The WWE is rolling out the red carpet for Bray Wyatt’s return while doing all it can to help recreate the weird lore he anchored before his initial absence and eventual release in 2021. As such, there’s some speculation that Wyatt is planning to expand his strange cast of characters even beyond the White Rabbit, thanks to two new WWE trademarks that have surfaced, for ring names that possibly tie into his persona. The fresh monikers are certainly worth talking about, as they’re raising some eyebrows among fans who wonder what their significance is.
According to a new report from WrestlingNews.Co, the WWE filed trademarks for two family-style names: Uncle Harper and Uncle Howdy. While we don’t know with certainty that these characters will be related to Bray Wyatt's gimmick, the timing certainly makes it possible. Let’s take a closer look into each name, what it may mean, and why some fans might feel weird about these new personas.
Of the two, the name Uncle Harper sticks out like a sore thumb, mainly because it seems like it could be a reference to Luke Harper. As WWE fans know, the superstar was a stablemate of the Wyatt family, and by all accounts, a close friend of the former Fiend in their lives outside of the ring. Harper, whose real name is Jonathan Huber, eventually left the WWE and began a career in AEW under his previous in-ring name Brodie Lee, but unfortunately passed away suddenly in December of 2020.
Given Bray Wyatt’s bond with Jonathan Huber, and the fact that WWE fans know Huber as Luke Harper, it’s possible that "Uncle Harper" was created as some kind of homage. Just as Wyatt frequently talks about Sister Abigail, Uncle Harper could be someone important who factors into Wyatt’s lore in some way. It’s already suspected that Wyatt made a subtle nod to Harper during his return at Extreme Rules, as noted in the tweet below:
Yall can tell me if this is a reach but I thought this tiny detail/tribute to Brodie from Bray Wyatt’s return at #ExtremeRules tonight was pretty freaking cool if that’s what it was. Anyone else catch this? pic.twitter.com/iRJMnx2WOkOctober 9, 2022
The WWE has and continues to frequently evoke the spirits of departed wrestlers for its storylines, though it’s understandable for anyone to think a gimmick tied to Luke Harper feels sudden just a couple of years after his death. Of course, one would imagine Bray Wyatt and the WWE would have had some conversations with Harper's family about it, assuming the connections are legit. Even if everything was fully agreed upon and completely respectable, I can’t help but think some fans would still question whether the timing was right.
Uncle Howdy is just a bizarre name all around. Obviously, there is some obvious Western imagery that comes to mind with the name “howdy,” and this could indicate some type of Howdy Doody-type character being added to the puppet lineup of Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Funhouse. With that said, Wyatt’s return seemingly pointed to the Firefly Funhouse segments being dead now, with his puppets having transformed into actual living people. At least, I think that’s what we were supposed to gather from that grand display, but who knows for sure?
There is also a notable horror connection to the name Howdy that hails from The Exorcist, as “Captain Howdy” is the name the demon Pazuzu uses with Regan early on before fully possessing her. Bray Wyatt definitely references demons in his character building, and with a new horror writer on board at the organization, I could totally see some classic horror cinema being referenced for a gimmick, even more so when the . Again though, we really only have names to speculate on, and who knows how and if these names will be used until we actually see them referenced at an upcoming WWE event.
Bray Wyatt is expected to address the WWE universe at SmackDown, which airs on Fox on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. ET. One can only imagine what the wrestler has up his sleeve for the appearance, assuming he's utilizing sleeves. Despite any questions I may have about these aforementioned trademarks, I’m excited to see what’s ahead.
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Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.