Husky Harris, former NXT competitor and member of The Nexus, has been creating quite a bit of buzz with his new character in Florida Championship Wrestling.
Based on Robert De Niro's character Max Cady from the 1991 remake of Cape Fear, "Bray Wyatt" made his in-ring debut on April 22 in a match with Aiden English. Complete with a thick, bayou accent and straw fedora, Wyatt delivered a pre-match promo where he proclaimed himself to be "the nagging conscious" of an immoral world. Wyatt finished off his promo with a rendition of "Time is on My Side," leaving the audience thoroughly creeped out.
Wyatt's strange behavior did not end there, as he proceeded to squash Aiden English, utilizing a variety of disturbing maneuvers. In one of the more striking moments, Wyatt waltzed around the ring with English's lifeless body, creating an image equal parts bizarre and grim.
As unconventional as this new gimmick appears, it is not the first time that a wrestler has been given such a persona. In 1995, wrestler Dan Spivey returned to the WWF after seven years, wrestling under the name "Waylon Mercy." Like Wyatt, Mercy was based directly off of De Niro's performance in Cape Fear. Mercy presented himself as a southern gentleman, shaking hands with his opponents, as well as the referee before matches, only to reveal his darker, more brutal nature once the bell rang. The gimmick was cut short, however, as Spivey was forced to retire due to injury.
With word coming out that Harris/Wyatt is on a list of young talent ready to make the leap to the big show, it seems as if Wyatt's dedication to making the absolute most of his character has him poised for big things in the future. But will a character as strong as Bray Wyatt fit with the direction the company has been heading in?
The current WWE roster is loaded with potential, with one of the deepest pools of wrestling talent based on in-ring ability in quite some time. The issue at hand seems to be the lack of charisma, mic skills and the ability to develop and embody intriguing characters. A guy like Dolph Ziggler has incredible athletic ability, the looks and a character that can only be described as, "um...he's a show off, I guess?"
On the flip side, Harris seems completely committed to his character, breathing life into him and making him immediately intriguing. Everything from the mannerisms, to that deep, southern drawl, to the theme (which hopefully can transition to Raw, because it is a perfect fit) has worked together to make Bray Wyatt a far more compelling and terrifying character.
If the WWE were to bring in Bray Wyatt, perhaps the floodgates could be opened, and over-the-top, deep characters could work their way back into the programming. It has been reported that fellow FCW star Dean Ambrose is banging on the door, set to feud with Mick Foley. Ambrose has crafted a distinct persona of his own, setting him apart from the rest of the crop of cookie-cutter talent. As a result, anticipation for his debut is extremely high among the wrestling community.
It remains to be seen if the WWE will ultimately choose to integrate back in the strong personae and deep gimmicks that have created so many memorable characters in the past. In Bray Wyatt, they seem to have struck gold, and with a new crop of inspired talent on the horizon, things look promising. Should it happen, and judging from what has been seen of Wyatt to date, WWE programming only stands to benefit.