The Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match

(This text intentionally left mountain dew pitch black)

Say what you will about the Bray Wyatt—we certainly have over the years—but you can’t say he wasn’t creative.

Not only did he develop complex lore for his many characters, the late Windham Rotunda had an attention to detail second to none…

…even commissioning multiple versions of the Fiend mask for different situations (matches, close-ups, etc.)

Problem was, no matter how meticulous Bray’s plans for his characters, things always fell apart once WWE Creative put him into programs.

Wyatt’s return to WWE was a case in point.

After months of riddles, Wyatt re-surfaced as a conflicted man haunted by the mysterious Uncle Howdy.

(And the less mysterious plumber crack) (Actual screenshot)

I hope no one was expecting any Emmy nominations for a guy named Uncle Howdy, but believe it or not, the pay-off was even stupider than anyone could have imagined.

I’m talking soft drink product placement stupid.

For weeks, Uncle Howdy stalked LA Knight, ambushing him off screen.

Knight, obviously, suspected Bray Wyatt himself was behind the mask, but what sense would that make? How many guys you know are their own uncle?

“Howdy” – Uncle Howdy. Hey, I get it now!

While Bray Wyatt insisted he wasn’t Uncle Howdy, he wasn’t really sure who he was, either. Descending into mental torment, Wyatt lashed out at a cameraman—

—the resulting loss of a camera angle leading to some of Kevin Dunn’s most restrained directing to date.

Uncle Howdy eventually showed up to attack Bray Wyatt, but to complicate things further, Wyatt admitted that he was Uncle Howdy.

(But not literally) (I think)

LA Knight spoke for all of us:

The hell is going on? What? None of this makes sense.”

There was only one way to settle this twisted tale:

The Mountain Dew Pitch Black match!

Mountain Dew? A crummy commercial!?

It was an immediate embarrassment to all involved.

Even Kayla Braxton was visibly pained just asking LA Knight about it.

“LA, after last week’s bizarre encounter with [sigh] Uncle Howdy, how are you feeling…”

[restrains laughter]

“…leading in to your Mountain Dew Pitch Black match against Bray Wyatt at the Royal Rumble?”

[“There, I said it. Happy?”]

Kayla wasn’t alone in disclaiming responsibility for the match; when Michael Cole introduced the Mountain Dew Pitch Black match, he insisted none of the announce team knew what it was supposed to be.

Cole then explained that Wyatt’s first match in nearly two years would be this Mountain Dew Pitch Black match. And you can just make out a note of shame in his voice.

And of course, the Mountain Dew Pitch Black match is even worse in hindsight, knowing that it would also be Bray’s last match.

So the lights went out, the black lights went on, and everything went neon.

The UV lamp revealed some scary designs on Bray Wyatt’s face, but Pat McAfee was more impressed with LA Knight

…whose pants lit up.

Truth be told, this would have been a much better match for Naomi, but she’d quit the year before.

The action soon spilled to the outside, where Bray Wyatt prepared a table for Knight. That meant scattering the glow-in-the-dark confetti hidden under the TV monitors.

Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match

But LA Knight fought back, driving Bray through the table.

This proved even more effective than Knight had planned, as Bray inhaled and audibly coughed up confetti after the bump.

As is often the case, the taste of his own confetti awakened something in Wyatt…

…who chucked a whole toolbox into the ring. But since none of the tools were DayGlo-painted, he changed his mind, instead sending Knight through the neon ropes.

This time, LA Knight emerged with a much more practical weapon: the neon kendo stick.

Alas, it proved futile, and within seconds, Wyatt hit Knight with Sister Abigail.

The Eater of Worlds and Drinker of Grape Soda had beaten LA Knight, but the terror was just beginning.

After the match, Bray knelt down and donned a new mask…

…confusing Pat McAfee, who asked, “Did that just grow on his…?” Before he could say, “face”, he realized how stupid he sounded.

The new, masked Wyatt chased LA Knight through the crowd, swinging his kendo glow stick in vain.

Bray Wyatt backed Knight right into a crash pad, where he locked in the mandible claw.

With LA Knight prone, Uncle Howdy appeared on a scaffold and flopped off, ostensibly onto Knight.

Even with the carefully-planned camera angle, he clearly missed by a mile…

…but it looked infinitely worse to the live crowd. At least there was pyro (though confetti would have been nice, too).

LA Knight rolled into the hole and disappeared

(You would, too, if you’d just wrestled a Mountain Dew Pitch Black match)

…and Bray celebrated as four adults dressed as puppets looked on.

I don’t know how Bo Dallas’s Wyatt 6 faction will turn out, but in case WWE is looking for any ideas, Mountain Dew has three new flavors coming out this summer.

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