This week’s episode of Monday Night Raw featured the much-awaited return of Bray Wyatt, who didn’t take part in a match but nonetheless made an impact through his post-match attack on Finn Balor. Although Wyatt teased his return through weeks of mysterious vignettes that mostly portrayed him as a cheerful children’s television host determined to move on from his past, his appearance on Raw saw him dressed up as “The Fiend” — the darker version of his new gimmick, which emerged several times on the teaser videos.
It’s not clear what the long-term plans are for Wyatt at this point, but in a recent podcast appearance, WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray (aka Bubba Ray Dudley in WWE) offered his thoughts on how the company could make sure Wyatt’s new character doesn’t flop. As quoted by Wrestling Inc., Ray said this week on SiriusXM Busted Open Radio that Wyatt needs to protect his gimmick — much like The Undertaker did, and continues to do — and should not overexpose it so that fans don’t get “burned out” in the process.
Commenting on this week’s segment on Raw, Ray said that WWE did well by “picking [its] spots” by scheduling Wyatt’s debut in the way it did, and that the company should avoid booking him in any “throwaway” angles that wouldn’t do the character any favors. Ray also acknowledged that “The Fiend” is just as “gimmicky” as 1990s WWE superstar Doink’s evil clown persona, but also offered some tips on how to avoid the pitfall of the gimmick becoming stale before its time.
“You make it special. You don’t do it every single week, you find the right people at the right time, and the right time is when you normally expect it to happen the least.”
While WWE typically has more control than the wrestler when it comes to deciding the creative path the characters take, Bully Ray opined that it’s Bray Wyatt’s responsibility to make sure WWE is booking him in such a way that his gimmick doesn’t become stale.
“If they say, ‘Hey, Bray you’re going to go out there and do this,’ if he doesn’t feel 100 percent right, he has to say no and he has to stick to his guns,” Ray continued. “It’s hard, but he knows what is going to get this character over. Nine times out of 10, the wrestler knows what is going to get their character over better than creative does.”
As of this writing, Wyatt still does not have any matches booked for upcoming episodes of Monday Night Raw or for next month’s SummerSlam pay-per-view. However, his return has fueled speculation that WWE could be planning a Wyatt vs. Finn Balor match for SummerSlam — a rematch of their previous encounter on the same annual event in 2017, as noted by Daily DDT. This rumor could also tie in with Pro Wrestling Sheet‘s report on Monday night, which claimed that Balor will be taking two months off from the ring to “recharge,” starting in August.