They don’t call him the “Monster Among Men” for nothing. But physically dominating just about everybody on the Monday Night RAW roster doesn’t begin to tell the whole story about Braun Strowman. In fact, his “kip-up” on this week’s episode of RAW has left many fans’ mouths hanging wide open — how could a man who’s billed at a legitimate six-foot-eight and 385 pounds perform such an athletic move with little difficulty at all?
A kip-up is a move where one quickly springs to their feet from a supine (lying up) position to a standing one. While it isn’t restricted to the world of professional wrestling, this move is usually performed by smaller, more athletic wrestlers – it was a staple of WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels’ repertoire back in his wrestling days, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson used to do it quite often as well, despite being billed at a muscular 260 pounds. These days, you’re likely to see a smaller guy like AJ Styles perform a kip-up flawlessly in the ring. But there have been a few times where wrestlers who weigh far more than 300 pounds bounce up to their feet with unusual athleticism.
The Big Show, or “The World’s Largest Athlete” as he’s billed by WWE, once pulled off an impressive kip-up back in 1999, impressive considering he weighed around 400 pounds at that time. Back then, he had youth on his side, and it’s also worth mentioning that he used the ropes while kipping up. That’s why it’s ironic that Big Show, now 44-years-old and in the homestretch of a storied wrestling career, was facing Braun Strowman when the latter kipped up on Monday Night RAW. And Braun didn’t need the help of the ropes despite his tall, burly frame ostensibly making it hard for someone like him to do the move.
The above video shows the moment in question from this week’s Monday Night RAW main event, where Big Show and Braun Strowman locked up in a battle of giants, with Show representing the old guard and Strowman representing the new breed. Contrary to what many were expecting, the match went a decent length and had both men getting equal opportunities to showcase their offense. But what truly stood out was that moment where Strowman, for all his height and bulk, kipped up in the middle of the ring, showing off some impressive athleticism and surprising finesse for a man his size.
Thanks to this unlikely move on Strowman’s part, WWE’s official highlights video for his match against Big Show has gotten close to 750,000 views in less than 12 hours, even if it doesn’t include Braun’s kip-up.
Although this marked the first time Braun Strowman kipped up on Monday Night RAW, he’s been doing the move on untelevised WWE Live house shows. A clip from November of 2016 shows a very similar sequence, also featuring Braun vs. Big Show — based on the information given by the video’s uploader and Strowman’s match listing on the Internet Wrestling Database, the match took place on November 10 in Vienna, Austria, during WWE’s last European tour.
Reaction to last night’s Big Show vs. Braun Strowman match on RAW has been overwhelmingly positive. In this week’s Monday Night RAW recap, Philly.com wrote that the match served as a good example of how much Strowman has improved since he debuted on the main roster in 2015.
“Back (in Strowman’s early days on the main roster) the guy could barely do anything in the ring mostly because he had no idea what he was doing. On Monday night, we saw a prime example of how much he has progressed since then. He seemed more comfortable in the ring, which meant he could do more, including a kip-up.”
Bleacher Report also put Strowman over nicely, but also praised Big Show’s ability to sell Braun’s moves, as the publication gave their match a strong B+ grade.
“Kudos to Big Show, who bumped all over the ring for Strowman, selling all of his offense and putting over the shock of him kicking out of his signature moves.”
Fans don’t know if this will be the first of many Braun Strowman kip-ups to come, but last night’s Monday Night RAW main event further proved that he’s making the most out of the faith WWE has in him right now.
[Featured Image by WWE]