Bray Wyatt, a professional wrestler recognized for having one of the most imaginative minds and pushing the envelope with unique characters, passed away on Thursday at the age of 36, according to a post made on social media by WWE Chief Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque.
Wyatt, whose true name was Windham Rotunda, had been out of the WWE for a number of months due to an unexplained health issue.
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Bray Wyatt dies at age 36
He had been a member of WWE since 2009, with the exception of the brief period in 2021 and 2022 when he was unexpectedly let off.
In September of last year, Rotunda made his comeback to WWE amid great fanfare and a suspenseful plot that included cryptic vignettes.
Windham Rotunda, also known as Bray Wyatt, unexpectedly passed away earlier today, Levesque posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
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“Just received a call from WWE Hall of Famer Mike Rotunda who informed us of the tragic news,” he said. We ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy at this time because our thoughts are with them.
From a wrestling family, Rotunda hailed. His father Mike became well-known in the WWE as Irwin R. Schyster and in other promotions using either his real name or the ring name Michael Wallstreet.
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Barry Windham, Rotunda’s uncle, was one of the most well-known wrestlers of the 1980s and the early 1990s and a former employee of the illustrious Four Horsemen stable.
Taylor, Rotunda’s brother, has previously gone by the ring name Bo Dallas when competing for WWE.
JoJo Offerman, a former WWE ring announcer, and Windham Rotunda were wed. In addition to the two children they had together, Rotunda also had two children from a prior union.
He had held the titles of both WWE champion and WWE Universal champion twice.
Rotunda was introduced to Bray Wyatt, a crazy swampland cult leader who attracted followers with a diabolical appeal, after beginning in WWE’s developmental program as the persona Husky Harris.
In 2014, he and his Wyatt Family—Erick Rowan and the late Luke Harper, whose real name was Jonathan Huber—came to the WWE main roster to much hoopla. NXT is the WWE’s developmental brand.
At that time, Rotunda was regarded as one of the cast’s most talented actors, particularly when it came to sharing a narrative aloud.
He began utilizing the expression “follow the buzzards” and the song line “he’s got the whole world in his hands.”
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Fans held up their cellphone lights throughout his entrances, his ominous music playing as the arena was enveloped in darkness before he emerged with a lamp.
In 2019, Rotunda reimagined himself as the otherworldly figure The Fiend while donning a horrific clown mask from a horror film.
The Fiend, Bray Wyatt’s sinister alter ego, wrestled in place of him in the family-friendly antics known as Firefly Funhouse. Most of these were detailed, original concepts that Rotunda came up with on his own.
Due to its almost indestructible status in the ring, The Fiend was a divisive figure, but it was also a creative leap and one of the most captivating things to appear on WWE television at the time.
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As the former Bray Wyatt, a good-guy figure who was reportedly haunted by prior monsters like The Fiend and Uncle Howdy, Rotunda made a comeback to WWE last year after being dismissed in 2021.
When Rotunda went off the air due to health problems in February, the plot was still being developed.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted on Thursday on X, “Always had immense respect and love for him and the Rotunda family.
“I like his presence, his promos, his in-ring work, and his connection to the WWE community. Character that is very uncommon, cool, and difficult to create in the pro wrestling business.
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