The Wyatt Family

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For the family of English architects, see Wyatt family.
The Wyatt Family
The Wyatt Family (from left to right): Erick Rowan, Bray Wyatt, and Luke Harper
Statistics
Members Bray Wyatt (leader)
Erick Rowan
Luke Harper
Heights Wyatt: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[1]
Harper: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)[2]
Rowan: 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)[3]
Combined
weight
878 lb (398 kg)
Former
member(s)
Daniel Bryan
Debut November 7, 2012
Disbanded November 17, 2014
Years active 2012–2014
Promotions WWE
NXT

The Wyatt Family was a professional wrestling stable in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), composed of Bray Wyatt and his followers, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. The trio debuted on the main roster in July 2013, as a villainous group terrorizing other WWE Superstars, including Kane, The Shield, John Cena, The Usos, Big Show, Mark Henry, Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan, the latter of which ultimately became a member, albeit for a short period of time.

During their time at WWE's developmental branch, NXT, Harper and Rowan won the NXT Tag Team Championship. Rowan and Harper have since went on to compete in two WWE Tag Team Championship matches at Money in the Bank and at Battleground, while Bray Wyatt went on to compete for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank.

History[edit]

Developmental territories[edit]

The character of Bray Wyatt debuted in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in April 2012 and initially associated himself with Eli Cottonwood.[4][5] When WWE rebranded their developmental territory, Wyatt debuted on the fourth episode of the new WWE NXT, defeating Aiden English in a singles match.[6] Wyatt is portrayed as an evil cult leader who believes himself to be more monster than human.[7][8][9] The character drew comparisons to Max Cady of the 1991 film Cape Fear and Waylon Mercy.[7][10]

In July, Wyatt suffered a torn pectoral muscle and required surgery.[11] Despite the injury, Wyatt continued to appear on NXT by founding a faction known as The Wyatt Family in November, with Luke Harper as his first kayfabe son and Erick Rowan as his second (though he would later refer to them as his brothers in cause in subsequent promos).[12][13][14] Harper and Rowan entered the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament to crown the inaugural champions, and they defeated Percy Watson and Yoshi Tatsu in the first round on the January 23, 2013, episode of NXT.[15] Following a win over Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty in the semi-finals with Wyatt's interference,[16] Harper and Rowan were defeated in the finals of the tournament by Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey.[17]

Leader Bray Wyatt often watches the rest of his Family's matches from a rocking chair.

Wyatt had his first match back from injury on the February 21 episode of NXT, defeating Yoshi Tatsu.[18] The Wyatt Family later assaulted Grey (who had suffered a legitimate injury) while Wyatt prevented Dallas from winning a NXT Championship number one contender match due to Dallas refusal to join the Wyatt Family.[19][20] Dallas went on to hand Wyatt his first loss on the March 13 episode of NXT.[21] On the May 2 episode of NXT, while Wyatt was defeated by six-time world champion Chris Jericho, Harper and Rowan won a triple threat elimination tag match by last pinning tag champion Neville to earn a shot at the titles.[22] On the May 8 NXT (taped on May 2), Harper and Rowan defeated Neville and Bo Dallas, filling in for the injured Grey, to win the NXT Tag Team Championship.[23][24]

The Wyatt Family went on to feud with Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno, with Wyatt defeating Graves on the May 22 NXT,[25] and the next week Wyatt eliminated both Graves and Ohno during an 18-man battle royal to determine the number one contender to the NXT Championship, although he was later eliminated by Adrian Neville.[26] On the June 19 NXT, The Wyatt Family defeated the team of Graves, Neville and Ohno.[27] On the next NXT, The Wyatt Family, together with Garrett Dylan and Scott Dawson, attacked Graves, Neville and Ohno; when William Regal tried to make the save, he was also overwhelmed. This led to The Wyatt Family facing Graves, Neville and Regal in a six-man tag match the next week, where Wyatt pinned Regal for the win.[28] On the July 17 NXT (taped on June 20), Harper and Rowan lost the NXT Tag Team Championship to Neville and Graves.[29][30]

Feud with Kane[edit]

The group's signature entrance through darkness.

