When looking back at Bray Wyatt‘s professional wrestling career, one of the true highlights was his career has to be his interaction with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at WrestleMania 32, where the duo exchanged words on the mic before “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment” squashed Eric Rowen in six seconds in what is currently listed as his final wrestling match.
Discussing how this interaction came together with Steve Fall for WrestlingNewsCo, ex-WWE writer turned Seven Bucks Productions executive Brian Gewirtz how the angle came together and why he really wanted to put Wyatt over despite the squash win over Rowen.
“Even when we worked together at WrestleMania 32 with The Rock, we wanted to, I know taking to Rock, it was like, ‘This guy, Bray Wyatt, he doesn’t have a match. This is the promo we should be doing.’ That’s basically what we discussed with each other,” Brian Gewirtz said via Fightful. “Rock wanted to work with him, I wanted Rock to work with him. Bray obviously would be more than happy to do a segment with The Rock. But even when we put that segment together, it was like, ‘Alright, Bray, you’ll say your stuff, I’ll just let you do it. Because I’m certainly not writing anything for Bray Wyatt. Here’s the outline. Whatever you say, Rock will respond to.’ That’s sort of, it’s not necessarily a given with a lot of performers. A lot of performers can and do write their own promos. But Bray, from the start, from the incarnation of the Bray Wyatt character, it was all him putting forward the character, the aura, the mood, the atmosphere. He’s just really, really remarkable.”
Would the Wyatt Family have been just as over without a co-sign from “The Great One” at WrestleMania 32? Yes, Wyatt and his boys were very over in 2016 and were only going to get more so when Randy Orton joined in. Still, getting a vote of confidence from one of the best to ever do it has value, and remains an important part of the faction's story to this day as a result.
Brian Gewirtz explains Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson's WrestleMania 32 mindset.
Delving further into the promo and the intentionality surrounding it, Brian Gewirtz noted that when Dwayne “The Rock” Jonson agreed to get in the ring with Bray Wyatt and his family, priority number one wasn't to get a massive pop or to use a flamethrower, but instead to get the “Eater of Worlds” over, as the “Brahma Bull” wanted nothing more than to see his fellow third-generation Superstar shine.
“The other thing I would add is that in putting that promo together, the one key in that promo that we wanted to do, above everything else, is Rock putting Bray over. Usually, there’s this dynamic where the heel comes out, and maybe there’s a line, some lip service or whatever, of ‘Yeah, you’re a great athlete, but,’ blah blah blah, typically with a heel and babyface. But in this particular case, we had the spotlight on us. The world of wrestling is watching. This is a good opportunity for The Rock to really put over the dynamic personality, the magnetic presence, the fact that he’s supposedly a heel, and 101,000 people are holding up their cell phones,” Gewirtz said.
“I always thought, certainly at the time, at WrestleMania 32, that the Bray Wyatt character should transcend babyface/heel. He’s just this agent of chaos, and you can either like him or not like him. I don’t like that be as sometimes pigeon-holed as, ‘You gotta be a heel because wrestling is babyface and heels.’ I thought he was just an anomaly in the sense that he transcends that and is much more than that. So we definitely took that opportunity for The Rock, and the fans responded too, by the way. When The Rock’s talking about how he’s got the look, he’s got the charisma, he’s got this magnetic power about him, and of course, you can’t teach this stuff, and I couldn’t teach it, but Bray and Rock, with the presence to take that moment and take their time, acknowledge the crowd. They’re popping, they’re responding to it. There’s not a ‘What?’ in the building during the time where lots of ‘Whats’ would happen, where Bray and Rock would go back and forth. Everyone was truly listening to hear what they would have to say. So yeah, that was really great to be able to work on that promo with those guys.”
In hindsight, would it have been cool to see Wyatt and Johnson actually wrestle in the ring, even for a quickie, giving the former the potentially final win over the latter instead of Rowen? Sure, in hindsight, that would have been incredible for both men, but in the end, their shared promo is just as valuable.