5 mistakes WWE made with Braun Strowman

WWE has announced the release of a few superstars, including Braun Strowman. He was let go alongside Aleister Black, Ruby Riott, Lana, Murphy, and Santana Garrett.

This comes as a huge surprise, with Strowman’s release being the biggest one of them all. The Monster Among Men had been a regular on RAW recently and was even a part of the WWE Championship match at the last pay-per-view, WrestleMania Backlash.

Braun Strowman seemed like a “WWE lifer” after signing a huge contract to remain with the company in 2019, while he was the Universal Champion as recently as the start of the ThunderDome era last August. However, he hasn’t always enjoyed the best booking from WWE.

The former Wyatt Family member enjoyed a memorable six years in the company, but he does seem like a huge missed opportunity.

Here are five mistakes WWE made with Braun Strowman.


#5 The build to Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 37

The most recent example of WWE mishandling Braun Strowman on this list comes from the lead-up to WrestleMania 37. He was booked to face Shane McMahon in a Steel Cage Match on Night One of the show.

It even delivered well, with Shane O’Mac taking a huge bump from the top of the cage at The Show of Shows. But even if the payoff was satisfying, the journey absolutely wasn’t. The whole basis of the feud between Strowman and McMahon was the word “stupid.”

The former SmackDown commissioner repeatedly called his larger foe stupid and tried to make him look foolish, even dousing him with slime in one episode of RAW. Their promo segments were not great, while Strowman beating Elias did not do much to raise his stock before WrestleMania.

It was also during this period when WWE decided to add a train sound effect to his spot of running around the ringside area, furthering the confusion surrounding his booking. It didn’t seem like a good idea to make Braun Strowman the subject of a bullying angle in the build-up to one of the bigger matches at WrestleMania.

#4 Braun Strowman’s multiple defeats to Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship

WWE had done a phenomenal job at booking Braun Strowman in the first year of the brand split. He had broken away from The Wyatt Family and was steadily positioned as a top-tier monster figure on RAW.

Strowman ran through the undercard of RAW, before embarking on a brutal feud with Roman Reigns in the spring of 2017. He got insanely over through his storyline with Reigns, thanks to some ridiculous feats of strength, and carried over his momentum into a feud with Brock Lesnar over the Universal Championship.

The reactions Braun Strowman was getting definitely warranted a title win, even if it would be a temporary thing. Unfortunately, his match with Lesnar at No Mercy was painfully mediocre. It took one F5 to keep the man-mountain down, which seemed baffling.

A defeat could have worked in the right circumstances, but WWE should have struck while the iron was hot with Strowman. He should have become Universal Champion in 2017, or even 2018. The Monster Among Men faced Brock Lesnar again a year later at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia.

That match was even worse, with The Beast Incarnate simply hitting him with multiple F5s before winning the vacant Universal Title. Braun Strowman should have won that match but seemed to need some time off to heal an injury, as he was written off from WWE TV a few weeks later.

#3 Braun Strowman wins the RAW Tag Team Championship with a 10-year-old child at WrestleMania 34

Braun Strowman remained over as hell heading into WrestleMania 34, where the planned main event was between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. It had been in the works for over a year but perhaps, WWE should have been more flexible due to Strowman’s rise in popularity.

The aforementioned defeat to Lesnar at No Mercy 2017 was damaging for The Monster Among Men, who recovered with a full-blown face turn. He continued to pull off incredible feats of strength on RAW, becoming a special attraction on the Red brand.

However, instead of being included in the Universal Title mix for WrestleMania 34, Strowman headed into the event feuding with RAW Tag Team Champions, The Bar. He was set to take them on, alongside a mystery partner. After some hype regarding it, the partner was revealed to be a 10-year-old boy named Nicholas.

Yes. Braun Strowman, one of WWE’s biggest babyfaces at the time, spent WrestleMania 34 winning the Tag Team Championship with a child. It was an unnecessary move that devalued the titles, while Strowman felt more like a comedy character than a main event star.

