The Braun Strowman push is definitely happening. How big it ends up being is anyone’s guess, but the moment the former Wyatt Family member was separated from his flock, it was inevitable that the WWE would be pushing the larger-than-life Superstar to some next level as a singles talent.
Through two post-brand split episodes of Monday Night Raw, Strowman has been relatively impressive. That is to say, well, it is designed to exactly be that way as he’s been squaring off against “local” jobbers and squashing them in a matter of two minutes in each outing.
The WWE is currently attempting to build him as the monster he should probably be. While we can argue as to what heights he should be pushed – as the idea of him versus The Undertaker at a WrestleMania still seems patently absurd – is arguable, it is clear that Vince McMahon and crew want him to be something more than a former stable member lackey.
While being relatively impressive so far, it hasn’t been perfect. Strowman is coming out to different theme music, but everything else about him still screams Wyatt Family. The WWE has yet to say, acknowledge, or do anything to help let the audience know that he has been removed from Bray and the gang.
Solutions to that are as obvious as they are currently being ignored. A change of ring attire, Michael Cole merely stating that he is no longer affiliated with Bray Wyatt, or countless other small things can be done to let the WWE Universe know that Braun is his own man.
This is important to make known. Otherwise, fans are viewing him as a leftover member of The Wyatt Family, which isn’t necessarily horrible, but if Strowman is meant to be pushed as a singles star, the WWE ought to let us know as much.
The WWE Universe needs to know the difference between this version of him and the other, if any. Why has he all of sudden become a beast again? Was Bray holding him back? Where’s he come from? What’s his gimmick now? Is he just a large, mindless drone hellbent on killing local jobbers?
Let us know.
For right now, the squash matches are fine. Continuing to build him up that way is smart, especially if there’s no idea for a feud in the near future. Still, during this period of time (re)turning him into a monster, his character needs to develop. He needs to be more than just a giant man beating up smaller guys.
Whether it is heel or face, Strowman has potential to be a new generation big man in the WWE. A lot of that hinges on him as an in-ring performer and how he does with whatever character he is assigned to portray. At the same token, a lot of this rests on the shoulders of the WWE’s creative team, as they need to have a clear direction of what they want to do with him, and who he actually is.
As fans, we should be rooting for someone like Strowman to succeed. While he has underwhelmed a majority of the WWE Universe so far, large talents like him don’t grow on trees. With guys like The Big Show, Kane, Undertaker and the like all aging quicker than we realize, a new generation of wrestling big men need to take their place. Guys like Big Cass already seem destined for stardom, but he alone can’t carry the larger than life mantle himself.
So, goodbye to the Mark Henrys of the world, and hello to the potential of what a Braun Strowman can become. But for right now, WWE, can you at the very least let us know what he is so we can be invested in him? Because for all I know, Strowman is trotting about the squared circle as a Wyatt, and that’s just weird.