Professional wrestling took some hard hits this past week. Just one day after the loss of the legendary wrestling stalwart Terry Funk, WWE’s Chief Content Officer Triple H took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce the sudden and tragic death of Windham Rotunda, better known to WWE fans as Bray Wyatt.
Just received a call from WWE Hall of Famer Mike Rotunda who informed us of the tragic news that our WWE family member for life Windham Rotunda - also known as Bray Wyatt - unexpectedly passed earlier today. Our thoughts are with his family and we ask that everyone respect their…— Triple H (@TripleH) August 24, 2023
This news took many fans by surprise, myself among them. As reported by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, Rotunda died of a heart attack after a long recovery from COVID earlier this year. He was 36 years old.
Windham was one of the most unique and captivating performers in the history of WWE. As a third generation wrestling superstar, Windham was given the tall task of carving his own legacy without relying on his family name. And MAN did he ever. While he had spent the first couple years of his WWE career trying out various gimmicks and characters, he finally found his stride as the sinister bayou cult leader Bray Wyatt.
Bray was a force to be reckoned with right from the start. He’d slowly saunter to the ring with the arena caked in darkness, lighting the way with his lantern. And once he was in the ring and a mic was in his hands, that’s when the real fun began. Bray had an indescribable aura that drew you in immediately, and his promos had you hanging on to his every word.
I was drawn to the Bray Wyatt gimmick immediately, and that was 100% due to Windham’s commitment to his character. He exuded mystique in every word and movement, and completely lost himself in the role. It’s a level of dedication and creativity that sets the best apart from the rest. I was completely devastated by the news of Windham’s passing, and I’m just a fan. I can’t imagine the pain his family and friends must be going through.
So to celebrate the life and legacy of Bray Wyatt, I’m going to look at his most memorable, most awe-inspiring moments in WWE: