On August 24th, 2015, the WWE Universe was introduced to the newest member of the Wyatt Family, Braun Strowman. This was not a debut that was preceded by vignettes that were intended to ready the audience. This was not a debut of a former superstar repackaged into someone else. This was not a debut of an NXT call-up that we were all excited about. This was the debut of the Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman. On his first night on Raw he single handedly destroyed two thirds of the Shield, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. He not only looked like a monster physically, he came across as a monster in the ring. Ambrose and Reigns were no match for Braun Strowman. That night seemed to forecast the storm over the WWE that would be Braun Strowman, but the booking of Braun Strowman since that night has been nothing short of curious.
Since Braun Strowman’s debut, he has has not submitted once, he took months to be knocked off of his feet, and he has only been pinned three times! Considering the fact that he has feuded on and off with the unbeatable Roman Reigns since his debut, these facts are remarkable. If a casual wrestling fan did not know who Braun Strowman was but read these facts, they would assume that he was a multiple time champion. Braun Strowman has been the Raw Tag Team Champion for one day. Granted he won the championship with a ten year old (which we will get into later), but with a record like he has, that title history is curious. Let’s take a look at some of Braun Strowman’s career and see if we can see what might be in the future of the Monster Among Men.
Braun Strowman was a force with the Wyatt Family. I am a major Bray Wyatt fan, so everything I am getting ready to say is objective. The Wyatt Family is a curious case as well, because with their debut and the mystique that comes with them, they should have dominated the WWE. Unfortunately, WWE never really ran with the Wyatt’s like they should have. Anytime that the Wyatt’s have been rewarded since, such as Bray Wyatt winning the WWE Championship or the Bludgeon Brothers winning the Smackdown Tag Team Championship, it was too little too late. Braun Strowman fell under this category while he was with the Wyatt Family. He never got pinned during this time, but he suffered many tag team losses. The curious thing with Strowman was that he would not get knocked off of his feet. He was literally a monster. However, if you look at Royal Rumble 2016, Brock Lesnar treated Strowman like he was nothing. He easily disposed of Strowman in the Royal Rumble, along with Rowan and Harper, like he was a cruiserweight. This was curious given all of the build up that had been done with Strowman. It was like the rug had been pulled out from under him. This will be a common theme in Strowman’s career thus far. Fast forward to an interesting feud between the Wyatt Family and the New Day. The New Day is awesome, but there is no way any of the members of the New Day should have compared physically to Braun Strowman. This was not the case when the New Day visited the Wyatt Compound. It was a very even back and forth physical fight, with the New Day getting their fair amount of blows on Braun Strowman. Strowman was almost a non-factor in that fight. Very curious.
Fast forward to the brand split with the Draft. Braun Strowman was drafted away from the other Wyatt’s and was going solo on Raw. The first Raw after the draft would show how serious WWE was about Braun Strowman. He was featured on the first Raw of the new era and quickly defeated his opponent, James Ellsworth. Strowman would continue to destroy his competition for weeks, imploring then general manager Mick Foley to give him competition. After a month or two, Sami Zayn would step up and be that competition. This would be Strowman’s first feud as a singles superstar. This should have been another view into how Strowman would be treated. While he was dominant, Strowman did receive a loss in the record books to Zayn by not being able to defeat him in less than 10 minutes at Roadblock: End of the Line. Then at the Royal Rumble, Braun came in as a favorite. However, Braun was pretty easily eliminated by Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin. I understand that Zayn didn’t pin Strowman, but it still felt like the rug was being pulled out from under him very early. It just seemed curious.
Soon after, Braun would enter into a feud with Roman Reigns. This was Strowman’s chance to prove that he belonged. Strowman would throw Reigns around on episodes of Raw, but at Fastlane 2017 Reigns handed Strowman his first pinfall loss. Reigns was on top of his game at this point, so while this loss didn’t help, it didn’t seem to hurt Strowman too much either. It was a long match with Reigns just squeaking out a win. It was the events that transpired after that match that made Braun seem weaker than he needed to look. While Reigns entered into a feud with the Undertaker, Strowman would seemingly be on the sidelines. On one episode of Raw, Braun had the Undertaker in the ring and he just backed down. Strowman didn’t try anything. He did not look like the Monster Among Men that night. He also did not look like the Monster Among Men at Wrestlemania 33, when he and Big Show were eliminated very quickly from the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. After months of building up Braun Strowman, he was made to look like nothing in a very curious fashion. It appeared as if WWE was going to give up on him being a main event star.
Right after Wrestlemania 33 came the infamous flip of the ambulance that contained Roman Reigns. What was weird about this push of Braun Strowman was the fact that during this time he suffered a loss in a Dumpster Match to Kalisto. I understand he wasn’t pinned and it was a fluke, but a loss is a loss. In the midst of his biggest push, Braun suffered a curious loss. Braun then went on to defeat Roman Reigns at Payback 2017 and Great Balls of Fire 2017. It finally seemed like he was back on track. But the trigger would never get pulled with Braun. He earned a one on one match with Brock Lesnar at No Mercy 2017. Braun had continuously got the better of Brock in the feud, but this match did little to show that. Braun Strowman would hit Lesnar with everything he had, but one F5 was enough to hand Strowman his second pinfall of his career. It only took one F5. It is curious how Strowman looked so unstoppable yet was stopped with one F5. Braun would then enter the Elimination Chamber and be pinned for the third time in his career by Roman Reigns. After the match he laid Reigns out with multiple powerslams and left him laying. What was the payoff of that? Very curious.
Then the Strowman rebuilding began. He went into a Raw Tag Team Championship feud with the Bar. He would pick ten year old Nicholas out of the crowd and beat the Bar basically single handedly. For that tag team championship win he earned…a one day reign and then was stripped of the title because his tag team partner had to go back to school. He won the Greatest Royal Rumble. He now holds the record for the most eliminations in a Royal Rumble match. For that win he earned…a trophy. Then Braun won the Money in the Bank and became the Monster in the Bank. Surely he would be the next WWE Universal Champion. For that win he earned…a curious heel turn and no championship. Then he formed a new faction with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre that actually beat the Shield. With that faction he earned…the prize of being upstaged by Drew McIntyre this Monday on Raw.
The career of Braun Strowman has been a curious one. In my opinion, he is in the most curious stage of his career yet. The Monster Among Men had to resort to getting help to fight off the same Roman Reigns that he has been fighting off his entire career. Strowman cashed in his Money in the Bank for one of the worst Hell in a Cell matches in the history of that type of match. A match where there must be a winner ended in a no contest with Strowman wasting his cash in. And then this past Monday night, Braun Strowman, the Monster Among Men, the superstar that kicked out of multiple spears from Roman Reigns, was laid out by a single Claymore Kick from Drew McIntyre. There has been many times when the trigger should have been pulled for Braun Strowman to be the WWE Universal Champion and carry the Raw brand. I fear that if a trigger isn’t pulled soon, the curious career of Braun Strowman will follow the path that Ryback’s did. He was super over with the crowd, was believable as a monster, should have won the championship at the peak of his career, and was then made to lose all credibility after continuously being unable to win the big one. I guess the Shield ruined Ryback’s credibility as well. Coincidence? I think it’s just curious. What do you guys think? Comment below with your thoughts about Braun Strowman! Until next time, keep walking.