The superstar shakeup following Wrestlemania 33 felt rushed and unplanned. Almost like Vince McMahon said “Alright guys, let’s shake things up.” But creative said, “Uh, Vince, what about everything we have been working on?” Anyways, superstars were shaken up, some for the better, but others may have been put in a position much more difficult to succeed.
Bray Wyatt finally won his first WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber, pinning both AJ Styles and John Cena to win the gold. Wyatt carrying the gold into Wrestlemania proved that WWE had faith in him to work a championship match on the grandest stage of them all.
Wyatt’s feud with now current champion Randy Orton went on for months and at times was brilliant. Orton planted a seed in the Wyatt family and eventually split them up, forcing Erik Rowan and Luke Harper to branch off into singles competitors. But there is till very much a storyline there that has a lot left to be told. Until now. Wyatt and Orton will likely finish their program at Payback in the “House of Horrors” match. And then what?
Last year’s brand split allowed Wyatt to become a WWE Champion. Without the split, there is now way he is given that opportunity despite fans getting behind his gimmick. And Smackdown proved to be the perfect place. Thin with “top guys,” Wyatt worked his way to the top, earned a title shot, won it in impressive fashion, and then quickly handed it over to Randy Orton just months later.
Instead of giving Wyatt and the Wyatt family a chance to rebuild and reclaim, we now have Bray Wyatt buried on the Raw roster where he will have a tough mountain to climb to get back to that number one contender status.
While it’s early, the move to Raw for Wyatt seems forced and he will likely be lost in the shuffle moving forward. Wyatt winning the strap on Smackdown was refreshing and many believe it was well-deserved. Instead, we get another Miz-Ambrose program for the IC Title on Raw, and an Orton-Mahal feud for the WWE Championship on Smackdown. To me, it’s disappointing. But to be fair, we don’t know what the plans are for Wyatt following Payback.