Bray Wyatt demonstrated he seeks Roman Reigns’ destruction by any means necessary — even if it requires the assistance of a prodigal son.
Buoyed by the unexpected return of Luke Harper to his side, The Eater of Worlds secured victory at WWE Battleground on Sunday in his hotly-contested match against Reigns. Moments after a disguised Harper attacked a distracted Reigns, Wyatt executed a ring-rattling Sister Abigail, assuring he would leave Scottrade Center in St. Louis as a winner.
While the history of their rivalry dates back quite a while, their latest chapter commenced at the climactic stage of Money in the Bank 2015. Wyatt materialized in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match’s closing moments to guarantee a loss in the clash for Reigns, who prevented the enigmatic Superstar from seizing a spot in the bout weeks earlier. The Eater of Worlds then proceeded to terrorize the master of the Superman Punch with a series of very personal mind games, including a devious trap involving a doppelganger.
Asked to justify his choice of target, Wyatt explained the former Shield strongman’s upward career trajectory was premature and undeserved. The Eater of Worlds further elaborated, explaining directly to his rival that the spoils of early success should belong to “anyone but [Reigns].”
When the bell finally rang on the long-awaited encounter, the two combatants nearly negated each other’s size and strength. Wyatt, standing at 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds, struggled in the match’s early moments to overpower his hated foe, whose height is identical and weight is merely 20 pounds lighter.
Every Reigns shoulder tackle led to a well-timed punch by The Eater of Worlds. Every Wyatt punch seemingly set him up for a Samoan Drop or Spear attempt by Reigns.
Wyatt’s ruthless tactics helped him build a great deal of momentum, which certainly boosted his in-ring confidence if not his prospects for victory at WWE Battleground. After connecting a sinister suplex and back splash on Reigns, the cryptic competitor applied a cruel chin lock to his opponent and then proceeded to taunt the capacity crowd in St. Louis. “He failed you,” Wyatt said over and over, hoping to prove his prophecy of Reigns’ demise true.
Whereas Reigns found a second wind late in the bout, a brief lapse in concentration ultimately cost him the match. As he elected to follow in Wyatt’s depraved footsteps by loading the ring with steel chairs, Reigns never saw the disguised figure that attacked him on the ringside floor.
Wyatt did, delivered a Sister Abigail to secure the victory, and then kneeled proudly in the ring as the mysterious man removed his hooded sweatshirt, revealing himself as none other than Wyatt Family castoff Luke Harper.
Despite the controversial circumstances under which it occurred, Bray Wyatt’s victory at WWE Battleground marks the first time he has defeated Reigns in one-on-one competition since February 2014.
Meanwhile, Reigns’ troubles at WWE special events continue, as he can only claim one win since his WWE World Heavyweight Championship dream was denied at WrestleMania 31.