From the May 27 episode of Raw, WWE aired vignettes promoting the upcoming debut of The Wyatt Family.[31] The vignettes showed The Wyatt Family's backwoods origins and Rowan wearing a sheep mask.[32][33] On the July 8 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family made their debut by assaulting Kane.[34] The Wyatt Family continued their attacks on wrestlers like R-Truth, Justin Gabriel, and 3MB (Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater, and Jinder Mahal) while sending cryptic messages to Kane asking him to "follow the buzzards".[35][36] Following another assault,[37] Kane challenged Wyatt to a Ring of Fire match at SummerSlam, which he accepted.[38] On August 18 at the pay-per-view, Wyatt Made his In Ring Debut By defeating Kane in the Ring of Fire match, following interference from Harper and Rowan. After the match, Harper and Rowan again attacked Kane and ended the segment by carrying him away.[39] At WWE Battleground, Wyatt's momentum continued with a win over Kofi Kingston.[40] On the October 11 SmackDown, Harper and Rowan suffered their first loss against Cody Rhodes and Goldust.[41]

Feud with Daniel Bryan[edit]

The Wyatt Family's next feud began when they attacked Daniel Bryan and CM Punk in late October;[42] the feud saw Harper lose his first singles match to Punk.[43] At Survivor Series, Harper and Rowan lost to Bryan and Punk,[44] but the entire Wyatt Family defeated Bryan in a handicap match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs,[45] with Wyatt attempting to recruit Bryan in the previous weeks.[46] On the final Raw of 2013, Bryan defeated Harper and then Rowan in a gauntlet match so that he could face Wyatt, whereupon Harper and Rowan interfered for a disqualification and beat him down. A frustrated Bryan finally gave up and gave in to join The Wyatt Family.[47] However, after Bryan joined them, The Wyatt Family could not find success. This caused Wyatt to punish Bryan, leading to Bryan attacking all the other members of the Wyatt Family on the January 13 Raw to signal him breaking free of the group.[48] At the Royal Rumble, Wyatt defeated Bryan in a singles match,[49] while both Harper and Rowan entered the Royal Rumble match and they managed two and zero eliminations respectively before they were eliminated.[50]

Feud with The Shield[edit]

On the January 27 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family attacked Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus during an Elimination Chamber qualifying match against The Shield, thus awarding Cena's team a disqualification win and the Chamber match slots.[51] The Shield wanted revenge, so a six-man tag match was set up between The Shield and The Wyatt Family at the Elimination Chamber event,[52] which The Wyatt Family won. On the March 3 episode of Raw, The Shield was given a rematch against The Wyatt family, but lost again when The Shield's poor teamwork led to Seth Rollins leaving the ring during the match. On the April 8 episode of Main Event, The Shield (who turned into faces) finally defeated The Wyatt Family in another six-man tag team match.

Feud with John Cena[edit]

At the Royal Rumble event, The Wyatt Family cost John Cena his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Randy Orton. The Wyatt Family attacked Cena, Daniel Bryan, and Sheamus during an Elimination Chamber qualifying match against The Shield, thus awarding Cena's team a disqualification win and the Chamber match slots. Later at the same event, The Wyatt Family's interference caused Cena to be eliminated from the Elimination Chamber match. After Elimination Chamber, Wyatt turned his attention fully to feud with John Cena, with Wyatt wanting to prove that Cena's heroic act was a facade characteristic of "this era of lies" while also trying to turn Cena into a "monster".[53][54] Wyatt went on to accept Cena's challenge for a WrestleMania match,[55] with Cena successfully resisting the urge to become a "monster" and overcoming interference from Harper and Rowan to defeat Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX Wyatt suffering his first loss in WWE.[56] The feud continued after WrestleMania based on the story that Wyatt was capturing Cena's fanbase, which was exemplified by Wyatt leading a children's choir to the ring on the April 28 episode of Raw, with the children later putting on sheep masks.[57] At Extreme Rules, Wyatt defeated Cena in a Steel Cage match, after repeated interference from the rest of The Wyatt Family and a demonic child.[58] Cena's feud with Wyatt continued with a Last Man Standing match being set up for Payback. At the pay-per-view, after interference from the rest of The Wyatt Family and The Usos, Cena went on to bury Wyatt under multiple equipment cases to win the match.[59]

