Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Jamie Lithgow and Benjamin Trecroci
Sometime’s think we’re overly negative about the WWE product? Will sit back and enjoy as today, in this latest Sunday Sermon, amongst perhaps some minor griping, we shall wax lyrically about the WWE’s booking of Braun Strowman.
Craig: Oh praise the Lord, the WWE have remembered how to book a giant and have made Braun Strowman look a million dollars. When he’s not tossing over ambulances with superstars inside or throwing giants through cages, Strowman is, above all, looking like a dominating monster.
Across this blog, we’ve often been critical about how WWE books big men in recent and not so recent times. So, what has been your highlight of Strowman’s run and what exactly differently have the WWE done when it comes to how he’s been booked and portrayed on TV.
Brian: First off, I think the WWE has done a sensational job booking Braun Strowman as this unbeatable monster. I do disagree with the statement that the company has had issues booking big men. I think that it is quite the opposite in my opinion.
I think giants are McMahon’s speciality. It’s the smaller wrestlers that Vince seems to have trouble with. Guys like Braun, Kane, The Undertaker, Andre the Giant etc have all benefited from McMahon’s love affair with big men.
Jamie: I’d agree with Brian, WWE – and by all accounts Vince McMahon in particular – love a big man. More often than not, they seem to get the most they possibly can out of them. Take Big Show for example. On his day, he’s a good worker and valuable asset to have. Thus, he was never booked as one of these unbeatable heel monsters who ultimately got defeated and either disappeared or fell down the card a la The Great Khali. Big Show has flip-flopped between heel and face so often to keep him fresh because he’s actually pretty good. On The other hand, WWE got more than their fair share out of The Great Khali too, but with totally different booking. They know what they’re doing with a big man, and I’d be of the opinion that if a giant monster can’t get over in WWE then it’s on them, not the company.
As for Strowman, I’m intrigued by him. I keep my distance from the WWE product these, especially Raw. Last time I watched with any degree of frequency big Braun had just left the Wyatt Family and previous to that I recall him losing to the aforementioned Big Show. However, I have recently heard a buzz around the guy and by chance managed to catch him destroying Show inside a cage last week. Purely from a personal stand point, I now see Strowman as a big deal. He is now ripping apart guys he once struggled with. That there is a tangible, believable reason why he should be taken seriously rather than because WWE say so i.e Jinder Mahal
Brian: Exactly Jamie, that is why Braun Strowman is so over with fans right now. They built him up the right way and knew exactly how to do it. Vince couldn’t book someone like Sami Zayn to lift up an ambulance or tear through an entire WWE locker room. This is right in McMahon’s wheelhouse and it is paying off big for him.
Benjamin: Yeah as self-professed Wyatt Family “Firefly” I wasn’t too big on Strowman at first glance. He was big but sort of had a baby looking face. Once he started to go on his own and barreled through local talent he started to grow on me. Also, he changed his look a bit and shaved the side of his head Then he seems to have put on more muscle weight and seemed to look tougher as well. Would say that his feud with Reigns really put him over the top and of course his “I’m not finished with you” line was golden!
Right now he’s at that dare I say, Ryback level of are they going to pull the trigger and put the belt on him when he’s red hot or is he not ready yet?
Craig: I think it’s an absolutely spot-on point, Ben. Can the WWE afford to not take the opportunity they have? They have built him up to look a million dollars a the moment. Whilst you can hardly say the push has organic, he hasn’t been rammed down our throats like others in the past, should the WWE just pull the trigger? Can he get any bigger or more over before they have to eventually? I’m not convinced. In reality, I’m all for Braun winning the title next week at No Mercy. It will, for a change, be a clear example of near flawless booking from the WWE.
Benjamin: If I was holding the pencil I would pull the trigger and put the belt on Braun. They’ve been so off lately on striking when the iron is hot that I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept things status quo.
Saw some terrible pictures of attendance recently of Raw and Smackdown and not sure if it’s just a down time for WWE or people just aren’t excited anymore. Maybe by putting the title on Braun would be something that could move the needle.
Brian: Yeah, attendance has been down for their bigger shows ie the television tapings and not just house shows. The WWE needs to do something whether or not Braun winning the Universal title will do that remains to be seen. I doubt it though. I mean while Braun is a regular who seems to be getting over, Brock Lesnar is still considered an attraction.
They need to do a lot more than just put a title on Strowman. It may be a step in the right direction…but something tells me that they want to book Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania. A bad move, I know, but that has never stopped the WWE before.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.