Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
Firefly Inferno Match
WWE just can’t seem to get this story right.
The first time Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton had a big program, it culminated at WrestleMania 33 and the WWE title was on the line. Suffice it to say, it was a big deal.
And it started very strong but somehow it went from a great moment like this:
A lot went wrong with that angle. It began with Randy Orton infiltrating the Wyatt Family only to burn down the compound that included the remains of Sister Abigail. That was a sharp start. But then it completely lost the thread. It was so disappointing that I created an end of year post to dissect it. It all came down to ditching Luke Harper from what was a program made for a triple threat and then meandering to the finish line in a dud of a match.
The whole feud was a major let down.
Now we’re revisiting it three years later. And that makes sense. Bray Wyatt’s new character is that of a man with a fractured psyche: Part innocent kids show host and part monster who protects the more innocent side. That demonic side will target people who have hurt Bray in the past. Of course, Randy Orton would eventually make that list.
Unfortunately, in three years, WWE still hasn’t learned how to properly tell a complete story with Bray Wyatt successfully.
Much like the last time around, this story started out strong. The Fiend cost Randy Orton a WWE title opportunity to kick things off. But it was the addition of Alexa Bliss to Bray Wyatt’s world that gave this a fresh coat of paint.
Bliss played a role that was needed, someone to bridge Fun House Wyatt to Fiend Wyatt. Someone who could be a vocal in ring personality that neither of Bray’s character’s could be. Her presence also allowed Randy to once again find a way to manipulate Wyatt.
He knows the Fiend is pure emotion. He’s hatred. He’s vengeance. He’s doesn’t have reason or a means to channel what he’s feeling. So his puppy love for Alexa Bliss made him vulnerable and Orton looked to exploit that.
But then Alexa disappeared, possible to work on a television show. And that once again left Orton and Bray without a third to hold this story together. Like with Luke Harper, Bliss was vital to the story they were telling. Then she was gone.
The following week, Randy was supposed to visit the Fun House but instead had a match with Fun House Bray. In general, this didn’t work. First off, Fun House Bray shouldn’t be fighting. He should stick to the Fun House or maybe cut a promo in the ring (but that should really be left to Alexa). Secondly, there’s never benefit of running a PPV match before the PPV, whether or not it’s a different character or not.
At the end of this match, Randy had the match won but then when he went for the pin, the lights went out and when they came back on, he was pinning the Fiend, who attacked the Legend Killer. The idea was to show that the Fiend can’t be beaten like Wyatt prior could, that Randy was up against something different than last time. But it didn’t play well.
The following week, the two men fought back stage. Randy stuffed Fun House Wyatt in a box and set it on fire. But the Fiend emerged and took the Viper out.
Once again, it made sense on paper. It called back to Orton setting the Wyatt cabin ablaze, but this time, the Fiend protected Wyatt. Unfortunately, it didn’t translate to the screen well and felt more like a generic backstage brawl most of the time.
This is partly because WWE hasn’t figure out how to properly tell a story with the Fiend in general. He’s an outside of the box character who is in a WWE world who works within the same box constantly. Part of it is they sorely missed Alexa Bliss, who was holding this story together.
Now they will meet up in a Firefly Inferno match.
We don’t know what that is. Likely it’s cinematic. Will it be close to the successful Firefly Fun House match we saw with John Cena at WrestleMania? Or more like the less successful House of Horrors match that was the end of Bray & Randy’s last feud? That could make or break this story.
This is a program that started strong but fizzled heading into the match itself. If the match does some fun and innovative things, this program will be an overall success. If it is awkward and boring, then this will be another miss.
We’ll find out tonight.
The “Fiend” Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton clash in a Firefly Inferno match tonight at 7 PM ET on TLC. Keep it here to CagesideSeats.com for all of your TLC coverage.
Who will win this match?
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