On my Facebook page last night as I watched back Raw, I wrote about how creepy Bray Wyatt as a character is, and how he isn't being utilized by WWE to the best of his abilities and should feature more in a prominent role as a main event star. I was challenged back by one of my followers on there who said that Bray as a character would struggle to ever surpass the Undertaker's character because of the restrictions placed on him under the PG era. So that got me thinking a little about the term 'PG' and what that actually means, and whether or not it really could hold back Wyatt, as well as other WWE Superstars? Or can he, and others eclipse the success of the Undertaker as a character despite this?
The best place I thought to help us along this journey is to define the term 'PG'. After all, if you can look at the definition of the term then this pretty much sets up your guides and parameters. Parental Guidance is defined in terms of a motion picture film as a rating assigned to a motion picture by the Motion Picture Association of America, indicating that children of all ages may attend but that some material may be deemed unsuitable and that parental guidance is advised. So there are limits on what you can do with a character such as Bray, meaning you can't have him trying to do things similar to what Undertaker did during his Ministry of Darkness days. After all, we saw him torture people mentally at times, kidnap Stephanie McMahon, and set things on fire at times. Not really scary for the likes of an adult but to a child that's probably not going to help them sleep at night.
I know a lot is said about WWE being a 'PG' company now, and that "things will never be as good as the Attitude era". But I think people are missing the whole point with 'PG'. It isn't all fluffy, nice, and minimal violence. You couldn't have a wrestling product for starters with 'PG' if it was like that. The company can be successful and allow it's characters to grow in a 'PG' environment. Let's go back to when WWE first took off in the late 1980's and into the 1990's. That product was very much a family 'PG' product with many of the characters that were comparable to cartoon characters. But let's not forget that we saw Jake Roberts allow his snake to bite a defenceless Randy Savage, steel chairs were used in matches at times, the Mountie would shock his opponents with a cattle prod, and Brutus Beefcake would see his face smashed with a briefcase by Ted DiBiase and IRS. While WWE was a 'PG' company back then it knew how to push the boundaries without going too far and still providing an entertaining product.
So what can WWE do with Bray Wyatt as he is now? Right now I am enjoying the creepy character he is playing, getting into the mind of Roman Reigns through the use of Reigns' daughter. I think WWE are on to something with him in this kind of role, and it kind of captures the success Wyatt had when he was feuding with John Cena, and had those children surround the ring while singing he's got the whole world in his hands. That kind of stuff is magic and perfectly fits the Wyatt character. Should he grow in some way? Absolutely he can, and if WWE creatively use him right then I think the character has the potential to eclipse the Undertaker in some way if he is allowed to keep his darker side. Can Wyatt work as a face? That's an interesting question, and I guess until we see him in that position we can only make assumptions, but I don't really know if the character should ever be anything but a heel. Bray needs to be that creepy character who plays mind games with his opponents, gets under their skin, and keeps the WWE Universe guessing what he is going to do next.
What does he have to do to eclipse Undertaker? Well that's where things get tricky. Let's remember the Undertaker has gone as far as putting Steve Austin and Stephanie McMahon on a crucifix in the past, something that WWE is not going to obviously do now because the Attitude Era was a different time and place, and a time where the company could be so daring. It took years for Undertaker to build up the legendary status he has enjoyed over these last few years, and I think that is what Wyatt needs to focus on. He needs to keep himself fresh and build himself over the coming years to become as big a star. One thing I believe that helped Taker become such a spectacle to watch was his entrance. He would always have a special kind of entrance for big WWE shows back in the day, and still does even now. Bray has a great entrance right now that rivals what Undertaker has, but I do believe he needs to do something different at bigger shows to make him stand out. It's also about the performances he gives in the ring, and I believe that if Bray can look after himself there is no reason he cannot have a similar legacy and longevity to Undertaker.
It's going to be hard for Bray to potentially eclipse Undertaker. Do I believe he has the talent to do it? Yes he absolutely does. But right now I don't feel Wyatt is being used in the right way by WWE, and that is going to make things difficult in the short term for him. He should be in the main event scene more often given the way he has made this feud with Roman Reigns so far really interesting, despite many fans writing the feud off before it even began. Bray has the depth of character and talent to become the next big thing in WWE history, and I don't really see that 'PG' is what is going to hold him back in achieving his success. Whether Wyatt is given the opportunity to be elevated to the next level is down to WWE as much as it is Wyatt, but one thing is for sure and that is he has the talent to become a huge star.