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Discovering the Origin: A Special Look at WWE NXT’s Bray Wyatt & The Inspiration for His Gimmick

On June 1, 2010, a man by the name of Husky Harris would be announced as a rookie for season two of the show then referred to as “the next evolution of WWE, the next evolution in television history;” NXT.

Harris was a heel character that called himself “an army tank with a Ferrari engine,” whose pro was none other than Cody Rhodes. He was very agile in the ring, impressive for his size, but was overly bland and had difficulties standing out from the field.

He would narrowly escape the first two eliminations of the show before finally being voted off on the August 17 edition along with “Showtime” Percy Watson.

Harris would soon make his debut on WWE’s main roster as a part of the Nexus under the guidance of Wade Barrett and eventually the New Nexus under new leader, CM Punk.

Harris would be written off television before WrestleMania 27 with a punt kick from Randy Orton. He would go back down the WWE’s developmental territory and flirt with several gimmicks, until he debuted a gimmick that stuck.

A Genesis; A New Beginning

Husky Harris was dead. Bray Wyatt, however, was alive. Wyatt didn’t linger in the shadow of his father or even his brother, he was own man. Wyatt’s daddy was the captain of a shrimp boat. Wyatt’s daddy was a mean old man. Wyatt’s daddy pulled him out of school at eight years old. Then randomly, one day, his daddy burned into the deep blue sea with his shrimp boat. Just like Husky Harris, he was no more.

Wyatt would emerge from the sea after a while, and teach himself how to read. He learned that society had been brain washed by social media and television, and that it was now up to him to save it. Luckily, Bray Wyatt had time on his side.

Wyatt conveyed this message during his WWE FCW debut. He’d go on and defeat Aiden English and many other lower card wrestlers before FCW, like Wyatt’s daddy, was no more. No, NXT was now Wyatt’s home as debut vignettes aired. Wyatt was again ready to save us. Save us from the hazards of our own society, but it wasn’t meant to be. Fate would have it that Bray Wyatt would injure his arm and be gone for months before finally reappearing just two weeks ago.

Bray Wyatt came back to the shock of us all. No vignettes, no warnings, he interrupted a scheduled match between Jason Jordan and Aiden English to announce he got his wings back.

“Can you feel that, can you feel that feeling culminating beneath your spine? Can you feel me?” He asked.

“I’m awake now! And look daddy, I got my wings back!” He proclaimed before laughing maniacally. He then spoke Latin, quite impressive for an uneducated man, then continued on in English; “Wake up! Wake up! It’s time you wake up and start looking at this lie you living in man!” He demanded.

“I want you to come with me. I want you take my hand. I want you to give your life to me! Let me be your bride! And together, we will climb this rotten mountain, and we will stand atop the walls of thy Allah and we will peer down at them fools! We will peer down at those fools and watch them as they turn to ash and we will simply fly away!”

“Are you ready?” He asked. “Are you ready for me to change this world? Are you ready?”

Jason Jordan would intervene and ask for a fight, considering that’s what he thought he came for in the first place.

“Foolish child.” He answered. “You have no idea what you’re messin’ with man.” He took his straw hat off and changed his tone before going on “Jason, Jason, you got it all wrong man. I never wanted to hurt you. I wanted to help you. I mean, you’re no match for me Jason. Jason, I’m a monster. I’m a monster Jason. And I… am never… alone.”

Out came a mysterious man that looked to have just crawled from a swamp. Filthy he was, unshaven and ungroomed. He had a nasty beard and a hairy chest. He wore a dirty tank top and jeans. He displayed no emotion, he was, like Wyatt, a monster. Ironically, brainwashed by Wyatt himself just as Wyatt claimed society to be.

This man’s name was Luke Harper, the first son of Wyatt. The first son of many to be cured and healed of the many problems society had heaped upon his poor soul. With Luke Harper, Bray Wyatt is going to change NXT. He is going to change the WWE and he’s going to change the world as we know it.

Exploring the Origin of Bray Wyatt 

There are two things that the Bray Wyatt gimmick is based off of. Two things the built this monster from the ground up and made him the man he is today.

The first being Waylon Mercy.

Mercy was a WWE Superstar in 1995. He had a jet black hair and wore a Hawaiian shirt. He was introduced through a series of vignettes, portraying him as a mild-mannered southern man with vicious, sinister intentions.

