The Wyatt Family were so impressive in WWE NXT that they had already created a buzz on the internet before their first vignette aired on WWE programming. Given the hype they had produced and given the success of WWE’S last 3 man stable to debut it was natural for fans to immediately compare Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan with The Shield.
The most intriguing aspect was how WWE (without the brand extension anymore) were going to have two stables running riot at the same time. Typically you would not have two unstoppable gangs at the same time, eventually that would force them to cross paths and compel WWE to decide which was the dominant force. With the Wyatt’s being the new kids on the block many worried that The Shield would be the group to suffer.
The Wyatt Family’s debut justified the build-up, going after Kane (a perfect adversary) and mauling him. After 15 years in WWE and a man who has never had an ego problem Glen Jacobs is at a stage of his career where he should be booked to help the younger talent look good (which he surely will do at SummerSlam). In truth though their opening night on Raw was as good as it would get. The following week they targeted R-Truth, injured for months and seemingly only rushed back for this burial. Other victims included Justin Gabriel, Tons of Funk and 3MB.
Compare that with The Shield’s hit list, Ryback, The Rock, John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Kane, The Undertaker, The Big Show, Sheamus as well as winning the World Tag and US titles.
While it was natural that the champions would have a stale period at some point their position has not been under threat like many assumed it would be (they were main eventing Raw on Monday Night).
Of course one of the major differences is while The Shield are all equal with a common cause (justice) it is clear that Bray Wyatt is the leader of his faction. Indeed the only reason Harper and Rowan have been getting the match time they have is because the man they follow has been legitimately injured since July.
Following SummerSlam it may become clear that there are no plans for the Wyatt Family to be pushed as a stable but more for Harper and Rowan to assist the single career of the son of IRS.
Comparing the six men there is also no doubting who the three most talented wrestlers are. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns had a reputation of being great in the ring before they set foot in the WWE, having a similar reputation on the Indy scene as CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. They are a trio (more so Rollins and Ambrose) who you could put against anyone and be confident they would give a good match. The Wyatt Family have so far demonstrated a brawling style which suits the men they are playing but anyone who watched Windham Rotunda wrestle as Husky Harris will realise he doesn’t possess the skills of the Hounds of Justice
The Wyatt Family are clearly more about their characters/ personalities then their actual technical ability. Like any evil/monster act, it needs a lot of creative focus and layers for it to work, it can be a short term gimmick with nowhere to go afterwards. Ironically Kane (and Undertaker) is an exception to the rule. Although never quite the monster he was when he first debuted Kane has always found ways to evolve. This wouldn’t have happened if management didn’t see him as a priority.
If WWE book the Wyatt Family in the wrong way they will quickly lose their buzz, are WWE getting it wrong already?