Bray Wyatt’s WWE WrestleMania 33 Opportunity is Career-Defining
Bray Wyatt is being given the keys to a top WrestleMania 33 match, but needs to deliver to keep his star power.
The story of Bray Wyatt in WWE has been a roller coaster. He started out red-hot in 2013 and into 2014, but ran into John Cena at WrestleMania 30. This led to a breakup of the Wyatt Family just months later, a lackluster match with the Undertaker at WrestleMania 31, and pretty much getting punked out by the Rock at WrestleMania 32 in a promo segment; Wyatt didn’t even make it onto the match card.
Well, one year later, the Eater of Worlds has the WWE Championship in hand after Elimination Chamber and is poised to receive a top spot on the WrestleMania 33 match card. He’s not only being given an opportunity to shed his tweener status between the mid-card and main event scene, but became a bonafide Superstar — the opportunity just has to be capitalized on.
When Wyatt and Randy Orton — his 99.9 percent guaranteed WrestleMania opponent — had a match at No Mercy 2016, their performance fell flat. They main evented a show that had the “main event” of AJ Styles vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose open the event, and didn’t deliver a headliner-worthy match. Instead, they put on a sluggish match, one that had to be pushed back a month due to Orton suffering a concussion at SummerSlam.
Things have changed, though. Orton has looked as sharp and inspired as ever with the Wyatt Family, a unique angle that has taken off. He’s wrestling at the top of his game, as evidenced by his match with Luke Harper at Elimination Chamber. So we should at least expect him to walk into WrestleMania 33 with the desire to put on something special with Wyatt.
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A more focused Viper can only be a great thing for the long-time cult-like leader. He’s not an in-ring technician like Orton, who can carry a match, but a powerful workhorse in the ring that plays his part admirably through storytelling. If Wyatt can tell a story with his match on the biggest stage, coupling it with Orton’s in-ring ability, it will only make him look better once the referee counts to three.
WrestleMania 33 is also essentially a must-win for Wyatt. If he walks out with victoriously, he’ll be propelled into the main event scene for good, associating himself with the likes of Orton, AJ Styles, John Cena, and Dean Ambrose on SmackDown. He would be able to be placed onto any headliner for the Blue Brand, which only creates depth for the show that has a smaller roster than Raw, who has part and full-timers that can close an event.
So the pieces are there for success for Wyatt, but there are ways this could hurt him and affect his potential career-making performance. It actually starts with the WWE Championship, which seemed like a blessing for him.
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We have yet to see how the face-heel dynamic is going to transpire for Orton vs. Wyatt at WrestleMania 33 since both are considered bad guys. If we are going to get a good guy out of the latter, this fresh character should be able to fend off the Apex Predator, who has received a handful of World title runs in his career and doesn’t really need another WrestleMania win. There’s also the chance WWE plays it safe here, though, by turning Orton face and handing him the title. It would be uninspiring and disappointing, potentially ruining the momentum that WWE had reestablished for Wyatt that they spent so long rebuilding.
With WWE usually going by the book with WrestleMania matches and results, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Orton back in role he returned to in July 2016. He’s a familiar face in WWE’s mainstream appeal given his longevity with the company and outside media work. Wyatt is a veteran of the company, but hasn’t built his name to the point where the casual fan that tunes in for just WrestleMania is going to care about him. It’s unfortunate, but also a reality of how WWE could go into this thinking.
Bray Wyatt needs to retain the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 33 to push him into a permanent elite status in WWE. The opposite side of the coin won’t do him any good, something that has a chance of happening, unless WWE is serious about making him into a big-time star.
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