By RJ Marceau
Hey Folks, my name is RJ Marceau and I’m currently Junior at Endicott College. You may have heard me weekly on WrestleRant Radio with my friend Graham Matthews. This article will be the first in my new series entitled WWE Repackaged Gold. As professional wrestling fans, we know that to be successful you must be charismatic, a good mic worker and have good in-ring skills. All these skills usually blend together in the gimmick you portray. We have seen many WWE superstars over the years fail, get repacked and fail again. WWE superstars such as Curtis Axel, Fernando and Diego recently come to mind. Some WWE superstars get tweaks in their gimmicks or attire, but you have to evolve with the times. This series will focus on superstars who totally changed their gimmick, their name and made the people “forget” about their previous blunder.
My first WWE Repackaged Gold comes from a wrestling family that has been in the business for years. His grandfather, Blackjack Mulligan, debuted in 1967, wrestled in the WWWF and NWA for more than 20 years, and was elected into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006. His dad was Irwin R. Schyster. IRS gained his popularity in the 1990’s as part of Money Inc. with the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. He played a tax-man gimmick asking fans and face wrestlers about paying their taxes.
The first WWE Superstar in this series is Windham Rotunda. Rotunda debuted in the WWE in 2010 on the second season of NXT under the name Husky Harris. Harris was very interesting with his size and speed, but I don’t even know what his gimmick was. He was an agile, big man, but besides that he had zero character. Harris eventually made it to the WWE as part of The Nexus. His involvement was after the original stint, which made his involvement seem desperate. He later was part of the New Nexus with CM Punk as the leader, but eventually was written off TV. I was a big fan of Husky Harris, but I knew he would have to get a new gimmick and look to get over.
Harris went back down to NXT and was repackaged as Bray Wyatt. His gimmick was a cult-like leader. He then founded his two “sons” in Erick Rowan and Luke Harper to form the Wyatt family. Wyatt made his WWE debut by attacking Kane. I was in attendance for a Smackdown taping when the Wyatt Family attacked R-Truth, Justin Gabriel and 3MB, in which he asked Kane to “follow the buzzards”. Wyatt went on to beat Kane at SummerSlam in the first ever Ring of Fire match. He destroyed Kofi Kingston at Battleground and focused on CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
He was specifically interested in Daniel Bryan and tried to recruit him to join the Wyatt Family. After beating Daniel Bryan in a handicap match at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Bryan decided to join the Wyatt Family, but after being punished by Wyatt he attacked all members. Bray beat Bryan at Royal Rumble in one of the best matches of 2014. The Wyatt Family then faced the Shield at Elimination Chamber in another match of the year candidate beating the Shield. Going into WrestleMania XXX, Bray was part of his biggest program of his career against John Cena. None of his matches lived up to the hype of the vignettes or promos, but it was good exposure for the “eater of worlds”. After losing to Cena at Payback, he went on to face Chris Jericho. He lost to Jericho at Battleground, but got a big rub by beating Jericho at SummerSlam.
After SummerSlam, the Wyatt Family was “buried” by John Cena and Wyatt was off TV until Hell in a Cell, in which he attacked Dean Ambrose during the Main Event. The Wyatt Family then disbanded. Bray defeated Ambrose at Survivor Series by DQ and then beat Ambrose at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs in a TLC match. After beating Ambrose in an Ambulance match, his feud with Ambrose was over. Wyatt began a series of cryptic messages in promos aimed at The Undertaker. He went on to face Undertaker at WrestleMania 31 and lost. Where Bray Wyatt goes from here is a mystery, but hopefully we will find out tomorrow on Monday Night Raw.
Rotunda has come along ways from his bland Husky Harris character and has thrived with his Bray Wyatt persona. WWE needs to award Wyatt with the United States or Intercontinental championship to cement him as a top heel and a WWE World Heavyweight Champion threat. I believe Wyatt will win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and can be this generation's “face of fear”.
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