At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view (PPV) this past Sunday, WWE presented Braun Strowman as, well... a Monster Among Men.
Taking out a record five men in a losing effort was far from Braun’s first superhuman feat in a WWE ring or on our screens. This is a charactor who can overturn ambulances, flip tractor trailers, survive being crushed in a garbage truck, pull down lighting rigs - you get the idea.
So it’s not surprising that a lot of people were left scratching their heads when the follow-up to his dominant run (almost all the way) through the Chamber match was a scrap with Elias which saw the busking heel get in some offense and escape Braun’s wrath. Sure, we know Elias eventually will get those hands, but on Feb. 26, it was a letdown.
We still have five more Mondays between now and WrestleMania 34, so we shouldn’t panic yet. And I’m not backtracking on my belief that Strowman should not be added to the Universal title match (especially when WWE either brilliantly planned for and/or backed into the one story which could sway more fans Roman Reigns’ way). But it’s worth wondering what the plan is for Braun in New Orleans on April 8.
Rumors that he’d be challenging The Miz for the Intercontinental title never quite felt right, and definitely don’t appear to be the direction after Miz spent an hour dealing with Seth Rollins and Finn Bálor last night without ever crossing paths with Strowman.
What else is there?
Though it’s just speculation based on existing rumors, the option which appears to fit is The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
While it doesn’t sound worthy of the build/push Braun’s received over the past year, it would provide him with a substantial challenge with the opportunity to pull off multiple feats of strength and impressive stunts. Press slamming five men or something similar would be the kind of GIF-able “moment” WWE loves, especially for ‘Mania. As would breaking the ropes by dropkicking Big Show through them, or cracking the apron driving Kane into it. A break for a song from whatever pop star they recruit to provide a song that won’t be as good as “Green Light” would give them time to fix the ring for the next match, too.
Reports say that, with the release of HBO’s documentary on Andre coming out two days after WrestleMania 34 on April 10, WWE wants to do something special for the match which bears his name. Having their most popular current larger-than-life character wow the world and stand next to a trophy with his likeness atop it would accomplish that goal better than just about anything else I can think of.
Like I said, based on the history of the four Andre Battle Royals which have come before, this feels like a big step down for Strowman. But if anyone can elevate it, even for one year, it’d be the Monster Among Men.
And I really don’t know what else there is for him to do.
Your thoughts, Cagesiders? Do you like the thought of Braun in The ‘Dre, or does it just make you want to say RAWR? Sound off below.