#3 Braun Strowman wins the RAW Tag Team Championship with a 10-year-old child at WrestleMania 34

Braun Strowman remained over as hell heading into WrestleMania 34, where the planned main event was between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. It had been in the works for over a year but perhaps, WWE should have been more flexible due to Strowman’s rise in popularity.

The aforementioned defeat to Lesnar at No Mercy 2017 was damaging for The Monster Among Men, who recovered with a full-blown face turn. He continued to pull off incredible feats of strength on RAW, becoming a special attraction on the Red brand.

However, instead of being included in the Universal Title mix for WrestleMania 34, Strowman headed into the event feuding with RAW Tag Team Champions, The Bar. He was set to take them on, alongside a mystery partner. After some hype regarding it, the partner was revealed to be a 10-year-old boy named Nicholas.

Yes. Braun Strowman, one of WWE’s biggest babyfaces at the time, spent WrestleMania 34 winning the Tag Team Championship with a child. It was an unnecessary move that devalued the titles, while Strowman felt more like a comedy character than a main event star.

#2 Braun Strowman wins Money in the Bank and turns heel at the peak of his popularity

Another few mistakes WWE made with Braun Strowman came during the summer of 2018. This was him on his last legs as a possible babyface megastar. He won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, despite not needing the briefcase at all.

Strowman could have easily just gotten a Universal Championship match at will, having won the 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble Match in Saudi Arabia a couple of months earlier. It should have counted for something. The Monster Among Men was already over as well, as other superstars could have done with the boost.

But what made the decision even worse was the fact that Braun Strowman did not even successfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract. He failed to become the Universal Champion, following an ill-advised heel turn.

Strowman became a villain after The Shield had reunited to stop him from cashing in on Roman Reigns, aligning himself with Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler to counter the star-studded trio. He cashed in ahead of time, setting up a Hell in a Cell Match between him and Reigns for the Universal Championship.

It ended in the worst possible way, a No Contest. Brock Lesnar returned, invaded the cell, and attacked both superstars to the point where the referee called the match off. From his heel turn to a terrible Money in the Bank cash-in, Braun Strowman’s stock plummeted during this period. He would never be the same.

#1 WWE’s booking of Braun Strowman as Universal Champion in 2020

After failing to win the Universal Championship on multiple occasions, Braun Strowman finally won the title in the most anticlimactic way possible. The Monster Among Men was a last-minute replacement for Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 36, where he defeated Goldberg to finally become the Universal Champion.

Having missed the boat on him multiple times in the past, WWE had a golden opportunity to finally turn Strowman into a megastar. Instead, his Universal Title reign was not very good.

WWE did not help Braun Strowman a whole lot during this period, with a lack of solid opponents. Daniel Bryan, King Corbin, and Cesaro all could have stepped up to enhance Strowman’s reign. Instead, it was dominated by his feud with Bray Wyatt.

A storyline between the former Wyatt Family brothers had a lot of potential and could have been special, but it went on for too long and lost its way. Braun Strowman’s feud with The Miz and John Morrison between his feud with Wyatt also failed to deliver.

The Wyatt Swamp Fight at Extreme Rules was one confusing cinematic mess. It did have its moments, but Strowman and Wyatt had both seen much better days. His final weeks as Universal Champion did spark some intrigue, before Roman Reigns’ return at SummerSlam completely overshadowed him and The Fiend.

WWE failed to turn Braun Strowman into a permanent main eventer through this Universal Title reign. It could have happened, even though he was evidently a placeholder for The Tribal Chief. The company did not have any follow-up plans for The Monster Among Men after his exit from the Universal Title picture.

And now, less than a year after Strowman main evented the first pay-per-view at the WWE ThunderDome, he has been released. What other mistakes do you think WWE made with Braun Strowman? Is he the biggest missed opportunity in recent history? Sound off in the comments below.

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