Bray Wyatt, one of WWE’s most unique talents in recent years, has died. He was 36.
Wyatt’s death was confirmed via X (formerly Twitter) by WWE’s Triple H. The company’s Chief Content Officer wrote, “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 privacy at this time.”
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
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com later shared about Wyatt’s cause of death, “I was given permission to reveal that earlier this year Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt) got COVID that exacerbated a heart issues. There was a lot of positive progress towards a return and his recovery. Unfortunately today he suffered a heart attack and passed away.”
He added, “I encourage those reading to respect the family’s privacy if at all possible, but his loved ones wanted some details clarified.”
I encourage those reading to respect the family's privacy if at all possible, but his loved ones wanted some details clarified— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) August 25, 2023
Wyatt came from a wrestling family. His father, Mike Rotunda, was best known as Irwin R. Schyster in the then-WWF. His uncles, Barry and Kendall Windham, were best known for their work in WCW. Wyatt’s grandfather was legendary wrestler Blackjack Mulligan. His brother is best known for his work in NXT and WWE as Bo Dallas.
Wyatt’s time in WWE began in 2009 in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), the promotion’s precursor to their development territory of NXT. He briefly partnered with his brother, Bo, as a tag team called The Rotundo Brothers. In 2010, he took on the new ring name of Husky Harris and notably joined the WWE stable The Nexus. His tenure in the stable was short-lived, and he returned to FCW.
Things started to turn around in 2012 with the debut of the Bray Wyatt persona. A soft-spoken man with an eerie presence, Wyatt was a backwoods cult-leader figure who was the head of the faction called The Wyatt Family. The faction lasted from 2012-2014 and 2015-2017. Its main members included Luke Harper (aka: AEW’s Mr. Brodie Lee, who died in 2020), Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman. Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan (AEW’s Bryan Danielson) were also briefly members of The Wyatt Family.
Wyatt evolved his character’s persona in 2019 when he became a bizarre children’s program host of a segment called “Firefly Fun House.” A dark side of this persona emerged at this time, known as “The Fiend.” The dark side donned a horror-inspired mask. In 2020, Bray Wyatt formed an alliance with Alexa Bliss that stretched into 2021.
Wyatt will forever be remembered for the unique theatrics, presentation and storytelling he brought to the WWE. One of the greatest examples of his creativity came during WrestleMania 36 in the cinematic match known as the “Firefly Fun House Match” against John Cena.