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WWE: Bray Wyatt Takes his Feud with John Cena to the Next Level
By Tom Clark|
March 19, 2014
(image from sescoops.com)
"I don't care if I die, as long as the world sees you the way that I do." With those words, Bray Wyatt put John Cena and the entire WWE Universe on notice; it's time to take this angle to a whole new level.
For the past few months, Bray and his family have targeted Cena. The company's top guy has been the focus of their attention and it's gotten so bad that they have prevented him from becoming WWE World champion on two separate occasions.
And truth be told, this likely did not come as a surprise to many fans. The reason for that is because Bray is engineered to be a top antagonist, the kind of heel that can be nothing but poison for the top babyfaces in WWE. Wyatt is so good and so entertaining yet so devilishly evil at the same time; there is very little that he cannot do.
If you need drama, he can do it. If you need intensity, he's your guy. If you need comedy, he's fully capable of that as well. Bray Wyatt can put a smile on your face and then sufficiently creep you out within seconds.
He can be the harmless deviant spouting off seemingly incomprehensible rhetoric or he can be the disarming demon on your shoulder dissecting you with his razor sharp tongue.
Bray Wyatt is perhaps the most versatile heel in WWE. And he was built to rival John Cena.
But what began as the expected feud has now morphed into something much more. Bray's promo from the March 17 edition of Monday Night Raw has changed everything for fans and now this storyline has become more interesting as well as more psychological than previously anticipated.
That's because Bray's elementary attacks on Cena as WWE's top protagonist have evolved into something much more personal. Now Bray is questioning John's character, more specifically his authenticity with the fan base that has either supported or hated him all these years.
Bray believes that Cena is phony, that he is simply playing a role when he's in front of the WWE audience. He is accusing John of hiding behind his jokes, using his character to distract fans from the ugly truth that he is just not what he claims to be.
This angle is likely very familiar to fans that remember when Kane used similar mind games on John back in 2012.
It was during that feud that Kane was trying to convince Cena to embrace the hate, to let go of his honest ways and turn toward the inner anger that he possessed. Kane was Emperor Palpatine to John's Luke Skywalker in a storyline that had many fans truly believing they would finally see Cena make the much anticipated heel turn.
Of course that did not happen and John won the rivalry pretty convincingly. Any possibility that WWE fans had of witnessing true character development with Cena was gone. In fact, Cena moved on as if the angle did not happen at all. In the end, it didn't even affect John's character in the slightest.
It's a criticism that fans have had and heard about John for several years now. Basically, it all comes down to the fact that Cena's character has become too static to be believable. Despite any external problems he has or internal strife he endures during an angle, he always emerges exactly the same as when he went in.
At this point, fans expect it and are not surprised when it happens.
But something about this feud with Bray Wyatt feels different. For the first time, John has admitted fear in the face of his enemy and he has done it with the whole world watching. There are no jokes, there are no smiles and right now, Cena appears to be a man struggling with his own identity.
Again, there is really no one that can do what Bray can. He is new enough in the company to be mysterious and keep Cena guessing his next move but he is so convincing that fans once again believe John could fall apart. But where Kane failed, could Bray succeed?
Could Bray's psychological warfare actually cause John to lose his way? Will we see his character finally experience the dramatic shift that fans have been screaming about for years?
Will John Cena finally embrace the hate?
Despite what direction this storyline takes, there is no doubt that John Cena is showing signs of stress. He has admitted fear and he has done it to Bray Wyatt, the one man that can prey on that fear like no other Superstar in WWE. What began as the typical John Cena versus the 'heel of the month' rivalry has now morphed into something much more intense and much more entertaining.
And fans have Bray Wyatt to thank for that. This one is going to be good.
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Writer for WhatCulture.com and a Contributor for The Camel Clutch Blog