In a moving tribute to the late Bray Wyatt, also known as Windham Rotunda, AEW star Swerve Strickland recently donned gear inspired by Rotunda's iconic character during the intense Texas Death Match at AEW Full Gear. Strickland's homage not only honored Wyatt's legacy but also reflected the essence of fear, a theme central to both performers' personas.
Speaking on "Notsam Wrestling," Strickland delved into his admiration for Wyatt, particularly for the innovative and daring approach Wyatt brought to wrestling. "I remember when The Fiend was really going, there was a lot of chatter that it wasn't for them, as a fan.
I was like, 'No, this is brilliant work,'" Strickland explained. He emphasized how Wyatt's creativity and risk-taking in developing 'The Fiend' character reshaped the wrestling landscape, a feat that didn't always receive the recognition it deserved.
Wyatt's Lasting Legacy
Strickland highlighted Wyatt's unique contribution to the genre, particularly his ability to sustain the captivating 'The Fiend' persona across WWE's flagship shows, "WWE Raw" and "WWE SmackDown." Wyatt's integration of horror elements into wrestling, coupled with his positive influence backstage, left an indelible mark on the industry.
The AEW Full Gear event was a significant platform for Strickland to express his respect for Wyatt, especially in the context of his feud with "Hangman" Adam Page. Strickland's invasion of Page's home was a storyline moment reminiscent of Wyatt's psychological warfare.
"I just wanted to show appreciation that the love and influence wasn't lost," Strickland said, underscoring his affinity for horror and appreciation for Wyatt's trailblazing role in bringing a new era of horror to wrestling.
"I'm a horror person, and I was really happy to see a new age of horror brought to the screen in an industry that I love and I was like, 'Man, that was revolutionary.' I wanted to take a little piece of that into what I was doing [at Full Gear].
If anything, I feel like his spirit powered that match." Strickland's gesture at AEW Full Gear serves as a poignant reminder of Wyatt's profound impact on professional wrestling, a legacy that continues to inspire and influence performers and fans alike.