Bray Wyatt Vs. LA Knight Is WWE’s Most Unique Feud In Years

WWE could have fumbled Bray Wyatt’s return, but his program with LA Knight has been intriguing and original. That’s been a hallmark of Triple H’s booking since late July, so fans shouldn’t be too surprised. Yet before Wyatt made his triumphant return, Seth Rollins spoke about how difficult The Fiend character was to work with. The Fiend didn’t do a particularly good job of getting anyone over, and Vince McMahon’s choice to have Goldberg beat him at Crown Jewel in 2020 was disastrous. Two years later, the stink of that loss is long gone, and fans have seemingly forgotten about Wyatt getting burnt to a crisp by Randy Orton during the ThunderDome era, which is probably best for all parties involved.


Wyatt has an adversary in LA Knight who can go toe-to-toe with him verbally. That isn’t easy to come by because Bray Wyatt has such a natural charisma. Even when he was the villainous leader of the Wyatt Family, fans didn’t generally want to boo him because he has the gift of gab. Few men in professional wrestling can captivate an audience like Windham Rotunda, which is why his return was so exciting. WWE still has to weave a story surrounding this character, however, and so far, SmackDown has been the stage for a unique and original angle.

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Bray Wyatt Has One-Of-A-Kind Interactions With WWE Crowds

The intriguing aspect of this storyline is that Wyatt isn’t technically in a direct feud with Knight. LA has incited the violence that Bray so badly wants to keep bottled up inside. It’s a relatable situation for a lot of fans in the audience. Bullies love to push and push, but once they face the consequences, they want to turn their tail and run, which is what Knight attempted to do two weeks ago after striking Bray Wyatt in the face. Bray offered his hand in an attempt to squash the beef and, presumably, let go of the anger that was eating him up inside. He was given a crack across the head for his troubles and restraint, and it seemed like only a matter of time before there’d be hell to pay for Knight. That came to fruition later on in the show, as he was buried underneath a pile of heavy backstage objects, including kegs.

The implication, of course, is that no mere mortal attacked LA Knight and that Wyatt lost control of the demon inside of him. On the November 25 episode of SmackDown, Wyatt cut a fascinating promo that was borderline heelish. He accosted the crowd for wanting to see him become a human tornado. The audience cheered when he mentioned The Fiend by name for the first time since his return. When Wyatt stated that he didn’t want to be that kind of monster anymore, they turned on him and booed. It was an interesting interaction and one that lays at the heart of the triple threat match between Wyatt, himself, and Knight.

Bray Wyatt’s Constant Triple Threat Match Against LA Knight

Usually, wrestling is pretty straightforward. That’s not to say that there’s never nuance, but Wyatt trying to hold himself back from destroying LA Knight is a new spin on things. Especially with Uncle Howdy popping up on the Jumbotron every time Wyatt is speaking. Knight is the perfect early foil for Bray because he’s a straight-up heel, and there’s virtually no risk of the audience developing sympathy for him. He’s been attacked backstage twice now, leading to kayfabe injuries. That’d usually turn a performer face, but that isn’t what’s unfolding on SmackDown. It could be viewed as comeuppance for Knight slapping Wyatt two weeks ago, but the response has not been equal. One punch isn’t akin to getting buried underneath a tornado of debris. WWE’s audience isn’t responding traditionally to anything happening between Knight and Wyatt, making the interactions unique.

It’s a delicate line Wyatt has to walk during his speaking segments. Having a feud against himself and his emotions could come off as trite or campy if not done with care. Some old-school wrestling pundits have already sounded off and don’t like this program’s direction. In this instance, that might be for the best. The key demographic for WWE has never been this emotionally self-aware. More than ever, adults are acutely aware of what’s wrong with them mentally, and speaking out about these kinds of struggles isn’t nearly as taboo as it was even five years ago. The culture surrounding professional wrestling is changing, and if WWE doesn’t want to get lost in the dust, it’ll have to evolve along with it.

Having Wyatt portray someone battling some implied diagnosis is idiosyncratic in that he might be the only active wrestler who can pull it off. It’s not Wyatt vs. Knight that fans are watching play out on their television screens. It’s Wyatt vs. Wyatt, as he tries not to devolve into the dark, bitter and violent man he knows is inside of him. It’ll require a great deal of empathy from WWE’s fan base to work, and so far, it has. That is a testament to Wyatt and his uncanny ability to enthrall a live audience with his words and presence. No one in the company outside Roman Reigns has a more extensive presentation than Bray Wyatt, and he’s on the cusp of being one of the most intriguing, sympathetic faces WWE has had in quite some time.

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