Bray Wyatt dies at 36: Looking back at some of his most iconic WWE moments

Bray Wyatt dies at 36: Looking back at some of his most iconic WWE moments

Former WWE champion Bray Wyatt died on Thursday at the age of 36. Wyatt, whose real name was Windham Rotunda, wrestled his last at this year’s Royal Rumble in January. Wyatt was the son of Hall of Famer Mike Rotunda and a grandson of Robert Windham, also known as Blackjack Mulligan. According to wrestling reporter Sean Ross Sapp, Wyatt died of a heart attack.

Bray Wyatt tragically passed away at the age of 36.(WWE)
Bray Wyatt tragically passed away at the age of 36.(WWE)

As wrestling fans mourn the tragic and untimely death of Rotunda, we take a look at some of Wyatt’s top moments with WWE.

Winning the first WWE Championship

Wyatt had established himself as one of the most prominent heels in the WWE, having already feuded with some of the top babyfaces in the company. However, the wait for a WWE championship was proving to be a long one for the ‘Eater of Worlds’. After scraping through almost the entire roster, the most defining moment of Wyatt’s career came in 2017 when he emerged victorious in a gruelling Elimination Chamber match to win the most prestigious prize in the pre-wrestling business. Wyatt secured his first title victory by defeating five other men – John Cena, AJ Styles, The Miz, Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin. Wyatt pinned Styles with his finisher ‘Sister Abigail’ to pick up the win, which marked the 11th time in 19 Elimination Chamber fights that a champion was unable to defend his belt.

The Wyatt Family vs The Shield

Wyatt was responsible in forming one of WWE’s most deadly factions — The Wyatt Family — which featured the late Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. For over a year they ran roughshod over the entire roster, including the then-dominant ‘The Shied’. Arguably considered the most dominant stable in the WWE, it was inevitable for The Shield and the Wyatt’s to cross paths. And boy… did it happen soon. One of Wyatt’s most iconic matches took place at the 2014 Elimination Chamber Pay-per-view. Wyatt, along with Harper and Rowan, faced Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. The two incredibly talented teams were involved in an enthralling brawl, which was eventually culminated with a win for Bray and his boys. Harper made a sacrifice by conceding a spear for his leader, which enabled Wyatt to hit Sister Abigail to earn a pin for the victory.

Stealing the show with John Cena

A mention of the Payback 2014 fight, on this list, may baffle many but Wyatt did an amazing job at selling his feud against Cena. It is not always easy to play second fiddle to a star of Cena’s stature but shining even in defeat is what made Wyatt stand head and shoulders above the rest of his contemporaries. Wyatt did exactly that and more importantly, he did it with sheer perfection. The Last Man Standing match against Cena would go down as one of the most brutal battles of Wyatt’s career. He pulled out all the stops, and although Cena picked up the win, Wyatt emerged as a bigger star from that rivalry.

The Firefly Funhouse WrestleMania 36 match

Wyatt’s gift of creativity was in full flow heading into WrestleMania 36. Originally supposed to face Cena is an orthodox one of one match, after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the WWE to conduct Mania without fans and inside their Performance Centre, Wyatt ran his creative juices in coming up with a cinematic Firefly funhouse match. It consisted of certain vignettes from the past and a mash-up of nostalgia and the current WWE product – Cena as part of the NWA and resorting to the gear he sported on his WWE debut. All these elements made the Firefly funhouse match one of the most unique ideas WWE and Wyatt came up with.

The debut of The Fiend

Rotunda was always up for evolution. Hence, in 2019, he introduced a character that legit struck fear within the WWE universe. As Rotunda’s Bray Wyatt character took a jovial turn, his dark alter-ego, The Fiend, which made its debut at SummerSlam 2019 against Finn Balor, was a stark contrast. As The Fiend, Rotunda wore a sadistic, scary mask – a get-up that left behind an earie feeling inside the Scotiabank Arena. The crowd went silent, completely captivated by what they had witnesses. As a Supernatural character, nothing seemed to hurt to inflict any kind of pain on The Fiend, and although the gimmick took a couple of defeats, its unusuality made it all the more intriguing till the end.

Passing of the torch moment from The Undertaker

When Wyatt stepped into the ring with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 31, it undoubtedly marked the pinnacle of his wrestling career. How does one outshine an event featuring the legendary Deadman? Remarkably, Wyatt managed to achieve just that. Following The Undertaker’s retirement in 2020, Wyatt appeared poised to inherit his legacy. Although that transition never came to fruition, a captivating episode of RAW earlier this year etched a memorable interaction between the two.

As WWE Raw went Old School, an intriguing storyline unfolded, engaging Wyatt, the Undertaker, and LA Knight. The Undertaker resurrected his iconic Biker persona for a special evening, only to have his moment interrupted by Knight. After minutes of Knight trash-talking Taker, Wyatt made a dramatic entrance, diverting the attention. Just as Knight retreated, he stumbled directly into the path of the Undertaker, who appeared poised to deliver a chokeslam. However, as Wyatt made his way into the ring, the Undertaker passed Knight to him, setting the stage for Wyatt to execute his signature move, Sister Abigail.

The entire arena erupted in a chorus of cheers, witnessing an iconic moment in WWE history. What followed was an almost surreal passing of the torch moment, as the Undertaker whispered something into Wyatt’s ear. Unfortunately, this symbolic exchange remained a fleeting instant, failing to evolve into a more substantial storyline. Merely a few weeks later, health concerns forced Wyatt to step away from WWE TV, leaving fans yearning for what might have been.

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