The Wrestler of the Week award is designed to highlight a wrestler who made the most of his or her opportunities in a given week. While great matches or memorable promos certainly help a wrestler win Wrestler of the Week, the ultimate decision will also include consistency through the week and bonus points for pulling off a task with a higher degree of difficulty.
2/27/14 Wrestler of the Week – Bray Wyatt
On the same day that his biological brother has his biggest match to date on NXT Arrival, Bray Wyatt earns his first Wrestler of the Week honor. The whole Wyatt Family stood out across both televised shows and the Elimination Chamber PPV over the last week, but Bray is the straw that stirs the drink. While he has not spent all that much time in a WWE ring over the last several months, he has made the most out of the matches he has had. Additionally, he charisma and commitment to his very unique persona have helped the Wyatts stand out amongst a crop of wrestlers who sometimes seem too similar to one another.
Despite their heavy schedule through Elimination Chamber and Raw, the Wyatt Family was in action on Smackdown against the Rhodes Brothers and Rey Mysterio. The Wyatts got a good win that helped to springboard them into their showdown with The Shield and Bray’s work in the ring was a big part of the reason why. Although Luke Harper and Erick Rowan often serve as the mechanics of the team to wear down opponents with their size and strength, Bray is the exclamation point and the member of the team who gets the biggest reaction from the fans. That trend held true in this match as Bray lingered in the background after he blindly tagged himself in. He let Goldust set up for the Shattered Dreams on Rowan, but as Goldust rushed toward the corner, Wyatt intercepted him with a running elbow. He instantly followed it with Sister Abigail’s Kiss for a pinfall victory.
The highlight of the week in WWE and for Bray Wyatt was the match between the Wyatt Family and The Shield at Elimination Chamber. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins performed unbelievably athletic moves throughout the match, but Bray’s theatrics and ability to sell helped to make the most out of those moves. It looked like his team was up against a wall when Reigns set up to spear Wyatt. Harper ran in the way to sacrifice himself, though, and Wyatt used the opportunity to coral Reigns for Sister Abigail’s Kiss to win the match. Despite all of the crazy high spots and drama in the long-awaited match, the most memorable image to me is the insane face Bray made while Reigns powered out of his first attempt at Sister Abigail’s Kiss. It was a small detail that put Reigns and the match over the top. Later in the night, the Wyatt Family made another big impact when they disrupted the Chamber match when it was down to its final three. They attacked John Cena, just as they did at the end of his match with Randy Orton at the Royal Rumble. After another Sister Abigail’s Kiss, Orton pinned Cena to eliminate him from the match.
Even after his heavy workload, Bray pulled double duty on Raw. He held his own in a promo battle with John Cena in which he related his strange mysticism to Cena’s character. He said that Cena’s heroism is hollow and that his goal is to expose Cena and the lies that he represents. The implication of the promo was that Cena stands as the face of a closing era in WWE and the Wyatt Family seeks to close the book on that era with a symbolic win over Cena. The team ambushed Cena and left him lying in the ring in pain. Wyatt came back later in the night after he accepted a challenge from Reigns for a singles match. Neither wrestler looked his best after the punishment they took the night before, but the specter of two bourgeoning stars was still an entertaining visual. The match ended with interference from both wrestlers’ teams as their feud seemingly continued. In spite of the sub-standard match, it was good to see more of Wyatt after months of limited in-ring action.
Bray Wyatt has created many memorable moments in a relatively short time on the main roster of WWE. The climactic match in the long-simmering feud between his group and The Shield will go down as one of the best of those moments. Both teams fully lived up to the match’s hype and told a very exciting story that positions all six wrestlers on the brink of the main event. Given how well Bray executed that storyline, it is no surprise that he has been elevated to a program with Cena for Wrestlemania, nor is it a surprise that his character was so central to all three WWE shows in the last week. If he continues to work in the ring and on the mic at such a high level, he will remain integral for many years.