Since debuting The Fiend persona last year, Bray Wyatt has flown high as one of the most creative minds in WWE. The character work has been incredible and through numerous matches with the likes of Daniel Bryan and John Cena, he has created some compelling and glorious television, as well as some of the best segments in WWE in years. The Fiend is single handedly one of the best things in WWE currently and Wyatt, by dividing his character into this hellacious masked monster and his own Fred Rogers-esque entertainer, has created a deep, rich and original vision in WWE, one we can mull over and dissect. Whether fighting as the all smiles Bray or the vengeful Fiend, Wyatt is must watch TV. And after The Fiend made his long overdue return this past Sunday at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules in the Swamp Fight between Bray Wyatt (as his old “Eater of Worlds” persona) and Braun Strowman, to likely continue the Strowman feud to Summerslam, I got thinking of some other faces I’d like to see throw down with “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in the future…
The only one on this list that has happened but which MUST happen again. Their clash at Super Showdown this past February should have been a battle of titans, that led Bray’s Fiend strongly into WrestleMania. Instead the ol’ ego surfaced and WWE pulled a trigger their finger ought to have been nowhere near. Goldberg became the first man to beat The Fiend and in just 3 minutes, all to further a fleeting Roman Reigns/Goldberg feud, which did not need a title to play! A disastrous result that, were it not for the awesome Firefly Funhouse WrestleMania match with John Cena that swiftly followed, could have sunk the whole Fiend character completely. Goldberg taking The Fiend’s belt proved utterly pointless anyway as it would transpire (with COVID-19 and Reigns having to leave TV temporarily) and this was a night most would like to forget. However, The Fiend really should get his win back over the WCW legend and this time in very convincing and dominant fashion. It would be cathartic for viewers and - likely - Bray too.
This is a wild card choice now but as soon as Bray finally paid off those amazing weeks of Funhouse promos with the in-ring debut of his Fiend persona at SummerSlam 2019 in brutal display against Finn Balor, fans were left absolutely in awe. Bray stole the night memory-wise. But let’s be honest, we all in unison thought, after the entrance, character and look was revealed, “Taker”. The in-ring stare down alone would be a moment, the match would likely be fun but from a storytelling perspective, this is THE match to make. Or at least it was, but with the recent suggestion in the awesome final chapter of The Last Ride WWE Network series (the best docu-series WWE has ever made) that The Undertaker has indeed hung up the boots, this now seems less of a likely happening but then again, “never say never”. Undertaker is, for my money, the greatest ever storyteller in wrestling and undoubtedly its greatest character, and seeing him pitted against the modern day equivalent in Bray “The Fiend” Wyatt, could yield the best WWE storyline in years. Plus, Taker and Bray have serious history, with Bray (in a losing effort) resurrecting Undertaker at WrestleMania 31, a year after his dispiritingly shocking Streak-breaking defeat to Brock Lesnar. Also, Bray and his Wyatt Family came off worse from a run-in with Kane and Undertaker later that year at Survivor Series, so there is redemptive feel to this to boot. A throwback to the Kane/Taker/Mankind days, this would be a war of character and I think the perfect passing of the torch moment and maybe the ultimate way for Undertaker to end his legendary career. Maybe even imbue the match with Firefly Funhouse-esque cinematic qualities, say, they fight from the Funhouse world into the real one, with it ending in the ring at WrestleMania? Could this be that “one” match Taker was looking for and spoke of on The Last Ride. I can think of no way better for The Phenom to go out, than by helping The Fiend become the next phenom of WWE. And as a lifelong Taker fan, I’d love to see this match but if Undertaker is indeed retired, no one (I repeat NO ONE!) has earned the rest more and this could be (like a match with Sting) one of those dreams left to the theatre of the mind.
