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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Like It or Not WWE and NXT Fans, Bray Wyatt was Husky Harris
By Mr. Tito
Jul 9, 2013 - 7:27:55 PM
On the "awesome" Hell in a Cell 2010 Pay Per View event, which drew 73,000 fewer buys than the 2009 event, poor John Cena was forced to "join" the heel stable Nexus after "losing" a match to then-leader Wade Barrett. Cena lost this match when 2 wrestlers, disguised as fans, interfered and helped Barrett win. This column will NOT be a review of that "awesome" Pay Per View, nor will it discuss the FAILED storyline attempt of making John Cena join the Nexus. I have an On This Day in Pro Wrestling History... column series to do that.
Oh no... We'll discuss the 2 wrestlers who helped Wade Barrett win that Hell in a Cell 2010 match.
The 2 wrestlers who interfered in that match were named Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty and eventually, they would join the Nexus as official members. After Wrestlemania 27 rolled around and the non-CM Punk Nexus wrestlers (Harris and McGillicutty included) got their asses kicked by Randy Orton, both Harris and McGillicutty became irrelevant in the WWE for the next few years. Quite sad, as Michael McGillicutty was actually the son of the late "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig and Husky Harris was the son of Mike Rotunda/IRS. At the time, WWE chose not to honor their blood heritages and packaged them as different wrestlers entirely instead. Great names, eh?
You may know these 2 wrestlers today as the repackaged Curtis Axel, who is Paul Heyman's newest client, and the recently debuted Bray Wyatt. Two years ago, however, these wrestlers were just warm body members of the Nexus.
Yet, the WWE actually thinks that we, the wrestling fans, will instantly wash away our memories of how bad each guy SUCKED in their previous names and gimmicks. Just 2 years ago, WWE told us that they were named Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris. Now, they are both instantly great because they have a new name and a new lease on life. Just great.
However, last night we heard Husky Harris chants from the bored Baltimore crowd last night at Monday Night RAW after Bray Wyatt's "much anticipated" debut and the WWE is wondering why Curtis Axel isn't getting instantly over.
BECAUSE YOU TOLD US THEY WERE DIFFERENT PEOPLE 2 FUCKING YEARS AGO, WWE, AND YOU EXPECT US TO FORGET?
Here's a grand idea... How about not giving Joe Hennig (Curtis Axel now) and Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt now) shitty names and/or gimmicks when they debut? How about performing the "say it out loud" test on their names before pushing them out there? How about a better debut than just being jobbers of the failing Nexus stable? How about that? Instead of putting all of your hopes and dreams on these NEW repackaged gimmicks 2 years later, like the "Son of Curt Henning and Grandson of Larry 'the axe' Hennig" or a gimmick seen from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies, why not debut them correctly the FIRST time? Why waste 2 years of these wrestlers' prime years?
And yet all I'm hearing is how the Baltimore crowd was "full of trolls" because they remembered what the freakin' guy was called 2 short years ago. Really?
How was that grand debut? Week after week, all we heard was "Bray Wyatt is coming, Bray Wyatt is coming, OH MY GOD!!!!" So he debuts and what do we see? Him sitting in a rocking chair while 2 of his flunkies jump Kane. Such a "thrilling" debut, folks. WWE spoonfeeds the Baltimore crowd buckets full of shit for last night's RAW and expects them to be in awe of this manufactured Bray Wyatt gimmick? Oh boy, he's getting over on the NXT Wrestling shows that a few people actually watch. Much different to a full WWE audience who has seen the WWE Creative Team drop the ball repeatedly on many debuting wrestlers from the developmental territory. INCLUDING Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris. I don't blame the Baltimore RAW crowd for one thing. They were bored and weren't going to be forced to cheer for something the WWE was pushing.
Now, I'm NOT here to proclaim that Bray Wyatt is a failure... I'm just here to inject some rational thoughts into the discussion. You can't just repackage someone with a new name or a new gimmick and expect different results instantly. Go see Jack Swagger and what an utter failure he was with his "We the People" gimmick. He lost the majority of his matches in 2012 and yet the WWE puts him in a World Title match at Wrestlemania 29? In my opinion, and in many minds of the fans, Windham Rotunda has a lot to prove in a WWE ring. He was Husky Harris before, essentially a warm body for the likes of John Cena or Randy Orton to beat on as they tried to get to whomever the Nexus leader was at the time (Wade Barrett or CM Punk). Now, he's Bray Wyatt and has a "family". Amazing turnaround in 2 years, folks... Must have just gone crazy in that short period of time, started living in a different part of the country, and then assembled a family of followers. In 2 years!
