches against the likes of Roman Reigns, The Undertaker, and John Cena. But things changed late last year, as Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton formed an unlikely alliance, with Orton joining the Wyatt Family stable, and Bray and Randy going on to briefly hold the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. The new twist to the Wyatt Family story helped the faction’s leader enter 2017 on a high note, but bigger things were yet to come.
Thanks to numerous reports, including one from the Inquisitr, suggesting Bray Wyatt was in line to become WWE Champion at Elimination Chamber, his big title win came as little surprise to many. But what may be surprising to many fans is the identity of who had wanted Bray to successfully defend his title the first time around, and maybe win the belt in the first place.
On the news portion of his podcast X-Pac 12360, former WWE wrestler Sean Waltman (a.k.a. 1-2-3 Kid and X-Pac in WWE) talked about what went down on Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live, and who might have had the idea of putting over Bray Wyatt en route to the WWE Championship.
In quotes published by WrestlingNews.co, Waltman said that the idea of having Wyatt win in his first defense came from none other than John Cena, who had won his 16th WWE Championship just two weeks before Bray beat him and four other men Elimination Chamber’s main event last Sunday.
“I’m not sure what the finish was supposed to be for the match last night. But I know this for a fact, that John Cena insisted on putting Bray Wyatt over again last night, insisted on it. That’s not just a rumor.”
— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) February 16, 2017
Additionally, Waltman discussed a conversation he had with Cena’s erstwhile rival AJ Styles, one which suggests that the “Phenomenal One” has tremendous respect for the 16-time champ’s in-ring ability.
“(Styles) came up and he went, I was watching your show and he goes, I just wanted to tell you what you said about John Cena being the man and the best going, you’re a hundred percent correct. He goes, anyone that doesn’t agree with you, it’s because they don’t really know John Cena and have never been in the ring with him.”
— WWE (@WWE) February 15, 2017
One’s mileage may vary when it comes to Cena. While Sean Waltman has been effusive in his praise for Cena, another ex-WWE wrestler of note has been very open in “shooting” negatively on “Big Match John.”
In his own podcast Conversation with the Big Guy, Ryback told many a story about Cena allegedly “burying” younger talents, among other accusations. Ryback didn’t name the young wrestler in question, but since he was talking about someone whom John had supposedly had “sent back down to developmental,” only for him to reinvent himself in NXT and become a success, chances are he may have been talking about Bray Wyatt during his Husky Harris days.
If that unnamed youngster was indeed Bray Wyatt, it marks an interesting turn of events for the new WWE Champion and his relationship with John Cena. And by the looks of things, WWE’s original “Face that Runs this Place” seems like a big fan of the onetime “Army tank with a Ferrari engine” turned “Eater of Worlds.”
[Featured Image by WWE]