Bray Wyatt nee Windham Lawrence Rotunda comes from a who’s who of wrestling lineage. His grandfather, the late Blackjack Mulligan was a huge staple in the WWWF back in the 70’s while his father Mike Rotunda gained infamy as a face with partner Barry Windham to capture the Tag Team titles as the US Express on two occasions. Mike Rotunda later became known as Irwin R. Shyster or I.R.S., a heel in Ted DiBiase’s Money Inc. faction. His two uncles are Mike Rotunda’s former tag partner Barry Windham and Kendall Windham.
As early as high school, Wyatt had a passion for wrestling and garnished a state wrestling championship in 2005 at the age of 18. He also excelled at football which followed him into his college years, earning a scholarship at Troy University, but wresting was in his blood.
The now 29 year old initially debuted as Alex Rotundo and then later Duke Rotundo in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in 2009. He and his brother Bo Rotundo secured the FCW Tag team Championships from Justin Angel and Kris Logan. They eventually ended up losing the title belts to the Dude Busters in 2010.
Fate changed for Wyatt when he entered the second season of NXT under the mentorship of Cody Rhodes under the moniker of Husky Harris. Harris and Rhodes created a formidable tag team combo feuding with the likes of Kanal and Motel Vontavious Porter.
During his NXT tenure, Harris also continued to compete in FCW, feuding with Percy Watson ultimately culminating is a lumberjack match.
Harris then made a surprise appearance on Raw in disguise interfering in match which cost John Cena a win over Wade Barrett. Harris was eventually inducted into Barrett’s faction, The Nexus, a membership he sincerely cherished. Eventually CM Punk took over the reigns of The Nexus and kept Harris on as a member along with himself, David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty.
Harris then sustained a head injury at the hands of Randy Orton after an infuriated Orton attacked him for costing him the WWE championship.
Harris then returned to FCW teaming once again with brother Bo. The two feuded with Damien Sandow and Lucky Cannon, defeating them in a tag team match-up. While still in FCW, Harris then feuded with Richie Steamboat, son of WWE legend Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. The Steamboat/Harris feud continued and ultimately culminated in a bullrope match with Harris emerging victorious.
Harris then re-teamed with brother Bo and snagged the FCW Tag Team Title from Brad Maddox and Eli Cottonwood. The two brothers eventually lost said title to Corey Graves and Jake Carter in March, 2012.
Harris then re-invented himself as Bray Wyatt on NXT after WWE merged FCW with NXT. As Wyatt, he concocted a faction known as the Wyatt Family, a cult sect consisting of followers Erik Rowan and Luke Harper. The Wyatt family wrecked havoc on NXT and locked horns with the likes of Steven Regal and Chris Jericho.
Following a series of creepy vignettes involving sheep’s head masks, The Wyatt Family then debuted on Raw in July and continuing onwards attacked the likes of Kane, R-Truth, Justin McIntyre, Kofi Kingston and Heath Slater. After making a name for themselves, the Wyatt Family began to feud with bigger fish, namely the red hot CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. After attacking Bryan in future encounters, Bryan reluctantly agreed to join the Wyatt Family and eventually broke free of the faction. Bryan then fought Wyatt at the “Royal Rumble” with Bryan losing the bout.
The Wyatts then attacked Bryan, John Cena and Sheamus during an Elimination Chamber qualifying match. This then lead to the Wyatts facing the Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins). The Wyatts emerged victorious against the Shield at the “Elimination Chamber” Pay-Per-View.
Wyatt then focused his wrath on John Cena, resulting in a long feud between the two with Wyatt emerging victorious against Cena in a steel cage match. Cena defeated Wyatt at the “Last Man Standing” Pay Per View and prevented Wyatt from snagging the heavyweight title at the 2016 “Money In The Bank” Ladder Match.
Wyatt then feuded with veteran Chris Jericho with Wyatt ending the feud by emerging victorious in a steel cage match on an episode of Raw.
In September of 2014, Wyatt ended his “family” and engaged in singles competition, feuding with the likes of Dean Ambrose for an extended period of time. Wyatt defeated Ambrose on most of the occasions and ended their feud by winning an “ambulance match” against Ambrose on Raw.
Wyatt then created several promo vignettes and issued a challenge to the Undertaker at WrestleMania 31 in which he lost to the Dead Man.
Wyatt then set his sights on Ryback and the two feuded with many surprise attacks from Wyatt in the interim. Wyatt eventually defeated Ryback at the “Payback” Pay Per View.
Wyatt then started to feud with old rival Roman Reigns, but this time around, an important event transpired. Wyatt defeated Reigns at the “Battleground” Pay Per View but not without the assistance of old Family member Luke Harper. This laid the foundation for a Wyatt Family reunion consisting again of Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and new inductee Braun Strowman.
The newly formed Wyatt Family would attack the likes of legends Undertaker, Kane and Brock Lesnar. The Family then appeared at WrestleMania 32 and confronted the Rock who defeated Rowan in an embarrassing 6 seconds.
The Wyatt Family then regained face and began a long-lasting feud with the League of Nations (Barrett, Sheamus, Rusev and Alberto del Rio). The feud against the rival heel faction ended when Wyatt suffered a right calf injury.
The Family then feuded briefly with The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods), however the Family ended up being disbanded after some members were drafted to Raw and others SmackDown.
Wyatt then cemented himself as a strong solo performer by feuding with Randy Orton and Kane, his old rival. After his feud with Orton was somewhat simmering down, Orton appeared to assist Wyatt against Kane on SmackDown, revealing to the world that Orton had, in fact, joined the Wyatt Family.
Wyatt and Orton emerged victorious at the Survivor Series with Team SmackDown defeating Team Raw which included A.J. Styles and Dean Ambrose.
The Wyatt/Orton alliance proved very lucrative as the two eventually secured the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Titles from Heath Slater and Rhyno in a TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. With Wyatt and Orton as champions as a duo, it was later allowed that Luke Harper would also be named champion as well, under the “Freebird Rule” which stated that ant two of the three could compete to defend the titles.
The Wyatt Family are presently the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships, however Bray Wyatt’s ambitions do not stop there. He now has his sights set on snatching the Miz’s Intercontinental Title and then eventually overcoming A.J. Styles for the World Heavy Weight Championship.
With driving ambition, cunning and experience under his belt, Wyatt will carry the Family to undisputed heights and make for some very entertaining television in the process.
Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Balsky for contributing the above wrestler profile.
Dr. Stephen Balsky is a chiropractor currently in practice in his native Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been a wrestling fan since age 13 and is very passionate about the product, especially the “old-school” 80’s – 90’s era. He completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2015 and currently is also working part-time as a professor in both business and healthcare.