Again - If you don't want the "Husky Harris" stupid ass chants, don't debut Husky Harris. Don't debut Michael McGillicutty. Put a little more thought into debuting the sons of former wrestlers, please.
Bray Wyatt can easily overcome any "Husky Harris" chants. Convince the fans that it's a great character to play along with and you're set. I can remember how ridiculous the Goldust character was when it debuted. Lots of "Dustin Rhodes" chants because it was CLEARLY him in disguise. Yet Dustin Rhodes busted his ass for that character and made wrestling fans forget that it was former plain WCW wrestler Dustin Rhodes behind that gimmick. They bought into the strange and bizarre Goldust and Rhodes made a nice 15 year career out of that gimmick. Do you Kane hears any "Fake Diesel" or "Isaac Yankem" chants? He made them quickly forget about any past gimmicks by being a badass named Kane who looked credible enough to threaten the Undertaker. The guy is still enjoying a successful WWE career and will probably enjoy doing so for a few more years. Mick Foley had to overcome the Cactus Jack gimmick when he joined the WWE. He did so by being an awesome new character named Mankind that quickly made fans forget that Jack ever existed.
I could go on and on... Do you think that Ron Simmons, who won a WCW Championship with that name, could get over as a repackaged Faarooq? That's the dumbest name you could EVER give a wrestler yet the guy got it over. And he went through gimmick after gimmick change with that horrible name until he was the badass half member of the Acolytes or APA. DAMN! Demolition's Smash was forced to become the Repo Man. The guy was given a worse gimmick in reverse yet he worked hard to sort of get it over in the midcard. With a little hard work, you can convince the fans to eat right out of your hand.
It's not hard... The many years of tapes are there for Bray Wyatt and/or the WWE to watch to see how a repackaged character or renamed wrestler could get over. Certainly, not by having him instantly wrestle Triple H or John Cena early in his career, either... Avoid an early Intercontinental Title victory, too... Right Curtis Axel?
Many loyal NXT fans are losing their shit on Message Boards, Twitter, and Facebook because of this Husky Harris chant by this Baltimore RAW crowd. Yet, those same internet fans praised the post-Wrestlemania 29 RAW crowd in New Jersey for shitting all over every wrestler and storyline tried that night? Oh, it was so funny how they cheered along for Fandango, too. But when a Baltimore crowd remembers what a wrestler was actually called 2 years ago, it's a crime against humanity! No, it's a smart wrestling crowd who doesn't forget things and are free to chant anything they choose. WWE tickets are expensive and fans have every right to chant stupid stuff.
I'm sad that the WWE actively tries to erase its history, even of wrestlers who been there for years. Not just trying to make us forget how bad Jack Swagger was in 2012 or the existence of Husky Harris/Michael McGillicutty during 2010-2011... But on ridiculous things like refusing to acknowledge that Undertaker and Triple H actually wrestled at Wrestlemania 17 when hyping Wrestlemania 27 They could have easily hyped this as a 10 year anniversary rematch yet the WWE chose not to. Completely ignored that great Wrestlemania 17 match. Ditto for Wrestlemania 28. It's like Wrestlemania 17 never existed... Just bizarre how the WWE chooses not to embrace its past and acknowledge its mistakes. You can't just repackage someone as a Japanese superstar named Lord Tensai and expect longtime WWE fans not to remember Albert/A-Train, especially when he looks exactly the same. Michael McGillicutty and Curtis Axel look exactly the same... Bray Wyatt, apparently, hasn't changed his looks enough...
It's just a chant and all Bray Wyatt has to simply do is prove himself... That simple. And if the Bray Wyatt character is successful, these same "smart" wrestling fans will proudly back Bray Wyatt and chant "Bray Wyatt" instead.
Up to Wyatt to make everybody forget "Husky Harris".
So just chill til the next episode...
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