What just happened? No seriously, what just happened? It’s about 8 hours since the House of Horrors match between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton happened and I STILL can’t comprehend what I watched. If you didn’t see WWE Payback yet and are curious about what happened in that match, allow me to fill you in.
As you know, Bray challenged Randy Orton to a “House of Horrors” match at the Raw exclusive Pay-Per-View, Payback. In the beginning, I was excited for it because for one, it would be a mixed brand match at a Raw exclusive event; Bray was drafted to Raw in the shakeup. Two, I was hoping this would be a great chance for Bray to get the title back. I felt he lost it way too soon, but you know how the powers at be are.
In the weeks leading up to the House of Horrors, there was a lot of wrestling gossip outlets that speculated that even the higher ups in WWE management had no idea what a ‘House of Horrors’ match actually was. I tried not to believe in the hype, but each week when Bray cut a promo talking about the match it became clear that whatever this match was going to be was still up in the air. It wasn’t until one of my regular wrestling news sites dropped a number that the match was going to be in two parts: one part was going to be pre-recorded at a “haunted house” and the other was going to somehow finish into the ring. Okay. I’m confused. Logistically, I get how it’ll work but how would that work storyline wise? Where is this house? Is it conveniently located near San Jose, California so the drive to San Jose won’t be long? Will the winner be declared at the house or in the ring? Hoping this was just some speculated gossip, I hoped what happened at Payback would answer my questions. It didn’t.
As the gossip said, the match was done in two parts. The match took place in a house in Somewhere, USA. The rules, I assume, were fight in the house and whoever makes it back to the ring wins. It was obviously pre-recorded and the worst of it all, it wasn’t as spooky and eerie as the “Sister Abigail House” that Randy Orton burned down awhile back; that was most disappointing honestly. Bray and Randy fought all over the house and each room was odd, but the cheapest room was this room with weird baby dolls hanging from the ceiling. They weren’t creepy enough; I guess I was hoping for some story about how they were dolls Sister Abigail mutilated when she was a child or whatever, but nope. All in all, the house looked like a really bad haunted house. There wasn’t much backstory on it and it just didn’t give me ‘creepy old man from the bayou’ vibes.
After smashing and surprise jumps from around the corner, Bray managed to knock a refrigerator onto Randy. He made his getaway using the limo Randy arrived in and told the driver “to the arena.” That alone was odd because the driver drove him to the correct arena in San Jose, California. Bray made it to the ring after the Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe match and he appeared to be the victor until Randy Orton pulled a Bray, if you will, and appeared behind him. The match continued and while I was trying to organize my confusion, Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers interfered. In the end, thanks to Jinder Mahal using Randy’s stolen belt to knock him out Bray was able to hit the Sister Abigail and win the match.
I’m glad Bray won, I’m sad it wasn’t for the title. The match overall was confusing and just not what I wanted or felt well planned. As I said earlier, if you buy into the gossip about the powers that be not knowing what to do with this match…those rumors were true. The proof is in how the pre-recorded half went. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with pre-recording parts of matches or things of the sort, it happens all the time in wrestling. The “Sister Abigail House” segment was obviously pre-recorded and it was great. The house had the mysterious, eerie vibe that closely mimics Bray Wyatt as a character.
When I think of the vibe that Bray channels and what a “House of Horrors” could look like, I think of the backdrops for movies like The Skeleton Key or The Reaping; movies that have a heavy dose of that New Orleans, Creole, voodoo kind of feeling. I wanted to see lanterns or flickering lights, random doll heads with crossed out eyes or voodoo dolls, a worn down house that looked abandoned but with some weird elements of being someone’s home; something that let me peek into what goes on in Bray Wyatt’s head. I got none of that from the match and I was just left with a lot of questions. The match had a lot of potential and it was nothing but a confusing let down. The small upside is that Bray Wyatt won. I doubt the powers that be will let him have another swing at Randy, but maybe this will lead to a better programming between Bray Wyatt and Finn Balor. I would kill to see what the Eater of Worlds does to bring out the Demon King.