Bray Wyatt doesn’t use his social media that often, but when he does, it usually sets my gears turning. Today, as I sat at my new work desk, hastily trying to down my coffee like it was a shot of Tequila (oh, that it were) I scrolled past the following tweet. It made me stop – I even reread it a couple of times before I hit “quote tweet”. And this blog post was born.
Now, full disclaimer: I am not a religious person. I don’t follow any religious doctrine. I did, however, take an English class in college that was taught by a Jewish professor and titled “The Bible as Literature”. It broke down the text of the Bible’s old testament in the same way students analyze the text of a novel or a play. It was, hands down, the most fascinating class I took my entire time as an undergraduate and I think Professor Steinberg would really like what I’m about to say in regards to Bray’s tweet. (Ted Steinberg, if you’re reading this: please start watching WWE and look out for Becky Lynch. Her puns rival your own.)
Those of you who are dedicated, or old-school, wrestling fans know already that the original “Four Horsemen” are Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, and Tully Blanchard, circa mid-1980’s NWA. The name is attributed to a promo Arn cut referencing the biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which is specifically what Bray is talking about here and not the wrestling faction. For those of you without any bible study in your past, here is the text of Revelation 6:1-8 in which the Four Horsemen are referenced, broken down by verse.
6 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Just a bit of backstory, first. Revelations is narrated by John the Apostle, and in the sixth chapter, John sees a book with seven seals which a slain Lamb (Jesus Christ) opens. The first four seals set loose the Four Horsemen of he Apocalypse. Most commonly, these four are referred to as Conquest, War, Famine, and Death, in that order. Occasionally Conquest is known to be called Pestilence, as newer versions of the Bible interpret the first rider’s arrows to be infected with germs. Now, based on the position of the members of the Wyatt family in the photo Bray attached to his tweet and the way he listed the names of the horsemen, it seems The New Face of Fear’s interpretation would be that Braun Strowman is War, Erick Rowan is Famine, Luke Harper is Pestilence, and he is Death.
Didn’t Abigail teach him anything? He’s not quite there yet, but he’s close.
As I mentioned, the first horseman is commonly referred to as Pestilence, but if we read the above text, he is better referred to as Conquest or Victory – wearing a victor’s crown and carrying a bow, which is a weapon that requires a great deal of skill to utilize properly. If you read my post about my favorite wrestler in WWE right now, you know how skilled I feel Luke Harper is. He’s the kind of talent that YOUR favorite wrestler probably asks to work with time and time again. You might also know that Luke Harper is the only member of the Wyatt family to ever capture a title. He was Intercontinental champion for 27 days at the end of 2014 – a short run, yes, but still a title reign, nonetheless. If you watched any of his matches with Dolph Ziggler at the time (particularly the one at TLC that year) you know he absolutely earned that belt for the fleeting time he held it. That most certainly makes him as close to a Victor in definition as one can get.
The second horseman sits upon a red horse, the color of blood, and is called War. He carries a sword and seeks to turn humans against one another. Now it would be easy to see Strowman in this likeness, but surely there are things that makes a person a likeness of War more than being big and bad. Beside just the association of horse and beard color, I would have to say that Erick Rowan is a far better fit for War. Around the same time Harper had become Intercontinental champion, after Bray Wyatt had released both of his followers, the Authority was involved in a feud with John Cena that culminated in the main event at Survivor Series, 2014. When Cena and Seth Rollins started building their opposing teams, Harper joined up with the side of evil – a likely association. But it was Rowan who surprised us all and placed his allegiance squarely on the side of good, cementing a Wyatt vs. Wyatt feud that carried over to the 2015 Royal Rumble, when the go-home episode of RAW featured Rowan losing his qualifying match for the PPV’s main event to his brother, Luke Harper. That didn’t stop Rowan from bringing his own brand of mayhem to the show, attacking Curtis Axel before he could make it to the ring and stealing Axel’s spot in the event. This brought about a brief Wyatt Family reunion, in-ring, before Harper, Wyatt, and Rowan started throwing punches and all three men were eventually disqualified. Seems to me that Rowan (not RAW) is War.
If Rowan is not famine, though, who is? Famine rides a black horse, so I suppose an argument could be made that it is Strowman, who wears the mask of the black sheep. But Famine also carried scales, a sign of balance and measurement. And Famine is also the only of the four to actually speak, though the phrase “come and see” is uttered in all sections. As the leader of the Wyatt Family, Bray is the one who keeps the balance. He makes the decisions, he makes all the calculations. For you comic book fans out there, if Bray Wyatt was a member of The Endless (from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman books) he would most certainly be Destiny, reading silently from his book all that was, is, and will be. Bray is the one who leaves Harper in charge when he is not present, knowing Harper will lead the others to victory. He is the one who took back Rowan, knowing Rowan is an instrument of their war. And he is the one who chose to bring in Strowman, who completes the most unholy of factions. Wyatt is the brains behind the operation and the mouthpiece, simultaneously. When he speaks, he holds his audience captive and enthralled. He is infectious and wide-spread, as seen by his “fireflies” each night that he appears on WWE television. At its most base definition, famine is hunger. And Bray Wyatt is absolutely starving to wreak havoc.
So that leaves Braun Strowman as Death. I can understand Bray’s inclination to cast himself in this role, as the other three all seem to lead to this last one. But when you consider the limited text that is associated with the fourth horseman, that he rode a pale horse and that he was trailed by Hades, it seems quite fitting. Strowman was the final member to join the Wyatt family and made them complete. Once he was with them, the only opponents they couldn’t beat were two characters potentially more full of evil than even the Wyatts. He has been their not-so-secret weapon, the piece of the puzzle that brought with him precisely what the Wyatt family has been looking to shroud the WWE in: Hell.
Once every member accepts his role in this foursome, they will be unstoppable. If I were the rest of the WWE roster, I don’t think I would even run, regardless of what the Wyatt Family’s promos say. If Conquest, War, or Famine doesn’t get you – and, let’s face it, your odds aren’t very good – Death most certainly will.
“For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”