The WWE network spent weeks building the rivalry between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman in preparation for last night’s No Mercy PPV. Lesnar vs. Strowman was the foundation on which the Raw exclusive PPV was built and to be fair, the match lived up to its headline billing. According to the official WWE website, Strowman threw Lesnar around the ring like a “rag doll” for most of the match, but lost the match after being pinned by “The Beast.” As predicted by the Inquisitr last week, Lesnar retained the Universal Championship despite a buildup that suggested the opposite.
During the buildup to No Mercy, Monday Night Raw cut numerous promos where Strowman destroyed Lesnar. The Beast’s promoter, Paul Heyman, even suggested that Strowman was about to claim his first major WWE championship.
Most fans of Monday Night Raw would agree that Strowman has been the show’s premiere performer throughout 2017. As the new year dawned, we saw a fun feud between Strowman and Sami Zayn, but it was the “Monster Among Men’s” feud with Roman Reigns that saw Strowman elevated to the very top of the WWE roster.
We saw Strowman put Roman Reigns in an ambulance, and then saw him tip over the ambulance with Reigns inside. Roman Reigns Vs. Braun Strowman became Monday Night Raw’s prime attraction as their promos outshone what was happening in the ring.
With the WWE pushing Strowman so hard, it was inevitable that he would have the opportunity to grab a major title. That chance came at No Mercy, the problem, according to some reports, is that Strowman lost that match. According to Forbes, this essentially means that the WWE network chose to continue to push Lesnar, at the expense of the man who has carried Monday Night Raw for most of 2017.
With Lesnar retaining the Universal title, this means that the WWE’s most prestigious title has been in the hands of a part-timer for the whole of 2017. Goldberg held the title before losing to Lesnar at WrestleMania 33, and with Lesnar being a very rare competitor, the title is unlikely to change hands before the end of the year.
Many will see this as a lost opportunity for the WWE network. Strowman is now a hugely popular wrestler and would have made a worthy Universal champion. Strowman is portrayed as a destroyer, a monster among men, the role of “plucky loser” does not fit him. Lesnar is a part-timer and one that rumors suggest may return to UFC as soon as his drug ban expires in December. Almost unbelievably this could mean that Lesnar could leave WWE before losing the Universal Championship.
Having Lesnar retain his title against Strowman may be a decision the WWE network will regret in the months to come.
[Featured Image by WWE]