Windham Rotunda, known mostly to wrestling fans as Bray Wyatt, has passed away. He was only 36. Paul “Triple H” Levesque broke the news on his Twitter. No other details are available at the moment. Wyatt had become a top-level star in the company, winning both the WWE and Universal Championship during his time there.
Wyatt was out of action since late February with an unknown illness, but it had recently been reported that he was getting closer to getting cleared to return. He was a second-generation wrestler following his father, Mike Rotunda, who performed under the infamous 1990s villain, Irwin R. Schyster.
“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,” Triple H posted. “Our thoughts are with his family and we ask that everyone respect their privacy at this time.”
Originally given the gimmick of Husky Harris, Rotunda was repackaged as Bray Wyatt in 2013. Along with his singles titles, he also held the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (with Luke Harper aka Brodie Lee and Randy Orton under the Freebird rule) and the Raw Tag Team Championship (with Matt Hardy) once each.
After a hiatus of several months, Wyatt returned with a new gimmick. This time portraying a man suffering from a transformative multiple personality disorder, he randomly switched back and forth between two characters: his “good side” of Bray Wyatt, the Mr. Rogers-esque TV host, and his malicious side of “The Fiend.”
He was released from WWE in July 2021 and returned to the company at their Extreme Rules pay-per-view in October 2022 after weeks of hinting of his arrival. Wyatt was last seen on WWE programming feuding with LA Knight, which culminated in a Pitch Black match at this year’s Royal Rumble.