One of the longest-running stables in the WWE may be disbanding soon, as the latest storyline disagreement between Randy Orton and Luke Harper just may lead to The Wyatt Family’s imminent breakup, with stable leader Bray Wyatt an unlikely face turn candidate.
Since 2013, The Wyatt Family has been pretty much hit-or-miss in the WWE. While the faction’s members, especially Bray Wyatt, have often been booked as a threat, the prevailing belief is that they have been booked quite inconsistently since then, with Wyatt enduring a long losing streak in pay-per-views, among other things. Even legends such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin complained publicly about how the Wyatts have been written. In an episode of his eponymous podcast quoted last year by WrestleZone, Austin vented out, saying that the stable, given its collective talent, deserves better than to often look weak against main event babyface opponents.
“Here we are now and I mean just quite frankly, it is what it is. (The Wyatt Family) don’t mean what they should to (WWE). And Bray Wyatt, being the leader of this faction, is taking a huge hit. And that’s a travesty of booking right there because, again, these are some very talented guys within The Wyatt Family structure.”
While The Wyatt Family disbanded and reformed at one point, added Braun Strowman as their fourth member till the July 2016 brand draft, and ever-so-briefly included Daniel Bryan in their ranks in 2014, nothing seemed to help boost their credibility, until decorated WWE veteran Randy Orton joined the faction in late-2016. With Orton seemingly turning heel and joining forces, the Wyatts won their first-ever titles – the SmackDown Live Tag Team championships – at December 2016’s TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view. At that time, the stable was represented by Orton and Bray Wyatt, as part of WWE’s “Freebird Rule,” where any two members of a faction of three people or more can fight for, or defend tag team titles.
It wasn’t a long-lived reign, as the Wyatts dropped the belts to American Alpha on the December 27, 2016 SmackDown Live, just 23 days after they won them. That coincided with infighting within the stable, as new recruit Orton and longtime mainstay Luke Harper began to argue after each loss, forcing Bray Wyatt to step in more than once. But following Tuesday night’s episode of SmackDown Live, where Orton and Harper’s argument upset Bray so much that he walked out of the ring, does this really mean The Wyatt Family is breaking up after three and a half years on the main roster?
One has to remember that when Luke Harper returned to WWE action after spending several months sidelined with an injury, he was immediately skeptical of his stable leader’s new friendship and alliance with “The Viper,” Randy Orton. As such, he and Orton have not been getting along well with each other, and it was miscommunication that led the team of Harper and Orton to lose the SmackDown Tag Team Championships to American Alpha in the first place.
In its SmackDown Live recap for the week, Cageside Seats wrote that this new twist in the storyline – Bray Wyatt seemingly siding with Orton and getting accidentally superkicked by Harper while breaking up their violent argument – may lead to the “Eater of Worlds” making his first full-fledged face turn. And it may also lead to The Wyatt Family breaking up, as Orton, based on his traditional characterization on WWE television, just isn’t someone you should be trusting.
“It seems fairly obvious that Bray will side with Orton, at least initially—he’s never had success with Harper before, and suddenly Randy joins up and he becomes a tag champion. And Harper’s the guy who keeps screwing up!
But in the end, this seems like an ideal vessel for a (Bray) Wyatt face turn, as Harper is clearly the loyal soldier here. The Viper may be sincere in his desire to be a member of the family, but he’s still Randy Orton—a snake in the grass.”
Indeed, it’s a feud where the plot keeps thickening, and arguably one of the best storylines so far featuring The Wyatt Family. Whether they break up or not is still unknown, and it isn’t sure either who’s becoming a good guy, should a face turn be imminent. But the dissension among the Wyatts has truly heated up, with SmackDown Live viewers likely to keep their eyes glued as the story continues playing out.
[Featured Image by WWE]