The Wyatt Family

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For the family of English architects, see Wyatt family.
The Wyatt Family
The Wyatt Family.jpg
Original members of The Wyatt Family (from left to right): Erick Rowan, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper.
Members Bray Wyatt (leader)
Luke Harper
Braun Strowman
Name(s) The Wyatt Family
877 lb (398 kg) (Wyatt, Harper and Rowan)
945 lb (429 kg) (Bray Wyatt,Luke Harper and Strowman)
Erick Rowan
Daniel Wyatt[1]
Debut November 7, 2012
Years active 2012–2014
Promotions WWE

The Wyatt Family is a villainous stable performing in WWE. The stable originally appeared as a trio composed of Bray Wyatt, 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, Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan (who 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. The Wyatt Family began to go their separate ways in late 2014, after Wyatt announced he was setting Harper and Rowan "free". Harper and Rowan would later reunite in May 2015, but after Rowan suffered an injury, Harper would reunite with Wyatt in July. In August 2015, Braun Strowman would join Wyatt and Harper.


Their gimmick is based on a backwoods cult; Wyatt's character has drawn comparisons to Charles Manson and wrestler Waylon Mercy, as well as Max Cady from Cape Fear.[2][3]


Formation and beginnings[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 into NXT Wrestling, Wyatt debuted on the July 11 episode of the new 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.[2][7][8] The character drew comparisons to Max Cady of the 1991 film Cape Fear and Waylon Mercy.[2][9]

In July, Wyatt suffered a torn pectoral muscle and required surgery.[10] 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.[11][12][13] 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.[14] Following a win over Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty in the semi-finals with Wyatt's interference,[15] Harper and Rowan were defeated in the finals of the tournament by Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey.[16]

Leader Bray Wyatt, often watched 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.[17] 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.[18][19] Dallas went on to hand Wyatt his first loss on the March 13 episode of NXT.[20] 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 team match by last pinning tag team champion Neville to earn a shot at the titles.[21] 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.[22][23]

The Wyatt Family went on to feud with Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno, with Wyatt defeating Graves on the May 22 NXT,[24] 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.[25] On the June 19 NXT, The Wyatt Family defeated the team of Graves, Neville and Ohno.[26] 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.[27] On the July 17 NXT (taped on June 20), Harper and Rowan lost the NXT Tag Team Championship to Neville and Graves.[28][29]

Attack on Kane; recruiting Daniel Bryan[edit]

The group's signature entrance through darkness.

From the May 27, 2013 episode of Raw, WWE aired vignettes promoting the upcoming debut of The Wyatt Family.[30] The vignettes showed The Wyatt Family's backwoods origins and Rowan wearing a sheep mask.[31][32] On the July 8 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family made their debut by assaulting Kane.[33] 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 telling him to "follow the buzzards".[34][35] Following another assault,[36] Kane challenged Wyatt to a Ring of Fire match at SummerSlam, which he accepted.[37] On August 18, at SummerSlam, Wyatt defeated Kane, following interference from Harper and Rowan. After the match, Harper and Rowan again attacked Kane and ended the segment by carrying him away.[38] At Battleground, Wyatt's momentum continued with a win over Kofi Kingston.[39] On the October 11 SmackDown, Harper and Rowan suffered their first loss against Cody Rhodes and Goldust.[40]

The Wyatt Family's next feud began when they attacked Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, in late October;[41] the feud saw Harper lose his first singles match to Punk.[42] At Survivor Series, Harper and Rowan lost a tag team match against Bryan and Punk.[43] The Wyatt Family then defeated Bryan in a three on one handicap match, at TLC,[44] with Wyatt attempting to recruit Bryan in the previous weeks.[45] On the final Raw of 2013, Bryan defeated Harper, and then Rowan, in a gauntlet match that would lead to Bryan facing Wyatt, whereupon Harper and Rowan interfered, for a disqualification and began beating Bryan down. A frustrated Bryan finally gave up and gave in to join The Wyatt Family, rechristening himself "Daniel Wyatt."[46] However, after Bryan joined them, The Wyatt Family could not find success.[1][47] This caused Bray Wyatt to punish Daniel Bryan. This led 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 Daniel Bryan in a singles match,[49] while both Harper and Rowan entered the Royal Rumble match and managed two and zero eliminations respectively, before they were eliminated.[50]

Collision with The Shield; John Cena feud[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 were seeking 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 after Dean Ambrose abandoned his teammates. On the March 3 episode of Raw, The Shield were 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 finally defeated The Wyatt Family in another six-man tag team match.

The Wyatt Family getting ready to compete, in April 2014

At the Royal Rumble event, The Wyatt Family cost John Cena his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Randy Orton. At Elimination Chamber, 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 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, thus marking Wyatt's first loss on WWE's main roster.[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, as well as a child who had distracted Cena.[58] Cena's feud with Wyatt continued with a Last Man Standing match being set up for Payback, which Cena won.[59]

Championship pursuits; Chris Jericho feud[edit]

On the June 2 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan took on then-WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos, in a tag team match; Bray Wyatt did not appear during the match, but his rocking chair still sat beside the ring. Harper and Rowan went on to win the match, which made them number one contenders for the Tag Team Championship.[60] Later that night, due to a distraction by Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt went on to win his match against Dean Ambrose, to qualify for the first Money in the Bank ladder match contested for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship. At the 2014 Money in the Bank event, all three members of The Wyatt Family failed to win championships in their respective matches.[61][62] The Wyatt Family also lost at Battleground, as The Usos successfully defended their WWE Tag Team Championship, against Harper and Rowan.[63] On the June 30 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family interrupted Chris Jericho's return and began to beat him down.[64][65] During Battleground, Jericho defeated Bray Wyatt in a singles match. Wyatt continued his feud with Jericho into SummerSlam.[66] On the August 1 episode of SmackDown, Jericho defeated Rowan to ban him from being at ringside for Wyatt's match at SummerSlam.[67] 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.[68] At SummerSlam, Wyatt defeated Jericho in a rematch.[69] and on the September 8 episode of Raw, Wyatt defeated Jericho once again in a Steel Cage match to end their feud. 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.[70] On the September 19 episode of SmackDown, The Wyatt Family members defeated Big Show and Los Matadores in there last match as a team before Wyatt let Harper & Rowan leave for singles compititon.[71] They were then taken off television.[72]

