The “White Rabbit” chase returned on the Sept. 30 SmackDown. The QR code was shown during a Karrion Kross segment, but the video it led to and every other sign we got on last night’s episode continues to point to the return of Bray Wyatt... both because the clues seem to be leading to him, and because it’s hard to believe anyone else in WWE would plot out something this labyrinthine.
Alright. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive down the latest (white) rabbit hole.
That took us back to WWE’s website (wwe.com/1911), and this video:
Much of that is from a 1933 Walt Disney “Silly Symphony” cartoon based on the fable of “The Three Little Pigs”. While there have been some attempts to decipher how the pigs and their houses of straw, sticks, and brick are relevant to WWE’s current mystery, the most obvious connection is that the Big Bad Wolf and The Fiend both share a catchphrase — “Let me in.”
B.B. Wolf is the only character who gets a makeover in the video (not counting the shots of butchered hogs, of course), which flashes to this nightmare fuel image of Little Red Riding Hood’s nemesis in his grandma disguise...
During the final stretch of the video where we get that visual, Morse code plays. That spells out “Azazel Reborn”. Azazel is a demon who pops up a lot in fiction. His Old Testament roots are interesting; this summary is from Encyclopedia Brittanica:
Azazel, in Jewish legends, a demon or evil spirit to whom, in the ancient rite of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), a scapegoat was sent bearing the sins of the Jewish people.
Yom Kippur is next week (Oct. 4-5), by the way. Just in time for Bray’s rumored return at Extreme Rules. More on that in a bit.
Another fun Azazel reference? It was the antagonist in the fun-if-gonzo 1998 Denzel Washington flick Fallen, which featuring Washington & John Goodman chasing the body-hopping demon. One of the way the detectives knew Azazel had possessed someone was if they sang “Time Is On My Side” by The Rolling Stones, a song Bray used to sing during his NXT days.
Back to the url of the video itself, Wyatt wore a “19/11” card in his hat in the Firefly Fun House vignette that aired on the Oct. 26, 2020 Raw. He was dressed as the Mad Hatter in that one, and made lots of Alice in Wonderland references. It was also where Alexa Bliss poisoned Ramblin’ Rabbit with arsenic, and when that bunny survived that, Mad Hatter Bray beat him to “death”.
The webpage with the video has a teeny tiny (“and one pill makes you small”) white rabbit icon in the lower right corner...
The filename for that image is “TS_S10E6”, which is being interpreted as referring to episode six of The Simpsons’ tenth season. The episode is called “D’oh-in’ in the Wind”, which has a music montage featuring the song White Rabbit that plays during a sequence where Homer has inadvertently drugged Springfield with peyote.
And that’s not the only place WWE’s programmers are getting in on the fun. Fans have once again dug into the source code, and found a line that reads “DRINK MORE OVALTINE”. That’s a reference to A Christmas Story, and the side plot about Ralphie saving box tops to get a decoder pin so he can decipher the secret message to Little Orphan Annie insiders (which turns out to be an ad for Ovaltine).
The rabbit icon filename also includes a phone number, 855-489-5099. Calling that gets you a message (which some believe is read by Wyatt), and if you play that message backwards, you’ll hear:
“Bravo. Echo. Lima. Alpha. India. Romeo. I am the way into the City of Woe. I am the way into eternal sorrow.”
More than just a callback to The Shield’s entrance, the NATO phonetic alphabet letters spell out “BELAIR”. If I were Bianca, I’d watch my back around Bliss... but this is also being interpreted as a reference to The Fresh Prince of Belair, who was famously born & raised in Philadelphia, the site of next Saturday’s Extreme Rules PLE.
The rest of the message is from Dante’s Inferno, and specifically a passage which ends with “Abandon all hope you who enter here.” That quote was paraphrased in signs on the door to the Firefly Fun House.
And speaking of signs, during a cutaway on last night’s SmackDown, someone held up one behind announcers Michael Cole & Corey Graves that read, “Revel In What You Are”...
And of course, there’s a Windham Rotunda tie-in...
But wait! There’s more! Like any good puzzle box, the audience has become so obsessed they’re finding hints the creators may not have even intended...
Alice in Wonderland, Rare 1911 Edition. Red with a white rabbit printed on cover.— Halestorm (@sataniiicpanic) October 1, 2022
Bray - “”I am the color red in a world full of black and white.”
- SmackDown March 21, 2014#SmackDown #WhiteRabbit pic.twitter.com/1IknghYamN
Next week should be interesting. Any maybe a little less byzantine?