Former WWE and Universal Champion Bray Wyatt has been released by WWE following 12 years of service to the company.
Former WWE Champion Bray Wyatt has been released by WWE after 12 years with the company.
WWE confirmed Wyatt’s release on its website on Saturday, July 31.
“WWE has come to terms on the release of Bray Wyatt. We wish him the best in all his future endeavors,” the statement read.
According to Dave Meltzer, Wyatt was made aware of the situation by John Laurinaitis, who told him he was being released due to budget cuts. This has since been backed by Fightful Select.
The publication also states that the company had considered dropping Wyatt when they made their last round of cuts but ultimately decided to keep him. It’s also been reported that the performer had grown protective over his gimmick as he had issues with the poor ideas being pitched to him.
Wyatt, real name Windham Rotunda, is likely to have a 90-day non-compete clause in his deal that would keep him from appearing elsewhere until the end of October 2021. Of course, he is expected to pick right back up and should have his pick of the bunch whenever the 90 days are over.
As the grandson of Blackjack Mulligan and the son of Mike Rotunda (better known in WWE as Irwin R. Schyster), Bray Wyatt is a third-generation wrestler who joined WWE’s developmental system in 2009. He reported for duty at WWE’s feeder promotion Florida Championship Wrestling, which would later be rebranded as NXT. Wyatt — real name Windham Rotunda — began performing under the name Duke Rotundo in a tag team with his real-life brother Bo Dallas. the two brothers eventually became FCW Tag Team Champions.
In 2010, Wyatt participated in the original gameshow-adjacent incarnation of NXT under then ring name Husky Harris with Cody Rhodes as his mentor. He then played a role in the memorable Nexus storyline but ultimately returned to FCW.
In 2012 Husky Harris was repackaged as Bray Wyatt and debuted on the July 11, 2012 episode of the rebranded NXT where he kicked off his tenure at Full Sail University with a win over Aiden English. Bray Wyatt soon formed a “family” with Luke Harper and Erik Rowan. The group was called up to the main roster in May of 2013 when vignettes hyping their arrival began to air on Raw.
For a time, the Wyatt family was one of the most popular acts in WWE, and the gimmick propelled Wyatt to the main event scene. A WWE Championship reign and a WrestleMania match with Undertaker followed, but ultimately Bray’s star power was squandered.
He was repackaged as The Fiend, a flamboyant horror-inspired character that seemed popular at first but quickly polarized fans.
Following his release, Wyatt’s former on-screen protégé Alexa Bliss took to Twitter to share a touching tribute to her friend.
“I really am at a loss for words… thank you so much Windham for everything you’ve done for this company. The most fun I’ve had is working with you. Such an amazing talent & the most kind person. I’m just in shock,” Alexa wrote.
Source: The Sportster