Harper and Rowan's liberation[edit]

On September 29, 2014, vignettes of Harper and Rowan being "set free", began to air.[73][74] 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.[75] Rowan returned on the October 31 episode of SmackDown,[76] while Harper returned on the November 10 episode of Raw, aligning himself with The Authority.[77] On the November 17 episode of Raw, Rowan joined Team Cena for Survivor Series, opposing Luke Harper.[78]

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.[79][80] Ambrose lost the match by disqualification after utilizing weapons, namely a table, a ladder and steel chairs.[81] At Survivor Series, Harper was one of the last men eliminated in Team Authority's loss against Rowan and Team Cena.[81] 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.[82]

On the December 8 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan faced each other in singles competition, with Harper ultimately getting himself disqualified.[83] On the January 5, 2015 episode of Raw, The Authority punished Rowan by putting him in a singles match against Harper, with Harper picking up the win after a discus clothesline and the help of J&J Security (Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury), who were the special guest referees for the match.[84] On the January 22 episode of SmackDown, Rowan and Harper once again competed against each other, this time in a 2015 Royal Rumble qualifying match, with Harper winning, thus not allowing Rowan to participate in the 2015 Royal Rumble match.[85] Despite this, Rowan appeared during the Rumble match, ambushing the #6 entrant Curtis Axel, to attack Harper, subsequently sparking a brief Wyatt Family reunion, along with Bray Wyatt, before all three men began to brawl.[86]

Harper and Rowan's reunion[edit]

On the May 7, 2015 episode of SmackDown, after Harper defeated Fandango, Rowan would come out, seemingly to confront Harper, but would instead attack Fandango, turning heel in the process.[87] On the May 11 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan would officially reunite, when Harper accompanied Rowan to his match against Fandango, which Rowan won after 30 seconds, and the two proceeded to double team Fandango after the match. On the May 18 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan teamed up to take on Fandango and Zack Ryder, which Rowan and Harper won after a superkick and full nelson slam combination.[88] On the May 21 episode of Main Event, Harper and Rowan defeated Fandango and Ryder in a rematch.[89] On the June 4 episode of SmackDown, Harper and Rowan cut a promo about being ostracized and stated they were a family.[90][91]

On the June 5 episode of Superstars, Harper and Rowan faced Los Matadores, in a tag team match, in which Harper and Rowan won with a Flapjack/Cutter combination, reminiscent of legendary tag team The Dudley Boyz's 3D finisher.[92] On the June 8 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan faced Los Matadores in a rematch, where they once again defeated them with a Flapjack/Cutter combination, which the announcers revealed was called The Way.[93] The Dudley Boyz would later respond to this.[94] On the June 19 episode of Superstars, Harper and Rowan defeated Los Matadores and The Ascension, in a triple threat tag team match.[95] During a match at a house show, Erick Rowan was injured, with reports saying he'll be out of action for 4–6 months.[96] On the June 23 episode of Main Event, Harper returned to singles competition when he defeated Cesaro, but not before cutting a promo where he said losing his tag team partner has made him more dangerous.[97][98]

Return of the Family[edit]

At Battleground on July 19, 2015, Harper interfered during Wyatt's match against Roman Reigns, helping him defeat Reigns and signaling the return of the stable.[99] During a post-Battleground interview, Wyatt stated: "To the world, say your prayers, lock your doors, the family has returned."[100] On the July 20 episode of Raw, Wyatt accompanied Harper in his match against Reigns. A brawl ensued during the match, after Wyatt interfered, and Reign's former Shield cohort Dean Ambrose got involved.[101][102] On the July 23 episode of SmackDown, Wyatt and Harper distracted Ambrose in his match against Sheamus, which caused Ambrose to lose.[103] On the August 6 edition of SmackDown, Reigns challenged Wyatt to a tag team match at SummerSlam, with Reigns and Ambrose facing Wyatt and Harper, which Wyatt accepted.[104] Wyatt and Harper would ultimately lose the match. On the August 24 episode of Raw, Wyatt and Harper fought Reigns and Ambrose in a SummerSlam rematch. During the match, Braun Strowman made his WWE debut, joining the Wyatt Family and helping Harper and Wyatt attack Reigns and Ambrose.[105] This led to a 6-man tag team match at Night of Champions between the Wyatts and Reigns, Ambrose, and a partner of their choosing. In the following weeks, the Wyatts would assault Randy Orton and Jimmy Uso for teaming with Reigns and Ambrose. At Night of Champions, Chris Jericho was revealed to be the mystery partner and the three lost due to poor teamwork between the team. On the September 21 episode of Raw, the Wyatts got into a brawl with Reigns, Ambrose, and a returning Randy Orton. The next week, Reigns and Wyatt wrestled a match with it ending in a double countout. During the eventual brawl, Wyatt tossed a WWE technical worker at Reigns and sent him through the barricade. Reigns then speared Wyatt through the announce table to end the show.

In wrestling[edit]

Wyatt preparing to perform Sister Abigail on Big E.
Wyatt performing his signature "spider walk".

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


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