WWE superstar and Wyatt Family member Erick Rowan has debuted a new incarnation of his trademark sheep mask in a haunting vignette posted to his official Twitter account.
Rowan has worn a plain, white sheep mask since he debuted as a member of the villainous Wyatt Family group and continued to wear it during his brief babyface run in November 2014. The unnerving vignette sees Rowan destroying the old mask with his bare fist, revealing a new one underneath.
The new design is similar to its predecessor, but is more mangled and is perhaps intended to reflect the fractured persona showcased by the bearded performer during his time in WWE. Rowan places the mask on his face and tilts his head in eerie fashion before the signature Wyatt Family burst of noise brings the video to an abrupt close.
WWE.com added a brief comment to Rowan’s video, teasing the notion that the star may have uncovered his “true self” ahead of the Wyatts’ upcoming battle with the Dudley Boyz. The Wyatts will square off against the Dudleys and ECW buddies Rhyno and Tommy Dreamer in an elimination tables match at the TLC pay-per-view on Sunday. It’s a match format that promises plenty of splintered wood and the kind of extreme style that became the hallmark of ECW’s rise to the top of professional wrestling in the 1990s.
Rowan’s new mask vignette marked the first use of the performer’s official Twitter account in several months. The Wyatt Family members seldom use Twitter, in an attempt to maintain their mystique in an era that often seems to regard maintaining kayfabe as an option rather than a necessity.
The tweets that the Wyatt Family, including Rowan, send out often take the form of brief notes and fragments of speech, reflecting the stable’s gimmick as a backwoods cult led by the empty words of a master manipulator.
Erick Rowan rejoined the Wyatt Family after returning from injury in October, adding himself to the formidable trio of Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and newbie giant Braun Strowman. Rowan was dubbed “the new face of vengeance” by Wyatt, who positioned him as a man looking to wreak havoc on the world that shunned him.
Rowan was a valuable asset to the Family in their brawls with Roman Reigns and friends throughout the autumn period, which culminated in an all-out war between Wyatt and Reigns at the Hell in a Cell event. Reigns emerged victorious and has since entered into a program with new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus.
The Wyatts meanwhile have moved on to the massing army of former ECW performers, led by the Dudleys. Rowan’s adoption of a new sheep mask suggests that he will be a major part of the teams’ pay-per-view match, which is a welcome change from his benching at Survivor Series. Rowan is an impressive in-ring worker with the kind of physical dominance that Vince McMahon has always coveted in his performers.
Rowan has often struggled to connect with fans in the same way as his stablemates within the Wyatt Family, given that he lacks the inherent charisma on the microphone of Bray Wyatt, cannot match Luke Harper as a versatile and exciting in-ring performer, and does not captivate visually the way that Braun Strowman does.
The addition of a new sheep mask and an intriguing change of persona certainly adds an extra layer of weirdness to the Rowan character and could help him stand out in amongst the more generic performers on the crowded roster.
It could be exactly what Erick Rowan needs to ascend to the next level as a WWE talent.
[Images via WWE]