The WWE was able to build Braun Strowman into a legitimate monster over the last several months since the brand extension. However, they managed to devalue what they built in just two days of WWE programming. As seen this past week, WWE officials booked Strowman to lose clean to Roman Reigns at WWE Fastlane and then retreat and refrain from any physical confrontation during the final segment on WWE RAW the very next night.
Throughout the show on Monday, the WWE continually teased that Braun Strowman was going to call out Roman Reigns and finish what he started at WWE Fastlane. The pay-per-view match was constructed in a way where Strowman would dominate throughout, but Reigns would persevere and eventually come out on top. The idea was that Strowman would continue applying punishment on WWE RAW.
The WWE Universe was quite miffed with that decision and became even further perplexed with how WWE officials booked the Strowman/Undertaker/Reigns angle 24 hours later. As seen, when Strowman called out Reigns, the Undertaker emerged instead. The Phenom and the WWE's Monster Among Men engaged in a brief stare-down before Strowman backtracked and disappeared through the Chicago crowd.
When Strowman was gone, Reigns appeared from the back and met the Undertaker in the middle of the WWE ring. Reigns claimed that Braun was calling him out, not the Undertaker before the two glanced at the WrestleMania sign, and the Deadman then planted Reigns with a choke slam to close the show. This, of course, was the next step in setting up their match at WrestleMania. The first being Reigns eliminating the Undertaker from the Royal Rumble match back in January.
As we wrote about on Tuesday, this was just one example of WWE officials booking themselves into a corner and not being able to script a suitable conclusion. The other instance came when they booked Chris Jericho and Samoa Joe in a singles match, which ended with Joe winning by count-out. However, it appears that WWE officials saw the Strowman retreat differently than the WWE Universe.
In the article linked above, we speculated that with Strowman backing down, it possibly left the door open for a future encounter between him and the WWE's instrument of destruction. That was recently confirmed in a report from GiveMeSport. The intention of the angle was for Strowman to back away as a sign of respect, not out of cowardice. There is a thought backstage that if the Undertaker is able to continue to wrestle another handful of matches that Braun Strowman would be on the short list of future opponents.
Once plans for a mega-match between the Undertaker and John Cena were taken off the table, Strowman's name came up on several occasions as a replacement. WWE officials would dismiss that idea soon after, however, and the company moved on with Roman Reigns, a match that Vince McMahon has wanted for some time. It's not the first time Strowman had major plans nixed either.
There was talk last year of having Strowman face the Undertaker at WWE WrestleMania 32, but fan backlash forced WWE officials to stray far away. Then, there were discussions about putting Strowman with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, but then they felt he wasn't ready yet. Now, just as it looks like they built him up properly, WWE officials force his stock to take a dive in order to make Roman Reigns and the Undertaker as marquee as possible.
Vince apparently wants to make a Strowman-Taker match happen down the line, but for now, The WWE's Monster Among Men will likely be placed in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WWE WrestleMania. He is currently scheduled to be the favorite where the hope is that he'll be re-elevated coming out of the show. The GMS report also indicates that fans will be talking about Braun even though he's not being booked in a marquee program.
[Featured Image by WWE]