Bray Wyatt Passes Away

The former WWE and Universal champion, and Wyatt Family founder, was 36

Windham Rotunda, best known to wrestling fans as Bray Wyatt over his decade-plus tenure with WWE, passed away Thursday, at the age of 36.

Notice of Rotunda's passing was made by Paul Levesque, who tweeted, "Just received a call from WWE Hall of Famer Mike Rotunda who informed us of the tragic news that our WWE family member for life Windham Rotunda - also known as Bray Wyatt - unexpectedly passed earlier today. Our thoughts are with his family and we ask that everyone respect their privacy at this time."

Rotunda was part of an extensive wrestling family that included father Mike (former WWE star Irwin R. Schyster), grandfather Robert (Blackjack Mulligan), uncles Barry and Kendall Windham, and brother Taylor (Bo Dallas). Rotunda was also engaged to former WWE ring announcer Joseann "Jojo" Offerman.

During his time with WWE (which began in their developmental program in 2009), Rotunda held the WWE championship once, the Universal championship twice, Raw's Tag Team titles (with Matt Hardy), and SmackDown's Tag Team titles (in a "Freebird" partnership with Randy Orton and Luke Harper, the late Jon "Brodie Lee" Huber). In WWE's then-developmental arm Florida Championship Wrestling, Rotunda twice reigned as Tag Team champion with his brother.

During his decade-long run on WWE's main roster (interrupted by a period of release in 2021-22), Rotunda was known for two distinct versions of Bray Wyatt: the riddle-speaking cult leader of The Wyatt Family, and the transformative children's host whose alter ego was "The Fiend", a nearly-invincible masked demon that preyed on his opponents' psychological weaknesses.

Rotunda's notable WWE opponents included Orton, John Cena, The Undertaker, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Goldberg, among many others. His last televised bout was the "Pitch Black" match with LA Knight at this year's Royal Rumble. Wyatt's last overall match was a house show outing with Knight in Rockford, IL on February 26.

Cultaholic extends its condolences to Mr. Rotunda's family and friends.

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.