Survivor Series Preview: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan

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Survivor Series
Photo: wwe.com

Whilst elsewhere on the card, the narrative is brand supremacy the story here is decidedly much more personal for the Universal Championship match at Survivor Series. Saying these two have a history with each other wouldn’t be doing this epic match the justice it deserves.

When Bray Wyatt came back to the WWE with his nightmare fueling Firefly Fun House, the entire roster was put on notice. Prominent puppet characters were introduced throughout the weeks such as Mercy the Buzzard, Abby the Witch, Ramblin’ Rabbit and Huskus the Pig Boy all representing moments in Bray’s twisted history that lead him to his tortured split existence that he lives out now both in the sweater and behind the mask. Being inside his safe place allows him to share and relive those moments but not without consequence.

Slowly, the facade of the children’s show and bright colored safe space revealed the darkness lurking beneath and Bray began to lose control of his other half. The Fiend persona revealed himself, detaching in a way from the other personalities Bray had surrounded himself within the Fun House. Then the victims started piling up.

Raw Highlights

Man after man succumbing to the mandible claw, leading to Seth Rollins nearly losing his sanity in the struggle to end The Fiend for good at Hell in a Cell. But you can’t kill a monster, and Bray came back to claim the Universal title back for what Rollins had tried to do. Now that he had righted that wrong, he could set his sights on doing the same for the past demons that still haunt Wyatt.

Much like how The Fiend carries a lantern to the ring depicting his own former head, he has lost his own mind in the pursuit of finding his path. And he has also lost his identity at different times along the way. And standing full circle at both ends of that path is none other than Daniel Bryan.

One of the characters, as mentioned before in Bray’s twisted Funhouse, was Huskus the Pig, someone who may be familiar to a younger Bryan. He stood alongside the real representation, Husky Harris when he and Wyatt first were cutting their teeth in the WWE. That alliance was short-lived but teased a long, long future between these men.

Reigniting their history when Bray began to embrace and understand his darker side in 2013, he tried to bring that same darkness to Daniel Bryan by recruiting him to his demonic Wyatt Family. Slowly being broken down by their continual attacks combined with the real-world realities of a dwindling career, Bryan decided to reluctantly embrace this family as dysfunctional as it was. But the issue was not the will to resist. He just needed one final push from the WWE Universe.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Inside of the ring on January 13th, Daniel Bryan was to be punished for his failures in the Wyatt Family. As he was about to receive a Sister Abigail from Wyatt, he broke free from the darkness. And the hate was driven out by the love from the chants from the WWE crowd.

This moment was a breaking point for both men, as Bryan’s insurrection was instrumental in destroying the Wyatt Family and having him transform into this penultimate being that is the masked monster he is today. And Bryan created his own monster of sorts, just with an entirely different force behind it. This lead to the “Yes! Movement” that brought him all the way through WrestleMania XXX with gold around his waist.

One on a path of destruction, one on a path of righteousness, both now on a collision course back towards one another. And this isn’t by accident.

The Fiend never forgets.

It started again at the beginning of November, as the lights went out and he locked the “hurt” gloved hand onto Daniel Bryan after he was discussing the yes movement with Sami Zayn.

But as Bryan pointed out one week later with The Miz, he is just as much a changed man now as Bray. He is also mentally unstable and so passionate about the business that he chose to kill the yes movement. And that is the strength that he believes Wyatt is undervaluing: they have more in common than he realizes.

However, as stated before you can’t kill a monster. Therefore, the yes movement was never really dead. And Daniel showed a glimpse of that Friday night. Lighting up longtime rival Miz with yes kicks, he stood back for a moment to embrace the audience once more. Raising his fingers to the sky for one thunderous yes, the lights crackled. The familiar eerie, bone-chilling tone was set as the darkness began to take over the light once more.

Replaced with the evil blood red omen of Wyatt’s murderous rampages that he has gone on before, he sat in the corner seated almost seemingly pleased with bringing out a fitting rival for him to claim as his next victim. Staring him down, then adjusting the hurt glove Bray locked in one more mandible claw, and shrouding Bryan in darkness much as he had in the past when he managed to recruit him to the Wyatt family.

At Survivor Series, the story is simpler than brand supremacy with these two. It is a matter of darkness versus light. And this is a turning point for both men’s careers. The Fiend is trying to cast a looming shadow of darkness over the WWE and all who inhabit it. And Daniel Bryan is trying to relight the flame that brought him a phoenix-like rise to the top six years ago. Bryan just has to put fear behind him as he did once before when he left Wyatt behind. He has grown a lot since then, as evidenced by his WrestleMania XXX rise. He is no child anymore, so to speak. He is a man protecting the light he is now sworn to protect, whether he realizes it or not.

And we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. And Daniel Bryan’s light is in capturing gold at Survivor Series, and reigniting the yes movement before Bray Wyatt can turn the lights out on that one final time.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch Survivor Series via the WWE Network.

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