Induction: The Swamp Fight – Creature from the Crap Lagoon

22 Submitted by on Fri, 19 March 2021, 20:00

WWE, 2020

At Extreme Rules 2020, the main event of Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt didn’t have a tough act to follow. All the Universal Champ and his ex-mentor had to do was to put on a match less embarrassing than that night’s Mysterio-Rollins match – a match where the object was to pluck out your opponent’s eyeball.

But despite the pay-per-view’s tag line, this match was anything but horrorshow, if you pony my slovos.

The match begins with Braun driving his SUV to an impossibly foggy stretch of woods. There, Bray Wyatt sits in his old rocking chair. After a brief stare-down, Bray performs one of his cheap parlor tricks, turning out all the lights.

Braun’s headlights, the on-set flood lights, the moon

When all those things turn back on, Bray is gone, marking Mysterious Bray disappearance #1.

Like the fans watching at home, Braun is just begging for some violence, so he takes out his aggressions on Bray Wyatt’s rocking chair.

Yeah, f*ck that chair!

Now it’s just Braun alone with the many wild beasts of the woods. Well, not real beasts, just stock footage of beasts. But they show up on camera all the same, and Braun is put on edge.

There’s a vulture…

…a wild boar…

…a… bunny rabbit? Sure, why not. But see, it’s symbolic: these are all real-life versions of Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Funhouse puppets.

Strowman is then attacked by two hooded men dressed as former WWE Superstars Luke Harper and Erick Rowan (the latter of whom having just been released at the start of the pandemic).

Braun fends off the bargain basement Bludgeon Brothers before getting hit with a shovel by another former Wyatt Family member…

…Braun Strowman. I think the symbolism here is that Braun is wearing a sheep mask, suggesting that Sister Abigail is Shari Lewis.

It’s a good thing WWE hadn’t released Strowman, too, otherwise he couldn’t have done this cameo.

After recovering from Braun Strowman loss of consciousness #1, the champ is chained up in a shack filled with such horrors as…

…an old Fisher Price car…

…and a jar of spare eyeballs from the Eye For An Eye match. Party City must have had a bulk discount that week.

But before he can escape, Braun must endure the greatest horror of all: a Bray Wyatt promo.

I hope you all held on to your old Bray Wyatt bingo cards!

“Together, we could be like ghawhds! We will rule this place, they will bow to us! [laughing] Oh how they will bow! And as societies crumble and governments fall, there we will be, ruling like was prophesized [sic]!”

One thing you might not expect from a Bray Wyatt promo is imagery lifted wholesale from Get Out.

Then comes Sister Abigail with a big ol’ snake that bites Braun, leading to Braun Strowman loss of consciousness #2.

Braun wakes up by a fire and is soon attacked by the fake Wyatts yet again…

…plus some third guy no one’s ever seen before or since. Braun easily disposes of the Wyatt Squad and kicks the new guy into the fire.

And he laughs and laughs. I can’t blame him – it was pretty funny watching this guy flail around, especially with all those camera cuts (18 in twelve seconds, to be exact). Did Kevin Dunn join the Wyatt Family, too?

Just then, a voice beckons Braun. It’s Jim Ross, yelling that bah gawd, that man has a family.

It’s Alexa Bliss, his old Mixed Match Challenge tag team partner, luring Braun to the dock with promises of a permanent Team LittleBig reunion. Braun should realize that this is just another trick conjured up by Bray Wyatt. After all, why is Alexa Bliss dressed up like an old widow?

Better question: Why is Alexa Bliss dressed up like a little girl?

While Braun stands around and stares, he’s blindsided by Mysterious Bray re-appearance #1.

Bray Wyatt, The Smoosher of Faces

Twelve minutes into the match, and the two opponents finally interact physically.

Strowman quickly chokeslams Wyatt onto a crash pad…

…which turns into a boat. Not a dilapidated boat, mind you.

The boat then scoots away on its own…

…only to come right back, without Wyatt (Mysterious Bray disappearance #2)

Braun inspects the boat and gets blindsided again by Wyatt (Mysterious Bray re-appearance #2)

This time, Wyatt drowns Strowman in the lily pad-infested water. Unlike a Monet painting, though, this pond is also swarming with alligators. At least that’s the impression WWE is trying to subliminally convey with all these unrelated shots of gators.

It’s the same technique Michael Scott used to seduce the Dave & Buster’s manager.

After 24 seconds and a staggering 27 camera cuts, it’s all over for Braun.

Or is it? A disoriented Braun emerges seconds later and takes a breather on the dock. Soon, the Monster Among Men is soon staring right up at Bray’s taint.

Bray beats down Braun with an axe handle and incessant flashes of Wyatt Family photo shoots. “AAAAAHHHH!” yells Bray, before telling Braun his favorite Taylor Swift song.

But Braun boots Bray into the water, from which he doesn’t resurface. (Mysterious Bray disappearance #3)

In an astounding display of hubris, WWE puts their copyright notice on screen to indicate that the match and the pay-per-view are over, when Bray Wyatt has already magically re-appeared twice in the past five minutes alone. But surely this is the end?

