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Posted in: Doctor's Orders
Doctor's Orders: The WWE Must Book Bray Wyatt to Win at WrestleMania XXX
By The Doc
Mar 25, 2014 - 12:31:39 PM

The Snowman is a genius

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What's your opinion of Bray Wyatt right now?

“If you look up at me, you will see a friend. If you look down at me, you will see an enemy, but if you look me in the eye, you will see a god.”

One of the most interesting matches on the WrestleMania XXX card is John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt, as much because of the behind-the-scenes implications as the on-screen storyline. Wyatt is gaining traction as a top flight villain, cutting eloquent promos that have even Mick Foley himself referring to Bray as the next Mick Foley. Combined with his delivery in big match situations in early 2014, including the two leading frontrunners on my ongoing Match of the Year list to date against Daniel Bryan and (w/ his “Family”) versus The Shield, Wyatt is firing on all cylinders. Yet, he is involved in a unique, one might call it precarious situation with Cena. Classic is the tale of the up-and-coming protagonist clashing with a well-known heel. Wyatt, conversely, is positioned as the antagonist on the rise against the established, top level babyface. Because the general theme of wrestling stories is for the good guy to win in the end, a loss to the bad guy is considered a part of the chase. When the aspiring villain loses to the hero, on the other hand, the basic arc designed to draw in the viewer is gone; once light has conquered dark, the credits may as well roll – both on the feud and also, perhaps, on the greater potential of the antagonist.

Sunday, April 6th will be the defining night of Bray’s young career…

A finer line must be walked when attempting to sell the audience on a fresh heel with aspirations for the main-event. In 1996, the WWE made a smart choice in putting Foley over Undertaker on numerous occasions, instantly giving the sadistic new character the credibility necessary to become a major contributor. Without those wins over The Deadman, Foley’s momentum would have been dashed. He would have had to get the best of another upper echelon babyface down the road to become relevant on a headlining level and – even then – the ceiling for his optimum level of effectiveness at the top would have, in all likelihood, been lowered considerably. Winning and losing does still matter. And where you win and lose does still matter. In 2014, Bray beating Cena would continue to build the mystique surrounding his character and distinguish him as a star that may be able to draw big money in the near and distant future. There is no bigger statement to be made for “The Eater of Worlds” than for Wyatt to defeat “The Golden Boy” at WrestleMania XXX…and because their match will take place on grandest stage, a loss will be as historically glaring as would a win. If he wins, he can always hang his hat on beating Cena at “The Show of Shows”; a loss will forever be immortalized, as well.

“Your time is up, my time is now.”

I would not call Cena’s time “up,” but I would definitely say that Bray Wyatt’s time is “now” – along with several other young stars on the cusp of breaking out. There is a youth movement going on in the WWE that has fans from “down under” to “the right side of the pond” to everywhere in between really excited about the product’s direction in the next 12 months, especially. The Shield and Cesaro look poised to join Wyatt at the top of the card in the near future, but Bray leads the way right now. To me, he is the future’s representative at WrestleMania against “The Man” who represents the past; Wyatt and Cena will meet in the present to determine whether or not this latest version of the “changing of the guard” has any merit to its takeover ambitions. Daniel Bryan will join them in that figurative fight, attempting to leave “The Show of Shows” with an ultimate, all-time great victory on his resume (anything else will make it painstakingly obvious that the WWE is too wrapped up in its past). Strip the face-heel dynamic away, for a moment, and just look at two of the three main-events as examples of the old Mania XX tagline, “Where it all begins…again.” The Shield must win. Bray needs to win. Bryan has to win. The current fanbase needs to see this new generation victorious in New Orleans. The WWE, itself, needs every member of this new generation to win to build momentum for the future.

We’ve been here before, teetering on the edge of a new era in pro wrestling’s top worldwide promotion, but it has been since the heralded OVW Class of 2002 – which produced four of the top players still wrestling today (Cena, Lesnar, Orton, and Batista) - that it has felt like we were about to see the generational, monumental shift to a new group of stars. This does not feel, for instance, like the Money in the Bank 2008 group referenced on last Friday’s episode of The Right Side of the Pond by Shinobi and Steve that included the likes of MVP, John Morrison, Carlito, Shelton Benjamin, Mr. Kennedy, and CM Punk. It does not even feel like the more successful crop of fresh talents – Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, CM Punk (on the cusp of greatness), and The Miz - featured at WrestleMania 27 three years ago. Those guys had varying levels of potential, but there is a combination of right place and right time to aid the 2014 crew in their quest. Something about this feels different. It’s very 2004/2005-esque. There is a palpable aura of change in the air. I can peer into the crystal ball and see Roman Reigns vs. The Rock in Dallas two years from now or Bray Wyatt vs. Undertaker next year in San Francisco. It has been a long time since I’ve been able to confidently claim that brand of forethought. Do you recall that not one member of the aforementioned OVW Class of 2002 lost at their first WrestleMania? It was winning when it mattered that put those men in position to be the stars of a generation – to be heralded as all-time greats. Bray cannot afford to lose in a similar position. The best way for his potential will be reached is for him to win.

