Former three-time world champion Bray Wyatt released by WWE after 12 years with promotion

by 24USATVJuly 31, 2021, 8 p.m. 22
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WWE announced the shocking release of Bray Wyatt on Saturday afternoon, ending a long tenure of the wrestler, who'd seen success as the leader of the Wyatt Family as well as under his more recent persona as "The Fiend."

Wyatt is a three-time world champion in WWE, having held the universal title twice and the WWE championship once. He debuted in NXT in 2010 -- during the period the show was more reality competition than wrestling brand -- as Husky Harris and briefly had a place in the Nexus faction before returning to WWE developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling for character retooling.

Wyatt, the son of former WCW and WWE star Mike Rotunda and nephew of Barry Windham, then took on the Bray Wyatt persona, leader of a southern swamp cult featuring Luke Harper, Erik Rowan and, eventually, Braun Strowman. The group fast became a top act in NXT -- now a developmental territory rebrand of FCW -- and WWE upon their move to the main roster in 2013.

In 2019, Wyatt debuted his new character, retaining his name but hosting a sinister children's program titled the "Firefly Fun House" and with a dark, near-invincible alter ego of The Fiend. The change in gimmick led to even more success for Wyatt and re-established him as a top player in WWE.

He last wrestled at WrestleMania 37 in April, losing a confusingly short match against Randy Orton. While he made one appearance in a "Firefly Fun House" segment after the event, Wyatt had almost entirely disappeared from WWE programming in the months leading to his release.

With Wyatt's release, no member of the original Wyatt Family remains under WWE contract.

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