For the past year in WWE, there has been an influx of new talent that have come in and made major impacts in rapid fashion. When The Shield arrived last year, it appeared like three of the top talents from FCW in Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins were being given a major yet mysterious role as they were attacking main event stars and seemingly had a much bigger purpose that would be explained later. Here we are almost a year later and The Shield is still in the spotlight with all of the members even holding championships, but their back story still hasn't been (and probably never will be) explained. All the while, a new trio burst on to the scene with a psychological thriller of a back story that seems to keep getting deeper.
The Wyatt Family made their TV debut through a series of vignettes that seemed to be straight out of a Rob Zombie movie. A "family" of psychotic hillbillies that appeared to be members of some sort of backwoods cult. The leader, Bray Wyatt, had appeared in WWE as "Husky Harris" in previous years but had returned to FCW to develop the "Bray Wyatt" character which was a total throwback to the days when characters in WWE were around every corner. The character definitely has similarities to "Max Cady" from the film "Cape Fear," and is also similar to the "Waylon Mercy" character portrayed by Dan Spivey in the 90s in WWE. Word has it that Dusty Rhodes had a major hand in creating the Wyatt Family gimmick, which if true would make sense as to why they are so different than typical WWE rookies. Wyatt is accompanied by Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, two big bruiser types who are also unique throwbacks to the big men brawlers you would regularly see in the 80s.
By the time The Wyatt Family finally debuted, fans had seen so many vignettes for them and the hype had been built so well, the place erupted in cheers as they made their unique entrance from the darkness. Since then, the group has demolished everyone in their path, including taking out Kane at SummerSlam which really put them over as a force to be reckoned with. Now the main focus for the group has been more cryptic vignettes that seem to be setting up for Kane to either join the group, or return to continue their feud.
While The Shield has stayed strong and won many big matches over the year, their new role as henchmen for Triple H seems rather odd. The big question after they debuted was whether they were hired by CM Punk, Paul Heyman, or another mysterious source. They claimed to be out for "justice" and attacked when they saw an "injustice" taking place. All of those ideas would've played well into a bigger story, but it seems like they just turned into guys that prefer entering arenas from the crowd for no apparent reason. While being Triple H's go-to guys on TV isn't a bad spot, seeing a solid back story on the group and why they've changed their tune now would've been nice.
The only possible downfall of The Wyatt Family in the long run is their "less than WWE" appearance. It's been a long time since guys in non traditional gear and non-bodybuilder bodies went very far in WWE. The Wyatts have been great so far since they've been utilized mostly as an attraction, but with so many hours of WWE TV every week, we hope they don't fall victim to becoming "regular guys" who are seen every week in matches. Bray Wyatt is a unique character that could have memorable feuds in WWE if he continue to be used correctly, but seeing WWE put him in the main event picture would be a surprise given their history.
The Shield and The Wyatt Family are on opposite ends of the spectrum as characters. Speculation on a WrestleMania match between the two factions has already drummed up much talk about how great a clash of the two would be. The new era approach of The Shield vs. the throwback brawler/character oriented style of The Wyatt Family is something that could potentially have some great build up leading to a match. The real question is, who do you believe will go further and have more of a sustainable run in WWE over the next few years, The Shield or The Wyatt Family.