The WWE Universe is Ruining Braun Strowman


Braun Strowman has clearly been the Most Improved Player of the Raw brand since the split. However, while WWE has booked his character well, the fan’s booking of him can be costly to his overall progress.

When Braun Strowman joined the Wyatt Family in the summer of 2015, his dark-masked addition caused a much-needed spark to a dying faction. Since many did not know who he was outside of the hardcore fans, he also was not shrouded with previous baggage that he had to deal with as well. Although he did make appearances as one of Adam Rose’s rosebuds, his physical stature and monster character immediately put aside his jovial, party days.

Baggage from other gimmicks does make a big difference in the WWE. For instance, one of the worst cases is when Matt Bloom returned as Lord Tensai, playing an American who has adopted Japanese traditions to overtake his appreciation for the United States. Unfortunately, for Bloom, this was doomed from the start. WWE quickly dropped the “Lord” from his name, his heel pushed disintegrated, and he was left dancing with Brodus Clay.

Thankfully, for Strowman, he does not have to deal with this burden. When he first started making a name for himself after the WWE draft, he began with fighting enhancement talent who were thankful for an opportunity. This turned to multiple weeks of doing this, before it slightly overstayed its welcome. Finally, he started an angle with Mick Foley, demanding competition. This led to a feud with Sami Zayn, which further helped his status as a monster heel.

Faces and heels are still a very essential part of professional wrestling. No matter how many smarky fans are in the crowd, at the end of the day, it is still about the hero – against all odds – defeating the villain. It is essentially a real-time comic book.

If there is no strong heel, the babyface does not get the heroic reaction drawn from people rallying behind him or her. If the Joker, Lex Luthor, and the Green Goblin were not so villainous, it would severely take away from Batman, Superman, and Spiderman. Moreover, it would not give the viewers suspenseful television to anticipate the good guy winning in the end.  Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant was a perfect example of this.

This aligns with two of the biggest problems in the WWE. One, there are no Lex Luthors to opposite Spiderman, because the face/heel dynamic is so weak; two, people are cheering for Lex Luthor, which deflates the mission of Spiderman to save the people from the terror displayed by the menacing, heartless adversary.

Strowman was getting significant heat for months, which helped elevate his character even more as a heel. However, he is getting cheered more due to feuding with Roman Reigns since the beginning of the year. Since fans are very vocal that Roman Reigns is not the crowd’s “chosen one,” this hurts any heel who is trying to mature in the position after feuding with him.

Initially, it appeared as if WWE placed the two in a feud together to make Reigns look like the resilient good guy who was able to best the enormous foe. However, the mission has not been as successful as planned, and more people are cheering for Strowman than ever before.

If fact, it has gotten so vile, that people cheer a man who is decimating the good guy right before our very eyes.

A quick fix of how to clean this up as much as possible it to feud Strowman with someone who gets unanimous fan support. For example, Finn Balor or Seth Rollins. This will rekindle the heat that Strowman needs to effectively put over the babyface.

Roman Reigns will not be looked at as a babyface until he has a heel run first and finally “sees the light,” similar to The Rock.

At the end of the day, good heels make good babyfaces. If the fans are the heels, it destroys both the heel and the babyface, which is critical to making a star in the professional wrestling business.

Wrestling has never been about men in tights. It’s been about characters suspending our reality that matches have a predetermined outcome. When the fans take that element away with trying to put themselves over, it creates disinterest from the casual crowd, and substantially lowers the bar of what to expect.

More wwe: WWE Backlash's 10 Best Matches of All Time

For Strowman, the more he gets cheered, the less effective of a heel he can be. WWE needs to perform some serious preventative maintenance on his character, before he gets stuck between the fans being indecisive of who he should be.