Planet Kayfabe: Everything Wrong with The Fiend
By: “KC” Paul Matthews
Hello everyone and welcome to Planet Kayfabe. Thanks again for reading. This past Sunday was WWE Fastlane. If you’re an old time reader of mine, you may wonder why I don’t really review PPV’s anymore. The answer is simple. All WWE PPV’s are pretty much the same outside of Wrestlemania and the Royal Rumble. You have the same type of matches you see on TV. You see a lot of weird disputed finishes, especially for the PPV before Wrestlemania and sure, you get a crowd pleaser by throwing two good workers in the ring and having the same 4 star level match we have seen a thousand times.
Instead of running down which nothing happening match no one will remember gets 2.5 stars and which gets 3, I’d rather just give my take on what’s going on and give a few quick thoughts if anything major actually happens at one of these shows.
Apparently Edge turned heel. It’s funny how it seems like nothing changes in WWE. I went like 10 months without writing and prior to that I wrote about how much WWE sucked at writing and booking babyfaces. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t think WWE could take a hall-of-fame legend coming out of retirement and not be able to tell the story of him reclaiming his world title that he had to vacate a decade ago without having the turn him heel just to keep it interesting. That is baffling to me that WWE is so bad in 2021 at telling the story of a hero that they still can’t get it right when a real-life story is sitting right there on their laps.
I probably shouldn’t complain too much, though. As much as I’ve enjoyed Edge’s work, I always thought he was below average or even sucked as a babyface. Also, I’m tired of WWE’s new male babyface trope of the “working dad just providing for his children”. I don’t know if WWE thinks this gimmick is relatable and therefore good or what, but wrestling fans don’t care about that. Maybe the Target shopping mom demo thinks that’s a great gimmick, but the young fans (where WWE is hurting the most) just want their heroes to be cool, larger-than-life tough guys. Not sensitive, working dads just living the dream and making a day’s pay.
Which reminds me, another babyface trope I’ve long been tired of is the babyface who complains about “bullies”. Has this ever gotten over? I know its another dumb thing that WWE thinks fans will relate to and therefore get behind, but it’s always cringey to me as a viewer seeing grown men whine about a “bully” on TV. The latest example being Braun Strowman and Shane McMahon. Apparently, the 6’8”, muscular 300 pounder has a “bully” in the form of a grey haired 50 something year old Shane McMahon. WWE is trying when Braun says “I’ve dealt with bullies like you my whole life” but I am willing to bet a year supply of AOL minutes that Braun Strowman has not dealt with bullies his whole life and if he did, he probably dealt with a bully once and it was the last time he ever had to. Gotta shoehorn a Shane match in there somewhere, I guess. It is Wrestlemania, time to get the entire McMahon family and every 50 year old nostalgia act on the card. Better luck next year, worker bees.
Now for the main event of this column, so to speak. The Fiend. I can’t believe this is controversial to say, but I think Bray Wyatt as The Fiend is one of the worst top card level characters in WWE history. At one time I was really into Bray Wyatt, but after a series of terrible feuds and terrible matches I started to care less and less. Especially when all he did was lose and be came known as “The Eater of Jobs”. A change was indeed needed. He went away for a while, changed his look a bit and presented us “The Fiend” and a segment called the “Firefly Funhouse”.
Though intriguing at first, it didn’t take long for me to lose interest. It’s the same old Bray Wyatt in a mask and both he and the company went a little too far with the supernatural aspect of this character to the point of absurdity within what is accepted in the WWE television reality they have created. The character is storyline death, booked in a corner at ever turn and also a killer of any babyface’s momentum.
Now add Alexa Bliss to the mix. Poor Alexa, a once decent female star standing on her own is now a 30 year old woman playing the role of a creepy 10 year old girl and killing her own credibility with each passing segment. Whatever, it’s a living. They’re getting paid. I get it. However, for Alexa’s own sustained career in WWE I already know this is going to have to end with her going away for a while and coming back to a more normal gimmick similar to how she was before just like everyone else that comes in close contact with Bray Wyatt. They are drawn too far into the well of absurdity that they need to go away for a long time and come back repackaged and as far away from Bray as possible just to be taken seriously again and have any shot at getting back over. It’s too bad the “Eater of Worlds” is really just a black-hole of talent sucking down everyone who he either aligns himself with or feuds with.
There’s no doubt Bray has a creative mind, but wild, untamed creativity isn’t always good and isn’t always applicable to whatever form of art or entertainment you’re working in. Take Mankind for example. When he came in he was dark, creepy, weird, cut actual good promos that people could understand. That character was very creative and it was established that he could take a lot of physical punishment and hinted that he even enjoyed it. Mankind was able to exist in the WWF world in a realistic manner. Bray Wyatt is like if I were watching Seinfeld and all of the sudden George Costanza starts wearing a mask and is suddenly capable of doing magic and traveling through time and space. As ridiculous as this mask having the ability to make Bray indestructible and make Seth Rollins cry, it’s even more ridiculous when I have to watch this guy wrestle “out of character” as a happy fat guy in a sweater and be taken seriously against actual serious main event wrestlers. Give me a break.
That’s all for this Planet Kayfabe. Apologizes for being a day late. That’s life. I enjoy hearing from you so, leave a comment below or email me. Again, my email is at the top of every column. Also, I want to send my best to Brian James, The Road Dogg, who apparently was hospitalized with a heart attack recently.
I’ll be back next week as we get closer and closer to Wrestlemania. Take care and God bless everyone. For NoDQ, I’m Paul Matthews. Enjoy your week.