For weeks, we’ve witnessed Braun Strowman annihilate opponents. The behemoth has competed in squash matches since the WWE Draft in July and has been booked like a true monster heel.
Strowman barely broke a sweat against local competition, which included defeating three jobbers at once on this week’s episode of Raw. After the victory, the large person once again demanded general manager Mick Foley find him some more competition, which was answered by the ska sounds of Sami Zayn’s theme song.
Zayn skanked his way down to the ring and stood up to Strowman. The behemoth shoved the former NXT Champion and walked off. Backstage, Zayn was asked why he challenged the dominant Strowman, to which he replied “because no one else will.”
And that is how you suddenly put Brawn Strowman in an angle worth watching.
This isn’t just the best option for both superstars, but it’s the only option. Be honest, when was the last time you cared about a Strowman squash match? Sure, it was refreshing to see WWE resort to classic ’80s booking at first, but after a few weeks the act became pretty stale.
Still, it needed to take place to make Strowman look like an “unbeatable monster” without sacrificing any full-time talent. At this point, he’s already established as a legitimate threat to any superstar, so he doesn’t have to no-sell an actual WWE superstar to get his point across.
Strowman can now compete in a feud of relevancy and there’s no one better for him to face than Zayn. The former NXT Champion is the ultimate underdog character in WWE. He’s a realistic threat to win any given match, but he’s also capable of being booked to lose without suffering too much long-term.
Zayn is an über babyface who is best at overcoming the odds. Therefore, he’s not supposed to be expected to beat an opponent with a huge size advantage, like Strowman. Instead, he can either pull off a surprise victory or lose and eventually redeem himself at a later time.
Plus, Zayn is arguably one of the best workers in WWE. Look at his resume, you’d be hard pressed to find a bad pay-per-view match since making his NXT debut. Zayn has consistently had one of the best matches on each pay-per-view event he’s been apart of this year and during the beginning of the NXT TakeOver series.
He’s proven he can have a great match with just about anyone, which is why he’s even more suited to face Strowman in the monster’s first real feud. Let’s be honest, Strowman has made outstanding progress, but he’s not going to give you a four-star match unless it’s against someone as experienced as Zayn. However, this “David vs. Goliath” booking will work with an underdog character that actually teeters in the main event picture.
At this point, either superstar can benefit tremendously from defeating the other, which means this rivalry is already relevant. Realistically, it will be used to continue Strowman’s push, even though Zayn is the character many want/expect to be a main event player.
But he’ll still be in position to make a title run at any given point because of his underdog persona. When he does avenge wins, it means so much more because of his previous losses. After that, Zayn can go on a string of victories and be believable as a true contender. That’s why he’s a true underdog character, which is the perfect compliment to a rising monster heel in need of his first real rivalry.
Fans should expect good things from this angle. Zayn will be booked as a credible challenger and Strowman will continue to be booked as a dominant heel. Their inevitable pay-per-view match should exceed expectations and build off of what was an excellent start to an angle Monday.