For fans of WWE wrestling, 2017 will be remembered as a crazy year. We have seen the retirement of WWE legend The Undertaker, some epic rivalries, the return of Kurt Angle, and the emergence of Braun Strowman as a real force on WWE TV. Strowman has been involved in some of the most entertaining feuds of the year, and he has broken through as the natural successor to The Undertaker. Of course, many WWE fans will argue that The Undertaker is irreplaceable, and that may be true.
However, Strowman’s efforts throughout the year have seen him elevated to main event status, and it is clear that Vince McMahon has big plans for the Monster among men. Strowman’s year began with a feud against Sami Zayn. Who can forget the sight of Strowman chasing Zayn around arenas before totally destroying him in the ring? That storyline was a lot of fun, but it faded into insignificance when Strowman’s feud with Roman Reigns began.
For months, the rivalry between the Abominable Strowman and The Big Dog was the highlight of Monday Night Raw. We saw locker room brawls, top class ring action, and even Strowman overturning an ambulance with an injured Reigns inside. The rivalry between Strowman and Reigns proved that Vince McMahon is determined to continue pushing both men as WWE wrestlings top talents. Reigns, of course, retired The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 in April, so it may have been assumed that The Big Dog was seen as The Undertaker’s successor.
That assumption was challenged as soon as McMahon scripted a storyline feud between Strowman and Brock Lesnar. That feud elevated Strowman to main event status at SummerSlam and highlighted his potential to become one of the biggest names in WWE wrestling. As 2017 progressed, Strowman has become so popular that McMahon had him execute a face turn.
Recent weeks have made it clear that McMahon sees Strowman as the natural successor to The Undertaker. As reported by Sportkeeda, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle recently expressed his admiration for Strowman and claimed that the Monster Among Men would soon be “in the same bracket of big men as The Undertaker was.” Angle also admitted that Vince McMahon is a big fan of Braun Strowman.
Strowman’s elevation is no coincidence, he has taken 2017 by storm. The National names Strowman as one of this year’s top performers, alongside Roman Reigns and AJ Styles. ESPN picks Strowman vs. Reigns as the best feud of 2017, and as reported by Cageside Seats, the WWE named the fatal four-way clash between Lesnar, Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman at SummerSlam as the second best match of 2017. Only AJ Styles vs. John Cena at the 2017 Royal Rumble topped that contest.
Let’s remember that 2017 was Strowman’s first full year as a singles competitor and he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The rise in Strowman’s popularity marks him out for great things in 2018, and if he continues to progress as he has, he has every chance to assume The Undertaker’s mantle.