He was a bit off kilter to say the least, likely having mental problems. Mercy would defeat some undercard wrestlers before moving up the card and wrestling the likes of Bret Hart, Razor Ramon and his final match against WWE Champion Diesel.

Mercy was never seen again after being defeated by the champion, with injuries suddenly ending his career. Mercy may have not made a lasting impact on the WWE himself, but he built a foundation that would be used twelve years later.

Lives are gonna be in Waylon Mercy’s hands. You know what I mean?

Mercy’s gimmick was based off Robert De Niro’s 1991 portrayal of Max Cady in the remake of the 1960′s movie, Cape Fear.

Cady was a convicted rapist who was released from jail after 14 years of imprisonment. He goes after his former lawyer, Sam Bowden, because Bowden hid a report from the then-illiterate Cady and the court, proving  that his victim was promiscuous. This could have lightened his charges or gotten them dismissed altogether.

Bray Wyatt; A Story Yet to Be Told

We all know of Bray Wyatt’s capabilities. You heard, in this article, what he is capable of on the microphone. We also are aware that he is very agile and impressive inside the ring for his size, surely enough when you look at lesser wrestlers like Ryback succeeding in the WWE’s current landscape.

He is a bundle of charisma and energy, but can he have a strong match under a gimmick that somewhat could limit him? Can he maintain the ring skills of Husky Harris while merging into the monster that is Bray Wyatt in all other ways?

That is yet to be determined. However, Bray Wyatt is a poem in its first stanza. He is a book in its first paragraph. He has a story that has yet to be told; a story I’m looking forward to watching unfold before my very eyes.

Bray Wyatt has unlimited potential. He’s an unhinged cult leader that believes that society is brainwashed, but in reality is looking to brainwash society himself. He is unique. He is different. And yes, he does have time on his side. 

About Ryan Frye

Wrestling is real, people are fake.I enjoy messing with people's emotions, and that's what writing and wrestling are both about. So why would I stop? It's way too fun.
  • SiD

    All in all, pretty great article, Ryan-o. Enjoyed it a lot.

  • JacobStachowiak

    Very good article, Ryan. Wyatt is fucking great and will never ever see the light of day on nationally broadcasted WWE television.

    • http://twitter.com/EnigmaRyan Ryan Frye

      You’re such a negative turd, you know that, right? Haha. Thanks turd.

  • SiD

    If time is on his side, then that means that time is not on my side, which means I’m going to die soon. Congrats, Ryan, you just killed me.

    • http://twitter.com/EnigmaRyan Ryan Frye

      Actually he’s 25 and you’re younger, meaning time is even more on your side than it is his. Meaning, you’ll live a long, healthy life. You’re welcome, Mr. Grover.

      • SiD

        SWERVE: I’m 72 and a registered sex offender.

  • https://twitter.com/DragonSagaWE Jason “Dragon Saga” Patrick

    You left out his biggest influence.

    Jim Jones, the architect of Jonestown. Back when Bray Wyatt’s character debuted his initial promo rephrased a line Jim Jones once spoke before requesting his followers drink the poisoned Kool-Aid. Had I access to YouTube right now I’d find it, but people can do so if they chose.

    Asides from that exemption, very good article and look at Bray Wyatt. Love the character. Don’t think hes all that much like Waylon Mercy though, Waylon never really picked up pace of had a following.

    • http://twitter.com/EnigmaRyan Ryan Frye

      I feel like an idiot since I’ve never heard of Jim Jones. I’ll have to YouTube him.

      Thanks Jason.

  • http://twitter.com/E__RAGE Eric

    Quick point: I think that was Latin, not Spanish when he spoke to Jordan.

    Now Bray Wyatt has a big future with this gimmick if done right. A cult leader given a bit of free reign and allowed to be edgy would make for some awesome tv. He puts emotion into his promos, changes his tone when needed and is just awesome to see.

    Seeing some of Mercy’s vignettes, I don’t see a correlation TOO much but I see it there. If I were to compare Wyatt to anybody it’d be more Max Cady: biblical, deranged, but overall intelligent.

    • http://twitter.com/EnigmaRyan Ryan Frye

      Yeah. I took Spanish but I’ve honestly lost most of it lol. I’m not sure what it was but I’ll change it anyway.

      As for Wyatt, I can’t wait to see him on the main roster. I’m not really sure when that’ll be, but he’s 25 so he has time (I won’t continue with that pun.)

      He correlates more to Cady than to Mercy if you ask me.

      Thanks Eric.