On RAW and Bray Wyatt (12-1-14)

Wow! One retweet from Big Show and this blog is blowing up! Before my post on Show’s poignant heel turn, Notes on the Spectacle of Excess had something like 320 all-time hits. After he shared my post I’m well over 800 in just a couple days. My thanks to the big man, and welcome new readers!

I have taken to tweeting my thoughts on RAW, and then compiling and revising them for my weekly Notes on RAW section here at the blog. This week I let out all of my pent up frustrations and ended up with a twittertation (or if you prefer, a twitterfesto) on the company’s shameful mishandling of Bray Wyatt. It was a scattered mess in the tweets, but here it is all put together, tidied up and expanded a bit:

I may need to lay down some tweets here about my concerns for the squandered potential that is the Bray Wyatt character. Wyatt loses far more than he wins, he has lost all his cult followers, and he never manages to gain any new ones. His message never seems to reach anyone, except maybe Chris Jericho, who appeared to be deliberately cast as a has-been so none of the headlining wrestlers had to risk allowing Wyatt a moral victory. He’s a figure with such powerful potential that the company fears allowing him to defeat any of their darlings. (Can you imagine Wyatt coming out on top of his feud with Dean Ambrose? I can’t.)

I think the Bray Wyatt character became too big and too real for the increasingly risk-averse WWE. A cheered heel is nothing but a headache for a company so focused on manipulating its audience to maximize its merch sales. So instead of letting Bray Wyatt blossom into the unknown and grow into a legendary antihero of Jake the Snake proportions, they choked up on the leash and made sure to destroy all the likeability they had unintentionally charged him with.

As it stands now Wyatt is a pathological fraud, a creepy charlatan without a coherent message. Yet We the People wanted so much more from him than this. We sparkled up the arenas with our lighter flame apps and gazed in awe at him like he was our spiritual leader. We’ve had enough of John Cena. We want to follow Bray. Those of us living through America’s decline are just that jaded a bunch right now. Us pesky millennials! We would appreciate a Rated R Bray Wyatt who we could follow — a dark guy who understands pain to lead us through the wilderness of our dark times.

But the company is so resistant to giving the fans what they want and the wrestlers what they deserve that after any accidentally profound promo, Wyatt reverts to the corny southern cartoon cult leader on the next RAW. It’s like, high theatrical monologue one week, goofy Christian parody about Jacob’s ladder (get it? ladder?) the next. A contemporary complex television character is constantly being forced to pay his dues as a chump eighties melodrama wrestler with a forced black and white gimmick. It doesn’t make sense, it dampens our spirits, and it isn’t fair to Bray Wyatt.

CM Punk has really empowered me to share my deep concerns about the disgraceful tanking of the Bray Wyatt character. I mean, Wyatt might well be the most talented wrestler in the WWE, but his story and talent are continually sabotaged. He gets over despite what the company does with him.

Most of the rest of what I tweeted was silly one liner nonsense, so I’ll let the Bray Wyatt problem be my takeaway from RAW this week. Except I do think I made an important point here:

 

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