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A match that will forever be overshadowed by the circumstances around it

Universal title match

How much controversy can you squeeze into one match?

The Road to WrestleMania 36

Goldberg beat Bray Wyatt for the Universal title at Super ShowDown. Much of the WWE Universe was not pleased.

Okay, though. It was just a way to get the belt on Roman Reigns. Romey has never been everyone’s favorite, but he’s been kept away from the main event for a while, and would be around more often than the Hall of Famer.

Then leukemia survivor Joe Anoaʻi wisely decided wrestling during a global pandemic was a bad idea. After news that Braun Strowman would replace him in the match broke, the Big Dog talked a bit about the decision in a video he posted to his social media. WWE waited until last night to announce it. Like this...

That’s it. There’s no history between Strowman and Goldberg to build on. Braun’s history of not being able to win the big one is mentioned in’s official preview. That’ll have to do.

What’s at stake

Triple H’s credibility, for one thing.

Promoters gonna promote, of course. But Haitch promised a “unique”, storyline-driven explanation for why we’re getting The Monster Among Men instead of Reigns this weekend. So far, it hasn’t come. But giving WWE an unearned benefit of the doubt... they could tell us Roman was attacked backstage during one of the two WrestleMania 36 broadcasts. Or they could go the reality route and show us Reigns offering his former rival this opportunity. The company presented images of Roman and Braun sharing a moment when The Big Dog left WWE for cancer treatment in 2018. A call back to that would humanize all involved.

Aside from that though, the question is just whether or not the company is ever going to go with Strowman as a top guy. Goldberg as champ presents limited options for multiple reasons (his schedule and his workrate, to name two). It’s hard to imagine he or WWE counted on this being a long reign.

Do they strap him here, even if it’s only for a transitional run? Or is he back to feuding with factions in the mid-card until Tyson Fury has an open spot on his dance card?

And what does the way this all went down say about Reigns’ standing with Vince McMahon? His video made it clear he showed up at the ‘Mania tapings ready to work. WWE’s publicly said they respect his decision, but their handling of the change within the product could be read as their not being happy with where it left them.

There’s a lot going on with this one. It’s just that most of it has happened behind-the-scenes.

We’ll cover it from all sides, at WrestleMania 36 and beyond, right here at cSs.


Who will win?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Braun Strowman
    (150 votes)
  • 47%
    (134 votes)
284 votes total Vote Now

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