The Wyatt Family was a professional wrestling stable in WWE originally composed of Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, and Luke Harper.
The Wyatt Family debuted in WWE’s then developmental branch NXT in November 2012, with Harper and Rowan going on to win the NXT Tag Team Championship.
They would go on to debut on the main roster in July 2013 as a villainous faction terrorizing other WWE wrestlers, including Kane, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and The Shield, among others.
The original incarnation of the group began to go their separate ways in September 2014, after Wyatt announced he was “setting Harper and Rowan free”.
As a result, Rowan would turn into a heroic character by joining John Cena’s team at Survivor Series, while Harper would remain villainous and side with The Authority.
Following a brief feud, Harper and Rowan would reunite in May 2015.
In July 2015, The Wyatt Family reunited, with Braun Strowman joining the stable.
Strowman was later withdrawn from the stable as a result of the 2016 WWE draft. In late 2016, with the addition of Randy Orton, The Wyatt Family won the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, holding the titles under the Freebird Rule.
After they lost the tag team titles, Harper departed from the group in January 2017.
Orton won the 2017 Royal Rumble match and Wyatt proceeded to win his first WWE Championship in February, with the pair going on to face each other at WrestleMania 33.
Wyatt and Rowan continued their alliance as the last remaining members of The Wyatt Family until the 2017 WWE Superstar Shake-up, in which Wyatt was moved to Raw, while Rowan remained on SmackDown, thus disbanding The Wyatt Family.
As of 2021, only Randy Orton currently works with WWE among the former members of The Wyatt Family.
Formation and beginnings (2012–2013)
The character of Bray Wyatt debuted in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in April 2012 and initially associated himself with Eli Cottonwood.
When WWE re-branded their developmental territory into NXT, Wyatt debuted on the July 11 episode of the newly NXT television show, defeating Aiden English in a singles match.
In July, Wyatt suffered a torn pectoral muscle and required surgery.
Despite the injury, Wyatt continued to appear on NXT by founding a faction known as the Wyatt Family in November, with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan as his “sons”.
Harper and Rowan entered the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament to crown the inaugural champions and they defeated Percy Watson and Yoshi Tatsu in the first round on the January 23, 2013, episode of NXT.
Following a win over Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty in the semi-finals with Wyatt’s interference, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan were defeated in the finals of the tournament by Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey.
Wyatt had his first match back from injury on the February 21 episode of NXT, defeating Yoshi Tatsu.
The Wyatt Family later assaulted Grey (who had suffered a legitimate injury) while Wyatt prevented Dallas from winning a NXT Championship number one contender match due to Dallas’ refusal to join the Wyatt Family.
Dallas went on to hand Wyatt his first loss on the March 13 episode of NXT.
On the May 2 episode of NXT, while Wyatt was defeated by six-time world champion Chris Jericho, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan won a triple threat elimination tag team match by last pinning Neville to earn a shot at the championship.
On the May 8 episode of NXT (which was taped on May 2), Harper and Rowan defeated Neville and Bo Dallas (filling in for the injured Grey) to win the NXT Tag Team Championship.
The Wyatt Family went on to feud with Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno, with Wyatt defeating Graves on the May 22 episode of NXT, and the next week Wyatt eliminated both Graves and Ohno during an 18-man battle royal to determine the number one contender to the NXT Championship, although he was later eliminated by Adrian Neville.
On the June 19 episode of NXT, the Wyatt Family defeated the team of Graves, Neville and Ohno.
On the following episode of NXT, the Wyatt Family, together with Garrett Dylan and Scott Dawson, attacked Graves, Neville and Ohno; when William Regal tried to make the save, he was also overwhelmed, and this led to the Wyatt Family facing Graves, Neville and Regal in a six-man tag team match the next week on NXT, where Wyatt pinned Regal for the win.
On the July 17 episode of NXT (which was taped on June 20), Harper and Rowan lost the NXT Tag Team Championship to Neville and Graves.
Various feuds (2013–2014)
From the May 27 episode of Raw, WWE aired vignettes promoting the upcoming debut of the Wyatt Family.
The vignettes showed the Wyatt Family’s backwoods origins and Rowan wearing a sheep mask.
On the July 8 episode of Raw, the Wyatt Family made their debut by assaulting Kane.
The Wyatt Family continued their attacks on wrestlers like R-Truth, Justin Gabriel and 3MB (Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal), while sending cryptic messages to Kane telling him to “follow the buzzards”.
Following another assault, Kane challenged Wyatt to a Ring of Fire match at SummerSlam, which he accepted.
