Braun Strowman closed out this week’s (Aug. 27) Raw by turning on his tag team partner, Roman Reigns, and then teaming up with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre to wipe out the remaining members of The Shield. Once the destruction was complete, Strowman then endorsed Dolph and Drew by raising their hands to celebrate the carnage.
This angle depicted a fairly obvious heel turn for the Monster Among Men. It could be argued that he was justified in extracting revenge on The Shield after they triple powerbombed him through a table the prior week, but there’s no need to actually raise the hands of the clear villains (Dolph and Drew) if Braun was still a babyface or a tweener.
Ok, fine. Braun Strowman is now a heel, at least until he’s done feuding with The Shield.
But wait a minute...what kind of babyface holds a Money in the Bank (MITB) contract, then turns heel, yet doesn’t walk out as the new champion? This is one detail that I can’t wrap my head around concerning Strowman’s apparent heel turn. A truly despicable heel would cash in right there on the spot, rather than using the MITB contract to set up a fair fight against Roman Reigns at Hell in a Cell on September 16.
So either Braun Strowman is a dummy, or he’s still motivated by some honorable tendencies. It’s actually very consistent with everything we’ve seen from Braun Strowman that he would use his MITB contract to set up a future match rather than use it in a sneaky manner. Ok fair enough, Strowman is not simply a generic heel, and maybe that’s a good thing.
However there are still two problems I have with Strowman’s decisions over the last couple of weeks. WWE is trying to sell the narrative that Strowman is not a coward because he’s going to cash in that contract with some kind of notice, rather than doing it completely behind the victim’s back.
That’s fine in theory. But if there was a scale with “Brave” on one end and “Cowardly” on the other end, Strowman’s decision to cash in on August 20, after Roman’s lengthy match with Finn Balor, still ranks much closer to the Cowardly end of the scale. Roman Reigns was physically exhausted and in no shape to compete again, yet Strowman didn’t care at all about that; he was willing and eager to take advantage of Roman’s vulnerability. If that’s the case, I don’t really understand why Strowman would be against the idea of cashing in on Roman one week later at the end of their tag match with Dolph and Drew.
The other problem I have with Strowman’s decision is that it’s not consistent at all with his character to seek out help. One year ago, four heels teamed up at TLC 2017 to attempt garbage truck homicide on the Monster Among Men. Over the course of the next six months, Strowman got his revenge against all of them (Miz, Kane, Sheamus, Cesaro) without ever seeking assistance. Ok sure, technically he teamed up with Some Kid to take out The Bar at WrestleMania 34, but the whole point of that angle was to show that Strowman didn’t need a legitimate tag team partner to defeat his foes.
It’s also well known that Strowman isn’t so desperate to hold championship gold that he is willing to accept help to accomplish that goal. Kane offered a truce to Strowman ahead of their triple threat match for Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship at Royal Rumble 2018, yet Strowman wasn’t remotely tempted to go down that route. He did things his own way, even though it meant decreasing his chance to take out Lesnar for the championship.
Therefore I’m just not buying the idea that Strowman would so willingly endorse Dolph and Drew as his allies, at least not this quickly. He should have tried gaining a measure of revenge on his own before ultimately cracking and relying on others to help him out.
When the Shield reunited on August 20, some fans were confused by the heel and babyface alignments of everyone involved. Were the Shield babyfaces or heels? Did Braun Strowman deserve everything that happened to him? Even though there are still some lingering questions about how much of a heel Braun Strowman really is right now, the closing angle on Raw absolutely laid to rest any questions about the alignment of The Shield. They are the clear babyfaces in this story, and maybe getting that point across was the primary reason WWE made sure to have Strowman raise the hands of Dolph and Drew to end the night.
How did you feel about the way Braun Strowman’s heel turn was handled, Cagesiders?