The road to WrestleMania 39 has been compelling in many ways so far. Cody Rhodes, after leaving WWE’s first real competition in more than twenty years, is finally getting his shot against Undisputed WWE Universal Champion and the current face of WWE, Roman Reigns. The added elements of Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and the multiple members of The Bloodline have only helped to keep things fresh around the main event picture. Hell, even Omos and Brock Lesnar seemed to garner some interest in their mildly anticipated confrontation after a monstrous showdown on Raw. And then, there’s Bray Wyatt.
It is hard to argue that there was a hotter free agent in 2022 than Bray Wyatt. His release from WWE prompted outrage and speculation among pro wrestling fans with many wondering who would be able to sign the merchandising machine that is Wyatt. Some hoped that Wyatt would leap to AEW or NJPW, possibly pushing his persona darker, but in the end, it was WWE, under the new creative leadership of Triple H, that was able to lure Wyatt back to his fireflies.
The opportunities for a revived Wyatt in WWE seemed limitless and his return at WWE Extreme Rules was well-received. Incarnations of his puppets had been brought to life and buzz began to make the rounds that a Wyatt 6 stable could be on the horizon. Since then, a lot has changed, and many have begun to scratch their heads. Wyatt was supposed to get his groove back in a program with LA Knight but instead, it seems Knight walked away with more momentum following their disastrous Pitch Black match at the Royal Rumble.
Hoping to get things back on track, WWE began having Wyatt confront one of Raw’s top heels, Bobby Lashley, over the fact he is a “muscle man” with big muscles, we think. As the energy around the program seemingly waned, Wyatt was mysteriously absent from WWE’s latest Madison Square Garden show this past Sunday, which he had been advertised for. Fightful reports that the reason for Wyatt’s absence, according to what WWE creative has been told, is that he is currently sidelined with an illness. For that reason, Wyatt has not been present for recent WWE live events and television.
As Wyatt struggles to keep WWE fans’ attention, the potential for further sidelining on the road to WrestleMania certainly casts a dark cloud. Further clouding a murky forecast, Lashley took to social media on Monday to vaguely state, “I’ve worked too hard to be denied. I will be ready to fight on the biggest stage of them all, #WrestleMania. I don’t care who it is, somebody will feel the wrath of the All-Mighty.”