Bray Wyatt on Brodie Lee, The Fiend, Uncle Howdy, Undertaker & more

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Ryan Satin’s latest guest on his FOX Sports’ show Out of Character is a big one — Bray Wyatt.

Whatever your feelings are on Wyatt as a pro wrestler/sports entertainer, Bray is a fascinating interview. Part of that’s because he so rarely gives them, and when he does it’s not always clear whether we’re hearing from Windham Rotunda the man or Bray Wyatt the character. There are portions of his chat with Satin that are undoubtedly about Rotunda’s life, but even some of those lines get blurred because they’re things Wyatt has used in WWE’s fictional world, too.

It’s difficult to play “work or shoot” with a Wyatt interview because he seems to have almost the same depth of feeling about what happens on screen as he does anything else — probably because he puts so much of himself into his process and performance.

Anyway, recommend giving the whole thing a listen here. There are enough pull quotes for a week’s worth of posts, but we’re going to put them together in this one for you.

Satin asked how Wyatt feels about 2022 return to the WWE after his 2021 release:

“I think there’s a part of any athlete when you’re away from something for so long. There’s something in the back of your head that’s like, ‘Am I still it? Am I what I am, what I should be?’ I think that for the majority since I’ve been back, I was kind of there in a sense, and as the weeks progressed, I’ve really started to kind of come into my own again and start to remember why I do this and how much it means to me to be out there and perform at things like the Royal Rumble. So the closer I’ve gotten, I’ve really started to sink my teeth into being what I should be.”

Bray spoke about his other options, and why he chose to return:

“I had opportunities to do really cool things, movies and TV shows and stuff, and I just — I wouldn’t because I felt broken. It was like there was something that was just shut off, and I didn’t understand why. It was literally people telling me, and just keeping me alive and dragging me back, telling me, ‘You should still do this. We miss you.’

“I didn’t feel that way at first. I felt damaged, and that kind of gave me the strength to kind of build back out and explode. So it was geared for them.”

Some of that worked its way into the promos he’d delivered since coming back at last year’s Extreme Rules show, as did the losses he experienced in his personal life while he was away. He opened up more about dealing with those — especially Brodie Lee, who was as Luke Harper was a member of Bray’s Wyatt Family act:

“There was so much going on and it came out of nowhere. I wasn’t prepared for any of that. I lost Brodie. I lost my best friend from college, Mark. It was something that I didn’t deal with very well. Brodie’s wife, Amanda, dealt with it. The kids dealt with it better than me.

“There’s something there that reminds me of him every single day. I think that time period was such a conundrum for me. I wasn’t myself and it took me a while to remember what makes me, me.

“It was a long journey, man. But it’s led me here into this moment, and this is the best I’ve ever felt.”

He said that the cult leader character who shared the screen with Brodie can’t come back without his friend. Bray also says that despite recent teases, The Fiend character is also “dead”:

“For me, the Hawaiian shirt Bray, who he was — he can’t be without Brodie, to me. I can’t be that without Brodie. It’s just not the same, and it’s disrespectful to my best friend. It’s — it just can’t be without him.

“But The Fiend died that day in Tampa, Florida at WrestleMania [37] to me. And again, The Fiend is not just a goof in a mask like people think. That’s just ridiculous [laughs]. To me, it’s so much more. And once you see where all these things come from. How they sculpt me, how they molded me as a human being — but he died that day to me. And it can never be again. It’s gone.”

Speaking about the Uncle Howdy character that’s been integral to his current run, Wyatt revealed more about why these things aren’t “goofs in a mask” to him:

“There’s things about me that people don’t understand. When they see all these chapters in myself, they kind of look at them as ‘Oh, like split personalities or something like that.’ If you ever met anyone with personalities, you would see that it’s not so cut and dry. It’s not so simple. It’s not like a movie.

“I suffer from a diagnosis that I’m not going to share with people, and I like being the voice for people to see on a real basis instead of a cartoonish version. But Uncle Howdy and Bray and all these things, these are all real. They’re based on moments and things that have really happened.

“The Uncle Howdy, there’s so much more to it than you think. It’s not just so cut and dry, the spooky man in the background. There’s more to it. There’s complexities that you haven’t got to see yet. There’s things that I don’t understand about it, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s going to grow organically, but the story of it, I don’t even think has been told yet. Once you understand what it really is and where it came from, in my childhood, and who Howdy really is, it’s much deeper than you think it is, then you would perceive it to be.”

Regarding current business, Bray is like his opponent, LA Knight, in that he doesn’t know what they’re walking into tomorrow (Jan. 28) when they face off in a Mountain Dew Pitch Black match. He’s looking forward to it regardless:

“I think that’s kind of the beauty of it. Usually in these kinds of situations, there’s all this crazy mysticism surrounding it and it all seems to be kind of derived from my mind, but this one is not like that.

“It’s kind of cool, being thrust in a position where I genuinely don’t know what the Pitch Black match is going to be like. I’ve been assured that it’s unlike anything that’s ever been seen before and I can’t imagine that. I love to innovate. I love to take risks and do things that everyone else wouldn’t dare to do because I’m half an idiot and half a genius, I guess. But I have no idea and I think that’s exciting for me. It’s cooler that way. I’d rather just walk into the unknown. It’s what I’m best at, I think.”

And, hey, what did Undertaker whisper in your ear at Raw XXX?

“I think everybody kind of can see it for what it was, right? When something like that happens, that’s something that no one can take away from me. That moment belongs to me. No one else in the world, in the history of time, ever gets to have that moment. No one but me.

“What he said was something that only I would have understood, and something that only I would be able to appreciate for when and where it happened. It was something I never thought would come, but what he said exactly is between me, him, God, and the devil. I’ll never, never tell a soul. I’ll go to my grave with it.

“But it was powerful and it was unexpected. Very, very cool. Something that I will cherish the rest of my life.”

Listen to the entire Bray Wyatt edition of Out of Character here.


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