Hello and welcome to another edition of The Main Event. I am your host, Don Franc, back with another column that you will all hopefully enjoy. Long introductions aren’t really my thing, so let’s get right to…
– Currently bookmakers have Drew McIntyre as the favourite to win the Money In The Bank Ladder Match. If Drew were to win the MITB Ladder Match I’d say that would be a job well done on the part of WWE. He has done good work since last year and I feel that a reward is in order. Even without the MITB contract he still deserves a title match against Seth Rollins at the very least. I know alot of people aren’t too high on Drew McIntyre but I’m of the opinion that he has been doing well in his heel role. It would certainly be interesting to see him walking around with that briefcase. Arguably, as things currently stand nobody deserves it more.
– Farewell to Goldust who is no longer with WWE. I honestly thought he would be with WWE until the day he finally retires. One thing is certain, Goldust is a sure-fire HOFer. He will now be joining his brother, Cody Rhodes, at Double Or Nothing in a competitive match. I don’t blame Dustin for wanting to be a part of Cody’s movement. Imagine how proud Dusty Rhodes would have been to see Cody grab the professional wrestling industry by the throat and try to forge his own path. I can only imagine the excitement coarsing through Cody’s veins for having the opportunity to battle his brother at a promotion that he helped build. For that reason I hope they’ll be able to put on a great match.
– Taz recently had some harsh words to say about Ronda Rousey. He mentioned that he wasn’t impressed by her body of work and I can’t entirely agree with him on that. She took on quite quickly and with more experience she could have become quite the polished product. However, what I have to agree with him on is the unfairness of Ronda being able to leave whenever she wants to whilst other WWE lifers are stuck in the life and have to sit back while she’s there and have her given all the opportunities. The worst part is that whenever she comes back she will automatically be thrust into the title picture and when that time comes certain women would once again have to take a backseat. WWE hopefully got rid of Brock Lesnar and they should certainly do the same with Rousey.
THE MAIN EVENT
It boggles my mind the sheer underutilized nature of Braun Strowman in WWE.
I have to admit that I am not a fan of big men and hoss matches. The exceptions to that are Kane and The Undertaker, but furthermore big wrestlers aren’t my cup of tea. Their matches tend to be slow and plodding and I always find myself drifting away when watching hoss matches. The same cannot be said for my opinion of Braun Strowman. After Kane and Undertaker were past their prime I never thought I would be able to appreciate a big wrestler again. Yet Braun Strowman provided a newfound enjoyment of big men in the ring for me.
He brought an energy to the ring that normally escapes that of the conventional big man. When he first debuted, I thought he would be your run-of-the-mill big guy. However, due to surprisingly good booking he was able to get over to the point of World Championship contention status. For all intents and purposes he is a main-eventer. What is even more incredible is that he managed to get over in an era where smaller guys are much more appreciated. Whereas in the past it was difficult for a smaller wrestler to work their way to the top, the same can now be said of the bigger wrestlers. The tables have turned but yet Strowman was able to turn the tables and the ambulances and limousines!
My point is, despite WWE finally finding a big man that they can finally push there is some hesitation in that regard which I cannot understand. Based off his career trajectory you would have gathered that Braun would eventually become World Champion. And although that may still be in the cards, WWE are too afraid to pull the trigger which tells me that they lack faith in the former strongman. Where before they gave opportunities to big men of far lesser talent (i.e. The Great Khali), they now refuse to give one of their greatest big men a chance take the ball and run with it.
In my previous column I spoke about how Vince McMahon is getting soft and perhaps that comes into play here. The ideology of Triple H seems to be seeping into Vince McMahon’s mentality and for us fans that is a good thing, but for Braun Strowman that certainly isn’t. Not too long ago Vince would have jumped at the opportunity to push Strowman to the moon, but because of the internal change that the WWE is representing it has hindered Braun’s upward trajectory. In essence, it is a good thing as it helped Strowman to become a top face more organically. However, it is that same internal change that is preventing WWE from handing a man who deserves to be champion the title.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Strowman should have won the Universal Championship t Wrestlemania 35 instead of Rollins. Seth was the most deserving to win the title at ‘Mania so WWE made the right choice. However, if Rollins was the most deserving then surely Braun Strowman would be a close second. To be able to gain popularity in the ‘era of the smaller guy’ is no easy feat and that is part of the reason why he truly deserves to be champion.
It’s amazing how you can start out being so fantastically booked and the more popular you get the shittier your booking becomes. It’s that backwards mentality that has hindered success and adoration for WWE in modern times. Sure, Braun Strowman has his limitations in the ring but what big man in the history of professional wrestling didn’t? He makes up for that with badass charisma and the undeniable energy he brings to the ring. Besides, how long has it actually been since the fans accepted a hoss so whole-heartedly?
I think it has to be mentioned that Braun Strowman is arguably the wrestler who has suffered the most from the Brock Lesnar curse. Can you honestly say that if Brock wasn’t around holding the Universal Championship hostage that Strowman wouldn’t have at least one Universal Championship reign under his belt by now? I don’t think so. Strowman was forced to lose to Lesnar at a time when he was arguably at his hottest and that loss has caused him to take quite a few steps back. Brock has done a number on many a career in his second spell in WWE but Braun may be his biggest victim (no pun intended).
It’s also worth noting how WWE can come across as scared to allow Braun to hold one of their top belts. This once again comes back to this being the ‘era of the smaller guys’. Perhaps Vince and co. are scared that Braun won’t be accepted in that capacity as he doesn’t fit the mould of what the WWE Universe now want their champions to be. If this is the case then Vince has truly gone soft. And unless my ears deceive me, Braun is super over and historically those are the ones who are supposed to get pushed to the moon.
Yes, Braun’s momentum has been hindered but fixing that hindrance won’t be that hard to do. Strowman is still adored by fans and actually allowing him to do something worthwhile will provide him with a sense of importance. He has been fantastic in his role since his debut and I think it’s only fair that he gets his shot. Lesser talents have got a shot so why not Braun? The very least WWE could have done was give Strowman a prominent spot at Wrestlemania 35. Instead, for the past three years he has been getting nothing but pure shit to work with. Two wins at the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and and a Tag Team Championship win with a child is an absolute travesty compared to the work Braun has put in. But hey, I guess I can find an inkling of solace in the fact that Strowman is undefeated at Wrestlemania.
Look, all I’m saying is that Braun Strowman had, and still has, the potential to go down as the next legendary big man in WWE. Moving forward Vince and co. need to take better care of how he is booked. Because even in this small man’s world there is always room for a hoss, especially a hoss that’s as special as Braun Strowman.
And that does it for this edition of The Main Event. What do you think WWE’s problem with Braun Strowman is? Please leave a comment below. You can also hit me up on Twitter @donfranclop or pop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any and all feedback is always much appreciated. But until next time…
This is Don Franc signing out.