The WWE got some horrible news this past week. While the injuries to Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns in their current feud are all storyline injuries, Strowman just learned that he actually suffered a legitimate injury that will slow down his monster push. According to Wrestling Inc, Braun Strowman suffered an elbow injury and will miss up to two months of action.
This comes at the worst possible time. The WWE wanted to keep Roman Reigns away from a match with Brock Lesnar until WrestleMania 34 and they were working on achieving that by having Braun Strowman beating Roman Reigns in an Ambulance Match at Extreme Rules and then having Braun move into a feud with Brock Lesnar.
While many might be surprised to hear this, Braun Strowman has become one of the biggest stars in the WWE in the last few months. According to Forbes, the main event match involving Braun Strowman on the April 17 episode of Monday Night Raw was the most successful main event for the show since 2013.
To show how popular Braun Strowman really is, one look at YouTube shows that he has really developed a huge following. The big reason for the WWE pushing Roman Reigns so hard over the last two years is because he gets a ton of social media mentions and is one of the top stars when it comes to views of YouTube videos.
In April 2017, Braun Strowman was featured in seven major videos on YouTube and 29.2 million viewers watched them as of the publication of this article. That includes 10.5 million people watching the video of Braun Strowman putting Roman Reigns in the hospital. 5.9 million viewers watched the Braun Strowman vs. Big Show match that saw the ring collapse and 5.6 million people watched the Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar confrontation.
The WWE has even started to capitalize on his popularity by selling brand new merchandise for the superstar at their own personal online store. One of the reasons that the WWE won't turn certain superstars into heels is because they make more money off faces. Creating the new line of merchandise for a heel shows that he is becoming very popular despite his allegiances.
However, this injury comes at a horrible time for both Braun Strowman and the WWE. With Strowman injured, he can't wrestle at Extreme Rules, which is where the number one contender's match with Roman Reigns was supposed to take place. This means he can't win the spot for the Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view in July.
Unless the WWE wants to put him in a match with Brock Lesnar without any lead-in, the WWE needs to find a new number one contender on Monday Night Raw. It can't be Roman Reigns unless the WWE wants to throw out their WrestleMania 34 main event at a smaller pay-per-view.
Recently, there was a list of wrestlers that Wrestling Observer Radio reported that the WWE planned to put against Brock Lesnar over the next year other than Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. Those names included Seth Rollins and Finn Balor.
Finn Balor is about to start a feud with Bray Wyatt, who himself recently held the WWE world title over on SmackDown Live. With Wyatt being a former world champion and Finn Balor the first ever WWE Universal Champion, that match at Extreme Rules could be a possibility to determine the new No. 1 contender.
The other name is Seth Rollins, who continues to feud with Samoa Joe. Much like Kevin Owens before him, Samoa Joe is an associate of Triple H and that could allow this match to come into consideration for the No. 1 contender role as well. Samoa Joe has said in the past that a match against Brock Lesnar is a dream match for him.
Braun Strowman might be back by July, in time for Great Balls of Fire. There were rumors that Braun Strowman would face Brock Lesnar twice, with the second match coming at SummerSlam in August. The WWE could add a minor contender in July and then have Bruan Strowman retake his position in time for the August pay-per-view but it will all come down to his recovery and whether Braun returns to the same reaction he received before his injury.
[Featured Image by WWE]