No! Combining horror movies’ love of false finishes with wrestling’s love of false finishes, the Eater of Worlds makes Mysterious Bray re-appearance #3. Bray pops out of the water, gives Strowman the mandible claw, and pulls him back into the water, where they both disappear. (Mysterious Bray disappearance #4)

Strowman struggles to stay afloat in the pond water (which we’ve already seen is only knee-deep) before sinking to the bottom. And so he died. Good thing his title wasn’t on the line.

The water then bubbles and turns red, paving the way for Mysterious Bray re-appearance #4. This time as The Fiend, Wyatt laughs evilly to close the show for realsies.

A lake that reincarnates people into different gimmicks? A night fight at a wrestler’s personal backwoods compound? Boats? If there were even a hint of humor in this self-important cinematic bout, I’d swear I was watching a Broken Matt Hardy match.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
22 Responses to "Induction: The Swamp Fight – Creature from the Crap Lagoon"
  1. Autrach Sejanoz says:

    Great induction, but there’s a slight mistake – you’ve put up the same picture of the vulture where the picture of the wild boar should be.

  2. Chris says:

    I get the feeling we’re about to see Randy Orton fight Randy Orton at the Fastlane PPV.
    Fans will finally feel justified in seeing the Legend Killer RKO Randy Orton.

  3. Dog Hands (Lee W.) says:

    Just when you thought anything involving Bray Wyatt couldn’t be any more confusing, they come up with this and it’s somehow gotten even more baffling since.

  4. Sean Bateman says:

    That match was worse than Honkymania in WCW.

  5. Jimbolian says:

    If the rule was every time someone gets thrown into a body of water, they have to switch gimmicks, we could’ve had Al Snow emerging from the Mississippi River as Avatar!

  6. C Boz says:

    Wrestlecrap definitely except one thing: the call back to the mixed tag team with Little Miss Bliss was quite good. Plus… Alexa Bliss. Did I mention Alexa Bliss?

  7. Kev says:

    I didn’t think this was too bad at the time. But then I had just watched Eye for an Eye. Loved how much WWE experimented last year but yeah, in retrospect this was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

  8. gregory says:

    “Yeah, f*ck that chair!”

    You can’t write fuck?

  9. CF says:

    At least it wasn’t filmed at a Universal property — if this had been Impact, someone would have been dealing with a Large Ill-Tempered Fish….

  10. Hulk6785 says:

    “At Extreme Rules 2020”

    No! It was The Horror Show At Extreme Rules. Because, that’s what that PPV needed: a needlessly long title that sounds a little ridiculous if you say it out loud.

  11. Thomas Moffatt says:

    I’ve just had a bad thought – a Bray Wyatt – Shane McMahon feud…

  12. Thomas Moffatt says:

    Another thought – the Horror Show was correct because it was a horror of a show…

  13. Christopher Haydu says:

    I assume referring to a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe as being from Fisher Price is meant to be symbolic, too. Great induction.

  14. Woke Smeed says:

    Bray Wyatt is like a 14-year-old edgy kid: he shops a Hot Topic, likes Slipknot and comes up with 137 different ideas and zero clue where to lead them. Remember when he rewatched his entire career during his hiatus and made a video compilation full of so-called hidden references and symbolism? Some idiots to this day still think it was all intentional from the getgo and a wonderfully crafted example of longterm storytelling hahaha. Most overrated talent ever as far as I’m concerned.

  15. Mr Forth says:

    I am not a fan of an of the Wyatt cinematic matches. Fell a little old fogey, but I prefer realism a little more than most.

  16. Mr Forth says:

    Am not a fan of any of Wyatt’s cinematic/heavily edited matches. I’d prefer the realism upped slightly. Though even that wouldn’t save this bout.

  17. Unknown says:

    I’ll just say this: the fact that Bray/The Fiend managed to survive both this AND the 2019 Hell in a Cell DQ finish with Seth Rollins (the 2019 Gooker winner) as a character says a lot about Bray, IMO…

    I wonder how Bray would be doing if he were in AEW (where his RL friend, the late Jon Huber (aka Luke Harper/Brodie Lee) wound up after being released from WWE)…

  18. ktownshutdown says:

    I think Bray could make a pretty good name for himself in the field of horror movies or comics or something; he’s clearly a passionate and ambitious guy when it comes to portraying these kinds of gimmicks. In fact I don’t think this was bad enough to warrant an induction (this endless Randy Orton shit, though…)

    But a lot of the time it just doesn’t seem to translate well to this medium. It doesn’t help that WWE can’t even write simple human stories without fucking them up, so of course they wouldn’t know what to do with a character like this. But I still keep finding myself rooting for them to work despite the odds. Hoping against hope that it all comes together as the psychological horror story that he wants it to be.

    I dunno, maybe I’m the kind of person that would rather take ambitious failure over the apathetic kind.

  19. Todd the Bod says:

    This “match” was sooo bad, but sadly it was better than Bray’s match with Orton at this year’s Wrestlemania. Terrible, terrible stuff.

leave a comment