Ladies and gentlemen, I come to you under somber circumstances. Going into Wrestlemania week, I had hoped that we happy few members of the NAIborhood would find nothing but frivolity and joy, but it seems, as with all things, we must take some time to be sad.
Today, we lay to rest one of our dearest favorites. . . Someone whom we thought might one day live forever.
Today, we say goodbye to the dearly departed Bray Wyatt.
Monday Night RAW ended in an unexpected fashion as Bray Wyatt (and Family) stood tall over BOTH Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Now, history would usually dictate that said ending guarantees Bray will not win the Rumble, as whomever stands tall on the go-home show tends not to do well on the following PPV. I get that.
But here’s the thing – Bray Wyatt SHOULD win the Royal Rumble.
Now, I can see NAIborhood members like Laz and even my very good friend Doc Manson shaking their heads at me again. “Oh, DC, there you go being that Irrational Idealist again. Bray Wyatt isn’t ever going to be a big deal in WWE.” Perhaps that’s true, but I say it again, with conviction.
The last 72 hours have taught me many things, and while this particular lesson was one I’ve long since known about, I certainly have had it reinforced.
I have an addictive personality.
After about 10-12 hours spent in my office Sunday – writing my predictions column (I didn’t do so bad, really), re-recording the initial episode of the NAIborhood podcast (now available on iTunes, YouTube and PodOMatic!), editing, discussing things with ace producer Bill Neville, sending it off, then recording a second episode, I finally re-emerged to the world right around the time of the Money in the Bank pre-show.
I had a choice in front of me. I could dive right into MITB or I could spend some quality time with the beautiful and incredibly supportive Mrs. Matthews, who hadn’t minded losing me to NAI-land for the entirety of our Sunday.
The decision was super easy, so I wound up only watching about half of the PPV last night. To be honest, that was probably for the best, since I wound up skipping the parts most of you seemed to be the most discouraged with.
I’m not going to write a full reaction column, since I didn’t see the entire thing, but I will share this Chief’s brief thoughts on the parts of the show I did catch.
It is a well-known fact that DC Matthews, and really the NAIborhood in general, loves the concept of a stable. Travel back through the Twitter and article histories and you’ll see countless discussions about who should team with who, what the angle should be, etc.
Over the last few years, the concept of a “stable” has shifted. Gone are the days of the Horsemen and the nWo. In today’s WWE, you’ve got two types of stables.
The Authority: A group of individuals focused solely on the protection of their star, with some occasional dips into promoting their own “best for business” agenda.
A trio: 3 guys uniting for a single cause. Not 4. 5 is right out. It has to be 3.
While there have been many famous triads in wrestling history (New Day is, hopefully, turning some curious fans onto the success of the Fabulous Freebirds), this recent trend can be traced back to two major groups – The Shield and The Wyatt Family. These two trios had countless battles, mainly against each other, and seemed to dominate pro wrestling for a brief period.
Yet, looking back on it, this is a tale of two trios. While The Shield is lauded, praised and seems destined for Hall of Fame greatness, the Wyatts are mainly an example of “what might have been.” Why is that? Why did one trio succeed while the other faltered, when both seemed poised to take over the world? As with any good question, there’s multiple answers here, so let’s take a look back and see what happened.
Monday night’s RAW was an historic one. . . Or at least, I believe it was. For the first time in a WWE (not NXT) ring, we saw Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt, otherwise known as the Rotunda brothers, together.
Well, not technically together. Bo had just had a shocking of his shell by Ryback, and following said shock, the lights went out, and thus appeared Bray Wyatt, rather handily taking out Mr. “I’m so Hungry!”
Note: This is how this feud should go, by the way. Bray should defeat Ryback with almost shocking ease. If it goes any differently, I may have to write an entirely separate column in which I drown my tears in a few thousand words about how much I adore WWE’s most cultish jobber.
While they may not have officially been in the ring together, I (along with countless others on the Twitter) felt a level of excitement that is sometimes hard to come by in sports entertainment these days. There has been a growing enthusiasm for WWE to band these brothers together in some form or fashion, and as someone fully and completely on board with this notion, I thought we’d take a few minutes to fully flesh out why this idea is both logical and (potentially) wildly entertaining.
Perhaps its only child syndrome or perhaps its just impulse control issues, but patience and I have never really gotten along. This, like most things, can be a blessing and a curse. For one thing, it gave Mrs. Matthews and myself a very entertaining engagement story. (My fervent paranoia comes into play there as well, but that’s another column.)
In terms of writing, my lack of patience means that when I get an idea that I think is good, I can’t help but run with it. To that end, I’d like to welcome you to the first installment of Finisher Friday. If you have read my initial column, where I gave new finishers to the former Shield brothers, you know what’s in store. If you didn’t read it, how dare you! Go read it, so you’re all caught up.
While there hasn’t been a whole lot of negativity regarding Wrestlemania (or, at least, not a whole lot that I’ve paid attention to anyway), one thing that does continually resound is the past. . . and more importantly, the FUTURE. . . of one Bray Wyatt.
The common refrain is that Bray talks a big game, but can never seem to win when it counts. As I write this, in fact, I’m conversing with NAI Hall of Famer Keith (@PitdogK13) about how oddly he has been booked over his WWE run. It’s been a strange road for “The New Face of Fear”.
The Royal Rumble is but a few short days away, and from the look and feel of RAW last night, WWE just noticed. Last night’s show was a reminder that when push comes to shove, we can get a solid three hour wrestling show that has moments of greatness, which is really all we can ever expect.
There wasn’t a single moment that stood out to me (besides, of course, The Ascension getting buried by practically the entire cast of Monday Night War), so rather than reflect on a specific moment, I’d like to look ahead to the Rumble and give you 10 superstars who I could see winning the entire thing, and why they could be the lead car on the Road to Wrestlemania.
That’s right, I promised you 10 superstars. Hopefully I can come up with that many. . .