There are a lot of people with a lot of takes about WWE releasing Bray Wyatt. But Mickie James is the most prominent voice I’ve seen making the one in the last sentence of this tweet:
I think what you meant to say was: “Thank you so much for coming up with such an incredible gimmick(time & time again)one so cool & over, we really didn’t know how to book it right. So we just gave it to someone else so we can still make ALL the money off of it & let you go” ♀️ https://t.co/rWVtbxOioA— Mickie James~Aldis (@MickieJames) July 31, 2021
By letting Wyatt go earlier today (July 31), WWE has cut the cost of his contract while still profiting from the gimmick he created. Bray Wyatt, The Fiend, and the Firefly Fun House may be gone, but Alexa Bliss, Lilly, and their Playground remain.
Two important things to note here.
One, please don’t make the mistake some of the folks replying to James are making - she’s not pinning this on Bliss. It’s clear that Alexa worked on her current character with Bray, and did so without any knowledge she wouldn’t continue to collaborate on it with him in the future. She certainly didn’t make the decision to release him, and seems to have learned about his departure at the same time the rest of the world did. Mickie’s not blaming Alexa for anything, and anyone attacking her for doing so has poor reading comprehension skills.
Two, this is the nature of doing almost any kind of creative work for a corporation. In most cases, artists working in a WWE-like system don’t get to own their ideas, and know that before starting a relationship with an employer. Ask a comic book creator who’s seen their storylines show up in a DC or Marvel movie. Anything they get beyond a “thanks” in the credits and an invite to the premiere is rare. Continuing the “Fun House-verse” without Bray isn’t some unique new trick WWE’s come up with. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting a little.
Mostly, what James’ point reminds us is that no matter what place WWE, its shows and characters have in our hearts, Vince McMahon & team’s goal is to make as much money as possible off those smiles they put on our faces.
When WWE talks about how they’re a family, they aren’t talking about the fans. They’re certainly not talking about the wrestlers.
They’re talking about their shareholders.