On the other hand, it’s John Cena, right? Losing to the top guy in the business cannot possibly do that much damage…can it? I suppose the argument could be made that Cena still needs to look strong for future big drawing special attraction matches at Mania, such as the one that I so desperately wish to see between him and Undertaker. If the wrestling world were black and white, I might agree with that. Theoretically, losing to Cena should be something that could be overcome by such simple measures as looking strong in defeat or getting the win back at the next PPV. To a degree, that is true. It would depend on what your definition of “overcome” would be. Could Wyatt lose and still be a credible headlining heel for years to come? Sure. It all boils down to how bright a future the WWE wants Bray to have. Sheamus lost to Triple H at Mania XXVI, got the win back, and he’s the kind of star that could be inserted into the main-event at a moment’s notice and nobody would bat an eyelash. If, though, the WWE views Bray as I do (as a star that could main-event Mania as soon as next year), then he can ill afford a loss to Cena. The same reason that Cena can easily lose to Bray and still look credible next year or the year after against Taker is the same reason that Wyatt needs to beat Cena this year. Go back and look at Cena’s WrestleMania track record. He beat Big Show, JBL, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels consecutively and later added Edge, Batista, and The Rock to his list. If you think he’d be even half the draw that he has become if he had lost the Triple H match in 2006, you’re flat out wrong. He needed that win.

Not many people have defeated John Cena. Beating him says something to the casual viewer. It says “this guy matters.” Losing to him makes the same wrestler “just another guy.” Quickly name a few men who have given Cena an elusive “L” in the loss column on PPV – Edge, Orton, Punk, Bryan. Compare where they’re at, historically, to the laundry list of talents that lost to Cena on PPV.

In my mind’s eye, I see April 6th as a night in which Daniel Bryan will send the wrestling world home happy and Undertaker will improve his Streak to 22-0. Thus, the door is wide open for the third of the top stories at WrestleMania XXX to end with a Bray Wyatt victory. Assuming that The Shield win, as well, then there is going to need to be another top heel besides The Authority with whom these top babyfaces can work over the next several months. I would like to see Wyatt win and continue this feud for the next several months, as he has the chops to add more layers to the drama. A Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules and perhaps even another rematch at Money in the Bank in June? Fantasy booking is a lot more fun when you have fresh puzzle pieces to fit in various spots. The double-edged sword to working with Cena is that he’s been positioned as the “end game” for all heels. The WWE better have a plan in place to avoid Wyatt fading into the background once the Cena feud concludes. That is another topic for another day. For Mania, I have been quite pleased with how well this storyline has played out. Though the focus on Cena’s legacy seems to suggest that Wyatt will continue to dominate the feud, but lose the payoff match, I am hopeful that Wyatt will walk away from New Orleans with a career-making victory. Expectations seem to be fairly low, but the match quality could be one of the biggest surprises of the night. Cena will have a chance to enhance his performance legacy; Bray the chance to begin his. All eyes, though, will be on the finish. Those final minutes should, accordingly, be fantastic.

WrestleMania has several, notable up-and-coming heel vs. top flight babyface stories in its rich history. What separates Evolution, Edge, and The Shield from the likes of Sheamus, Cody Rhodes, Rick Martel, Goldust, and Kane is that they won. Those wins were exaggerated by taking place at WrestleMania. The stage is set for Bray Wyatt to follow in the footsteps of the superstars who ultimately, thanks in no small part to their “Immortal” victories, went onto top 20 in the WrestleMania Era level careers. Embrace the youth movement, WWE. The future is bright.



Join us for "The Doc and Super Chrisss Show" on Wednesday at 5PM as we finish our favorite 10 WrestleMania matches, offer our Win/Fail of the Week, and continue down The Road to WrestleMania XXX.

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