Braun Strowman had the potential to be a major draw for the WWE, but he’s been pushed into a position to play second fiddle for the likes of Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre.
No matter who you are in professional wrestling, when you reach the mainstream there’s a good chance your career is going to be compared to someone who has come before you. There are times when those comparisons are good, and times when those comparisons are bad, especially within the WWE.
Braun Strowman is one of the most popular characters on the WWE roster today, but that hasn’t saved him from booking missteps. As his character shifts once again, we may be looking at a point where Braun is eventually closely compared to another big monster that was often overlooked for the bigger names of his day, Kane.
Kane has had a stellar career and is one of the most well-liked professionals in the WWE. The “Big Red Machine” has held multiple titles since joining the WWE in 1997 including the WWE Championship, World Championship, and multiple tag-team title reigns, but one would be amiss if they would ever point to the idea that Kane was “the man” during any of those points.
In many ways, he could be tagged with the moniker of being a “transitional champion” at many points during his career. Kane was and still is a great character that can serve a point and help build those around him, but for some that point shouldn’t be the definition of their run with the WWE. Braun is now in danger of moving in that direction.
There are multiple points in recent memory in which Braun was one of the hottest characters on the roster. Back in July of 2017 he stumbled out of a smashed ambulance, refusing medical attention as fans cheered him on. Every time he faced off against Roman Reigns, the fans were firmly behind him – mostly out of protest for the way that Reigns was being pushed.
At some point that changed, and Braun became someone that fans enjoyed and popped to see anytime his music hit. He was a star, a big man with a special look and one who was organically getting over with fans. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for WWE Creative to get out of their own way and let his star flourish as the main attraction.
Enter two men: Reigns and Drew McIntyre. Reigns was positioned to be the main event draw for the WWE for the extended time before his current bout with Leukemia. Then there is McIntyre, a former WWE castoff that has found his way back to the promotion and is looking like he’s poised to be the breakout heel that the company needs.
Both men could use a foil like Braun to oppose them every step of the way, and as that foil, one would expect that Braun is going to take the brunt of their rise; falling to them multiple times along the way.
This is very closely aligned to Kane’s position during the late 90s and early 00s. He came in as a monster heel to face off against the Undertaker, even though that feud led to Kane taking the pin. Even when he got a key victory over Undertaker to become the number one contender to the title, he won the belt just to lose it back to Steve Austin the next night on Raw.
Kane has played that “secondary character” role multiple times throughout his career, and that is a position that is needed for promotions like the WWE. Every major star has needed their main dancing partner to get over with the crowd and the industry. John Cena had Randy Orton. Steve Austin had Shawn Michaels. The Rock had Triple H. There are so many examples of this pairing throughout the industry, but the question is which side should Braun Strowman fall upon?
Imagine Braun as the dangerous monster that crushes all those who oppose him; all the while being chased by the likes of Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, Elias, and others. There’s an opportunity there that can potentially be lost as the WWE begins to make the shift from Rollins to McIntyre.
This doesn’t mean that either man should play the second fiddle to Braun, quite the contrary – the WWE needs to find a better space for all three to be featured in the way that they deserve.
Jobbing Braun out to Brock Lesnar the way the organization did at WWE Crown Jewel was a major disservice that not only disrespects their current roster, but many of the fans watching week in and week out. Shift McIntyre to SmackDown, build the mid card titles with meaningful feuds that help all involved; each of these are ways that more stars can be nurtured to help build a complete roster rather than one that is top heavy and centered on one to two names.
There was a time in which the drop of Braun’s theme music caused everyone to stop and pay attention. The “Monster Among Men” was booked in such a fashion and was one key win away from being a character the WWE could build around.
That has now changed, and it seems like he’s set to be the catalyst for others to be pushed. If that is the best way he’s used in this time, then it will be a great disservice to a wrestler that many people were behind a few short months ago.