On August 18 at SummerSlam, Wyatt defeated Kane following interference from Harper and Rowan, after which Harper and Rowan attacked Kane again and ended the segment by carrying him away.
At Battleground on October 6, Wyatt’s momentum continued with a win over Kofi Kingston.
Over the next few months, Rowan and Harper competed as a tag team and went on a winning streak over many teams until the October 11 episode of SmackDown, when Harper and Rowan suffered their first loss against Cody Rhodes and Goldust.
The Wyatt Family’s next feud began when they attacked CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, in late October.
The feud saw Harper lose his first singles match to Punk.
At Survivor Series on November 24, Harper and Rowan lost a tag team match against Bryan and Punk.
The Wyatt Family then defeated Bryan in a 3-on-1 handicap match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 15, with Wyatt attempting to recruit Bryan in the previous weeks.
On the final Raw of 2013, Bryan defeated Harper and then Rowan in a gauntlet match that would lead to Bryan facing Wyatt, whereupon Harper and Rowan interfered to cause a disqualification and began beating Bryan down until a frustrated Bryan finally gave up and gave in to join the Wyatt Family.
This caused Wyatt to punish Bryan, who attacked all the other members of the Wyatt Family on the January 13, 2014 episode of Raw to signal him breaking free of the group.
At the Royal Rumble on January 26, Wyatt defeated Bryan in a singles match to end their feud while both Harper and Rowan entered the Royal Rumble match and managed two and zero eliminations respectively, before they were eliminated.
On the January 27 episode of Raw, the Wyatt Family attacked John Cena, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus during an Elimination Chamber qualifying match against The Shield, thus awarding Cena’s team win by disqualification victory over The Shield and the Elimination Chamber match slots.
The Shield were seeking revenge, so a six-man tag match was set up between the Shield and the Wyatt Family at the Elimination Chamber event, which the Wyatt Family won after Dean Ambrose had disappeared into the live audience during the match.
On the March 3 episode of Raw, The Shield were given a rematch against the Wyatt Family, but lost again when The Shield’s poor teamwork led to Seth Rollins, leaving the ring during the match.
On the April 8 episode of Main Event, the Wyatt Family was defeated by The Shield in another six-man tag team match to end the feud.
Between January and February, the Wyatt Family also cost John Cena his WWE World Heavyweight Championship matches against Randy Orton.
At Elimination Chamber on February 23, the Wyatt Family’s interference caused Cena to be eliminated from the Elimination Chamber match.
After Elimination Chamber, Wyatt turned his attention fully to feud with Cena, with Wyatt wanting to prove that Cena’s heroic act was a facade characteristic of “this era of lies”, while also trying to turn Cena into a “monster”.
Wyatt went on to accept Cena’s challenge for a WrestleMania match, with Cena successfully resisting the urge to become a “monster” and overcoming interference from Harper and Rowan to defeat Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX April 6, thus marking Wyatt’s first pinfall loss on WWE’s main roster.
The feud continued after WrestleMania XXX based on the story that Wyatt was capturing Cena’s fanbase, which was exemplified by Wyatt leading a children’s choir to the ring on the April 28 episode of Raw, with the children later putting on sheep masks.
At Extreme Rules on May 4, Wyatt defeated Cena in a steel cage match after repeated interference from the rest of the Wyatt Family, as well as a child who had distracted Cena.
Cena’s feud with Wyatt continued with a Last Man Standing match being set up for Payback on June 1, which Cena won to end their feud.
On the June 2 episode of Raw, Harper and Rowan took on then WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos in a tag team match; Wyatt did not appear during the match, but his rocking chair still sat beside the ring, and Harper and Rowan went on to win the match, which made them number one contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
On the June 13 episode of SmackDown, due to a distraction by Seth Rollins, Wyatt went on to win his match against Dean Ambrose to qualify for the first Money in the Bank ladder match contested for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
At the 2014 Money in the Bank event on June 29, all three members of the Wyatt Family failed to win championships in their respective matches.
The Wyatt Family also lost at Battleground on July 20, as The Usos successfully defended their WWE Tag Team Championship against Harper and Rowan.
On the June 30 episode of Raw, the Wyatt Family interrupted Chris Jericho’s return and began to beat him down.
This led to a singles match between Wyatt and Jericho at Battleground which Wyatt lost.
However, Wyatt defeated Jericho at SummerSlam on August 17, despite Harper and Rowan being banned from ringside.
The feud with Jericho ended on the September 8 episode of Raw, when Wyatt won a steel cage match by escaping the cage.