Why Mick Foley Calls Late WWE Star Windham Rotunda (Aka Bray Wyatt) A 'Genius'

The sudden passing of Windham Rotunda (aka Bray Wyatt) has left the professional wrestling world in a state of mourning. Wyatt established himself as one of the most creative and unique acts of the modern era, becoming successful with multiple different characters throughout his decade-long run on WWE's main roster. 


Hardcore legend Mick Foley was a huge supporter of Wyatt's career and spoke on the latest edition of "Foley Is Pod" about the late star being the one man who would draw his attention as a lapsed wrestling fan. 

"I thought he was a genius, I really did ... I thought so highly of him," Foley said. "When my children were all watching and I would watch too, I would watch it — kind of in the background and I would multitask — it was really Bray Wyatt that would make me put all my stuff down and I would just sit and stare at that screen and I was transfixed. I think that's the way so many people were when they watched him. Aside from everything he did in the ring, he was really a great presence backstage. I think the world would have realized sooner or later that this was a really nice man."


Whether it was as the backwoods cult leader of The Wyatt Family or the split personality of the Firefly Funhouse and The Fiend gimmick, his legacy will be that of someone who revolutionized the industry through storytelling inside and outside of the ring. Wyatt was honored on the latest episodes of "WWE SmackDown" and "WWE Raw," while many wrestlers on the AEW All In card at Wembley Stadium paid tribute to Wyatt on Sunday. 

Mick Foley reflects on his influence on Bray Wyatt

While the different versions of Bray Wyatt's character in WWE could be attributed to many performers of the past, there were undoubtedly glimpses of Mick Foley mixed in there, as well as the likes of Terry Funk and The Undertaker. With the eerie cadence of his promos and his unmatched mannerisms from bell to bell, Wyatt was able to make fans feel something that few others in history have been able to achieve.


Foley recounted two distinct moments he shared with Wyatt during various stages of his iconic career, including the story of passing down his famous Mandible claw finisher.

"When he was at TV, he told me that he'd been working on something and he'd been doing these promos in a rocking chair and he alluded to the promo I cut on Randy Orton ... I only did it once and it's there for the taking. It made me so proud to see him in that rocking chair and that I may have influenced that in some way," Foley said.

"I think the biggest thing for me in Bray's career was Paul Heyman calling me up and saying, 'Cactus, we'd like to give Bray Wyatt the Mandible claw.' And I said, 'I love it,' and then he said, 'We'd like you to take it' ... I loved that even more. Every once in a while after a big match, he would pull me aside and point out the match where he got an idea from," said the Hall of Famer.


Foley last appeared on WWE programming alongside Wyatt four years ago in the aforementioned segment, which saw The Fiend adopt the Mandible Claw and give the move to the former three-time world champ, before placing it on countless other superstars in the years to come.