Feud with The Usos and Chris Jericho[edit]

On the June 2 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan took on The Usos in a tag team match; Bray Wyatt did not appear during the match, but his rocking chair still sat beside the ring. Wyatt then went on to win his match against Dean Ambrose to qualify for Money in the Bank, due to a distraction by Seth Rollins. At Money in the Bank, all three members of The Wyatt Family failed to win the titles.[60][61] The Wyatt Family came up winless at Battleground as The Usos successfully defended their WWE Tag Team Championship against Harper and Rowan [62]

On the June 30 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family interrupted Chris Jericho's return and beat him down.[63][64] During Battleground, Jericho defeated Bray Wyatt in a singles match. Wyatt continued his feud with Jericho into SummerSlam.[65] On the August 1 episode of SmackDown, Jericho defeated Rowan to ban him from being at ringside for Wyatt's match at SummerSlam.[66] On the August 4 episode of Raw, Wyatt attacked Jericho in Harper's match against Jericho, causing Harper to be also banned from Wyatt's SummerSlam match.[67] At SummerSlam, Wyatt defeated Jericho in a rematch.[68]

Feud with Big Show and Mark Henry[edit]

Before and after SummerSlam, Harper and Rowan suffered multiple singles and tag losses to the team of Big Show and Mark Henry.[69][70][71] On the August 25 episode of Raw, Wyatt faced John Cena. Harper and Rowan caused a disqualification, leading to a six-man tag pitting The Wyatt Family against Cena, Show and Henry, in which Cena submitted Harper to win.[72] On the September 8 episode of Raw, Wyatt defeated Jericho in a steel cage match.

The Wyatt's last televised match while together as a trio aired on the September 19 episode of SmackDown, when all three Wyatt Family members defeated Big Show and Los Matadores.[73] They were then taken off television.[74]

Feud with Dean Ambrose and separate paths[edit]

From September 29, videos were shown of Harper and Rowan being "set free".[75][76] All three members of the Wyatt Family returned to television on their own and apart from each other. Wyatt returned at Hell in a Cell on October 26, attacking Dean Ambrose.[77] Rowan returned on the October 31 episode of SmackDown,[78] and Harper returned on the November 10 episode of Raw, aligning himself with The Authority.[79] On the November 17 episode of Raw, Rowan joined Team Cena for Survivor Series, going after Luke Harper thus disbanding the group for the time being.[80]

The next few weeks saw Ambrose and Wyatt taunting and attacking each other in both backstage and in-ring segments, with Wyatt claiming that he could "fix" Ambrose, the way he "fixed" Harper and Rowan, leading to a match at Survivor Series.[81][82] Ambrose lost the match by disqualification after utilizing weapons, namely a table, a ladder and steel chairs.[83] At Survivor Series, Harper was the second to last man eliminated in Team Authority's loss against Team Cena.[84] As punishment for his affiliation with the Authority, Harper was forced to put his Intercontinental Championship on the line against Dean Ambrose, on the November 24 episode of Raw and successfully retained the title after getting himself disqualified, after the match while Ambrose was looking for weapons to attack Harper with, Wyatt ambushed Ambrose from behind.[85]

On December 6, when asked about the Wyatt Family breaking up, Bray Wyatt was quick to say that this was not the case: “There is no breakup. That’s another thing I’d like to get out there. There’s friction between [Harper & Rowan] and that’s kinda part of the issue, is relinquishing some of that. When the Wyatt Family is needed, the Wyatt Family will always be, and that’s the way I designed it, and that’s the way it will go on for ten, fifteen, who knows how long. The Wyatt Family is far from over, I can assure you of that.”[86] On the December 8 episode of Raw, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan faced each other in singles competition, with Harper ultimately getting himself disqualified.[87]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

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