WRESTLING NEWS
Facts About Bray Wyatt Only Hardcore Fans Know
By BENJAMIN FALBO
His Ideas While Growing Up
Bray Wyatt (real name Windham Rotunda) is a third-generation wrestler, the son of Mike Rotunda AKA Irwin R. Schyster and the grandson of Blackjack Mulligan. Having grown up in a wrestling family, Rotunda noted, “When I was a child, I thought everyone was a wrestler. I thought when you went to work, you went to go wrestle.”
A Different Career Path
Rotunda had earned a football scholarship to Troy University, and it was during this time that he wanted to major in the field of broadcast journalism. However, this career path didn’t come to pass, as Rotunda dropped out just 27 credits shy of his bachelor’s degree to pursue his true passion of pro wrestling.
Rough Beginnings at WWE
During his initial days in WWE, Rotunda was repackaged at Husky Harris and given a slot on “NXT” in 2010, eventually joining the Nexus faction. On a 2011 episode of “Raw,” Randy Orton punted Harris in the head, writing him off the television, and sending him back to WWE’s developmental system for some necessary refurbishing.
A Jason Voorhees Rip Off
While in the WWE developmental system, Rotunda began utilizing horror imagery by wearing a pseudo-Slipknot mask, and he adopted the name Axl Mulligan. This was when Rotunda began showing traits that he’d later use as Bray Wyatt, including the bizarre crab walk, and his pose while slumped in the corner.
The Original Gimmick
Rotunda wasn’t the first to adopt the southern preacher gimmick made famous by the character of Max Cady in the 1991 movie “Cape Fear,” as veteran wrestler Dan Spivey had created the Waylon Mercy persona, also drawing inspiration from Cady. Rotunda revealed that Spivey had happily bequeathed the character to him during a Performance Center visit.