The days of Mick Foley stepping in the squared circle and putting his health on the line are over and rightly so, few others have sacrificed as much physically for the wrestling business as Mick Foley and nobody wants to see one of the most loved guys in the business get hurt. So, this is not just another wild card choice but also one that is a must for the cinematic route. However, it would be remiss to exclude this as an option, as Bray Wyatt does remind some of Foley in many ways and after the Firefly Fun House match at Wrestlemania this year, Foley said he’d love to have the same kind of match with The Fiend himself. Creatively it would be pretty much limitless. Imagine all three faces of Foley combating the differing psyches of Bray, with possible cameos from past hardcore legends. The opportunities are tasty and if the creative side was left entirely to Bray and Foley, it would be a surely original match that could maybe even create one of the best offerings yet (in any company) from this cinematic technique. Plus, Mick was one of The Fiend’s first victims and, in terms of closure, it would be nice to see Foley get a final match to his name worthy of him and all his iconic personas because as it stands currently, his last match was as a participant in the 2012 Royal Rumble match...and it just seems like a weak ending to a storied career.
This one may happen someday, as it has already been teased, back when The Fiend terrorised an unsuspecting Big Red Machine last September. In fact, this past January, Kane helped Daniel Bryan get one over on The Fiend ahead of their brutal Royal Rumble strap match. Rumours even persisted that Kane would be facing The Fiend for the Universal Championship at Super Showdown, shame that didn’t happen in hindsight. But even outside of these previous interactions, Kane and Bray Wyatt have had a hell of a history. Kane was Bray’s first main roster rivalry, as they fought in the “Ring of Fire” at Summerslam back in 2013. They also had battles in 2016, with Kane even getting a victory over Bray at the underrated Backlash 2016 in their really fun No Holds Barred match. This really should be settled in the ring and Kane/Fiend would be a hellacious face-off, they could even add a gimmick (be it cinematic or something akin to their fiery first encounter). It could be a great way for Kane to hang up the mask even, if he’s ready that is. No way Kane’s last match should be the chaotic Saudi Arabia tag battle at the notoriously awful Crown Jewel 2018...he deserves way better than that.
Reportedly the original plan for WrestleMania 36 this year, Roman Reigns vs. The Fiend seems inevitable, as does the result unfortunately, with Roman likely dethroning The Fiend for the Universal Title at some point. However, from a storyline perspective, a match with Roman at some point makes perfect sense, as Roman and Bray had a lengthy feud in 2015, which culminated with a great Hell in a Cell match but which saw Bray lose (...as per usual). So it’s only natural The Fiend would want to have words with Roman and topple the Roman Empire and right this past wrong. If WWE were bold, they could even make this their perfect chance to let Roman loose on a heel run, as a loss to The Fiend changes people, and this would make total sense and be great television. Unlikely to happen mind...though the match is the likeliest on this list to take place.
The Fiend character is a reaper of sorts, redeeming past wrongs and altering those who have hurt Bray Wyatt in the past. So, in those parameters, a match with Randy Orton is surely a possibility at some point? Orton’s history with Bray is turbulent, as he infiltrated and separated Bray and Luke Harper, set alight Wyatt’s compound home (this is even referenced on the walls of the Funhouse) and took Bray’s belt in that misguided WrestleMania 33 title match, which led to the failed cinematic experiment in Backlash 2017’s infamous “House of Horrors” match. So there is much for The Fiend to fix in his continuous and aggressive mission to re-write Bray’s story and The Viper should definitely be on his hit list.
This is a risky match to hope for, as WWE could well pull another Super Showdown 2020 job with this one. From a booking standpoint, this could be a nightmare for WWE but they have booked Brock to lose big before (see Survivor Series 2016’s shocking - yet excellent - Goldberg squash) and it has not impacted Lesnar’s credibility at all. And make no mistake, Brock in no way, shape or form should win this battle, should it ever take place. At this stage in his career Brock will always be treated as an attraction, and The Beast vs. The Fiend is a monster mash that just glimmers with promise and, if done right, could well shoot The Fiend character into even greater heights and be a great powerhouse story showcase. Yowie Wowie indeed.
That’s our list, do you agree? Or do you think we are missing some huge names from this list? Let us know in the comments below…
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