Baron Corbin vs. Braun Strowman
Something something albatross that handicaps an entire show. No big deal.
The Road to TLC
On the August 20 episode of Raw, Stephanie McMahon made a change. After suffering through an armbar from Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, the Commissioner placed Kurt Angle on extended leave and made Baron Corbin the acting General Manager.
And since then? Yikes.
Corbin’s used that power to pick fights and curry favor with big, burly, bad dudes. In the past several months, Corbin has helped the Authors of Pain, Alexa Bliss, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley...and for a short while, Braun Strowman.
For several months, that’s basically been the formula for Raw. A random bad guy gets a free ride as Corbin torments a babyface. And it only got worse when Roman Reigns was forced to relinquish the Universal Championship. Strowman stepped in to fight Lesnar for the title at Crown Jewel, and that’s where his issues with Corbin began.
Threatened by Strowman’s strength and volatile nature, Corbin quickly turned to amassing allies. It’s been a rotating door of villains at times, but with Lashley and McIntyre at his side, Corbin was able to put Strowman on the shelf with a “shattered elbow.”
What’s at stake?
There’s something at stake for both men. Strowman’s bet his rematch with Lesnar on this one and Corbin’s job is on the line as well. And yet...the feud has severely underwhelmed.
This feud has been the worst thing about Raw in the past few months, from my perspective. It’s led to a lot of head-scratching reviews and a general apathetic malaise. The “evil management” trope is so overplayed at this point it’s exhausting, and Strowman’s a bad choice for the leading role of this sort of story anyway. What’s there to overcome when you’re booked to obliterate everyone but Lesnar?
There’s still a lot up in the air with this match. Strowman may or may not be cleared to wrestle from legitimate elbow surgery. Corbin’s attack was a cover for Strowman’s surgery and the Monster may not even show up. There’s an announced appearance from Vince McMahon on Monday too; and who knows? His presence could end up scrapping the stakes of this match.
WWE’s got their work cut out for them on this one. Let’s just hope this acts as a true finish to the feud.
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