Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt’s newest disciple, debuted the night after SummerSlam 2015, helping Luke Harper and Bray beat Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. They would enter into an ongoing feud, battling in a six-man tag against Reigns, Ambrose and Chris Jericho a month later. Nothing could stand in the Wyatt Family’s way at this point.
In October things got worse for the locker room when Erick Rowan returned from his injury, making them even more of an unstoppable force. Wyatt would eventually face off with Roman Reigns inside Hell in the Cell, once again coming up short when it came to the big one on one matches. Bray and his family would then attack Kane and drag him backstage, sparking a feud with the Brothers of Destruction. Kane and The Undertaker would, however, defeat Bray and Harper.
Next up was a brief feud with the former ECW stars Tommy Dreamer, Rhyno and The Dudleyz. This time the family were able to pick up the victory, beating the hardcore legends in an eight-man tag at TLC.
The start of 2016 saw all four members enter the Royal Rumble, eliminating Brock Lesnar in the process, Wyatt’s opponent at the upcoming Roadblock pay per view event. Bray, however, was suffering from a back injury, and the match became a handicap match with Luke Harper joining his side, Harper, however, faced Lesnar alone for the most part and lost the match. The same month Harper would injure his knee, casting doubt over the future of the family.
Although the two of them were injured, Bray would confront The Rock at WrestleMania 32, to no avail, with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson beating the un-injured Erick Rowan in a six-second squash match. Which was a pity due to the skill the man possesses, but with the Rock’s Hollywood insurance issues, any match longer than that would likely have not been approved.
Despite Bray not being a hundred percent and Harper being out, the remaining members feuded with the League of Nations in what seemed like a face turn, Bray even tagging with Roman Reigns and saving him from beatdowns by the heel faction. Despite this Wyatt and Reigns would still face each other at live events, one of which saw Bray injured further.
Upon returning from injury and with Harper still out a new war would begin with The New Day leading to a ‘Final Deletion’ style match at the Wyatt Compound, employing different camera angles than the usual straight cut WWE style and an edgier set up to the segment. Which in my opinion while not being as good as the Final Deletion match, was still a good attempt by WWE and a step in the right direction. It also let us see how much influence ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy’s gimmick was having in the wrestling world.
Then the 2016 brand split draft happened. Strowman, The ‘Monster Among Men’ was sent to Raw, while Wyatt and Rowan went to Smackdown. Wyatt abandoned Rowan after his follower lost a match, yet was rejoined by a returning Harper, who assisted him in beating Randy Orton, Rowan has now also sustained an injury that would see him on the shelf for months.
It seemed like one in one out. The Wyatt Family was always fragmented. Along with Bray’s mind and his twisted preacher like words guided by the strange Sister Abigail. I don’t know if I can explain Sister Abigail to you. I’m not even sure WWE can.
Orton would go on to help Bray Wyatt and then ally himself with himself and Luke Harper, with whom Randy never really saw eye to eye, both constantly competing for the attention of the cult leader. Orton and Wyatt would go on to capture the Smackdown Tag Team Championships, with the three remaining members of the family using the ‘Freebird’ rule to their advantage. This was Bray Wyatt’s first main roster title run.
The tension between the two would cost the group their titles, losing them to American Alpha, and eventually leading to Bray setting Orton and Harper against each other in a match, which Randy Orton won. In the 2017 Royal Rumble, Harper attacked both Bray and Orton but was eliminated, with Randy going on to win the Rumble match. At Elimination Chamber, Wyatt would finally win the WWE Championship. After all of the excellent promos followed by losing a lot of the big pay per view one on one matches, Bray had won the big one.
This posed a problem though, as Orton had won the Royal Rumble earning himself a shot at Bray’s title in the WrestleMania main event. Following a successful defense of the belt in a triple threat with Cena and Styles, Bray was confronted by Randy, who gave up his match, vowing not to face his leader. Wyatt gave him the ‘keys to the kingdom,’ the Wyatt Compound, which Orton burned down in a well-filmed segment. Orton had played the long game and tricked Wyatt into trusting him, letting him in, where he then looked to destroy the spirit of Sister Abigail, rendering Wyatt broken and lost.
Orton would defeat Bray at WrestleMania 33, ending his reign but not their feud. The rematch would see them face off in a ‘House of Horrors’ match, which later became a non-title match. Rowan had returned, aligned once more with Bray, who would be sent to Raw in the 2017 Superstar Shake-Up, although briefly continued to aid Rowan in defeating Orton in matches in Smackdown.
Harper would also return but would feud again with Rowan, Wyatt no longer involving himself.
This was the true end of the Wyatt Family.
Bray has since then had long, drawn out, repetitive feuds with Finn Balor and Seth Rollins, any momentum he had seemed to have fully disappeared by this point. Then he targeted Matt Hardy.
Following a loss to Bray Wyatt, Matt became ‘Woken,’ a variation to his former ‘Broken’ persona. The two would go back and forth, trading wins and losses until Hardy would challenge Bray to a match at the Hardy Compound. Ultimate Deletion. Ever since the Final Deletion match and Wyatt Compound matches, fans had dreamed of seeing these two bizarre yet captivating characters face off in the craziest of matches.
This match, The Ultimate Deletion, will take place on this coming Monday night Raw, and I am expecting it to be the rebirth of Bray Wyatt. I’m not sure there will be a segment involving the Lake of Reincarnation and a Huskey Harris appearance. What I am sure of, however, is that Bray’s former self will indeed be deleted, and we will be left with either a ‘Broken’ Bray, ‘Woken’ Wyatt or even Brother Bray. Similar to that of Brother Nero, the title given my Matt to his brother Jeff upon ‘deleting’ his persona and legacy.
I hold the highest of hopes for not only the match, given the amount of creative control Matt Hardy seems to be getting in relation to this project, not to mention Jeremy Borash joining the company, the man who worked with Matt on the original concept back in TNA. But also the potential for Bray to have a complete character overhaul that not only makes sense when it happens as to why it happened, it also could be the chance he has been waiting for. His career has sadly lacked in relevance since the break up of the Wyatt Family, I hope he is on the verge of joining a new ‘family,’ one that will bring him back to prominence.