WWE megastar and creative genius Bray Wyatt (whose real name is Windham Rotunda) died yesterday of an apparent heart attack. He was only 36 years old. The news is extremely shocking to the wrestling community as Bray, who has been out of action since February due to an illness, was rumored to be making his return soon.
Bray came from a wrestling family. His father is WWE Hall of Famer Mike Rotunda…whom many fans remember as IRS…the tax-collecting heel who sometimes partnered with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase for the tag team Money Inc. He was also the grandson of legendary wrestler Blackjack Mulligan…the nephew of star Barry Windham…and the older brother of fellow wrestler Bo Dallas.
Bray also wrestled as a masked alter-ego called The Fiend. When he first joined the WWE in 2010, he went by Husky Harris. But, Bray quickly threw away that bad gimmick…and when he debuted as Bray Wyatt…he was instantly mesmerizing. In that first incarnation, he was like Max Cady (Robert DeNiro) from Martin Scorcese’s Cape Fear…weird and insane but captivating. He led a sinister group called the Wyatt Family (accompanied by Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman as his muscle) and they pretty much ruled.
Soon…Bray would evolve and add an alter ego or two…including The Fiend…which was absolutely amazing. As some of you may or may not know…I do a wrestling podcast on this site called The East Side Dave and Son Wrestling Show with my boy Stanley. And, sadly, Bray is Stan’s favorite wrestler. So this just sucks all around. But the one thing Bray did was put smiles on people’s faces. And so we’d like to honor him with a selection of some of our favorite moments in this legend’s career. RIP, Bray…Windham…you will be missed.
– Davey Mac