When Braun Strowman broke out in 2017 as a certified main event performer in the WWE, he was presented as the “Monster Among Men,” a large, powerful man who could strike fear in the hearts of just about anyone. This helped him get over among WWE fans, with Strowman’s rising popularity ultimately leading to a face turn. His transition from a villainous to a heroic role, however, has also resulted in what many wrestling fans and analysts feel is the softening of his character. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin subscribes to this thought, and he expressed his concerns accordingly on the latest episode of his podcast.
On Thursday’s episode of the Steve Austin Show (quotes c/o Cageside Seats), the WWE Hall of Famer admitted to being a longtime fan of Braun Strowman, and being impressed by his look, his charisma, and his ability to cut a good promo. With this in mind, he opined that WWE has not been booking Strowman properly as of late, and that the company’s creative team has been making Braun appear more human and more willing to put over other people, instead of leaving a path of destruction like he often did in his 2017 storylines.
Citing an example of WWE’s “humanization” of Strowman, Austin mentioned his friendly gestures toward tag teammate Bobby Lashley during their match against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at last Sunday’s Backlash pay-per-view.
“Braun looked over like he was gonna give Bobby like a knuckle bump or whatever, kind of put him over… if you rewatch it, and he’s giving Bobby that look like, ‘hey man, let’s do the knuckle thing’ or I’m trying to put you over here.’ It’s like dude, you’re Alpha. If you don’t get out there and work or act Alpha every time you get into the ring, if you play Beta or second to anybody, you’re going to start losing your mystique or power or whatever.”
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s concerns on his podcast about WWE’s portrayal of Braun Strowman are not unprecedented. As recapped by Wrestling Inc. in April, he had previously commented that Braun choosing a 10-year-old boy named Nicholas as his tag team partner against Sheamus and Cesaro at WrestleMania 34 was “almost a disservice” to the two WWE veterans, who lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to Strowman and Nicholas. This was a topic he revisited on this week’s Steve Austin Show, as he acknowledged that the WrestleMania spot was a “great” one for Nicholas, but not ideal for Strowman as far as his being the “Monster Among Men” is concerned.
“I don’t need to see [Strowman] make me laugh, make me smile, bring any warmth to my body – I want to see him go out there and destroy and crush people because he’s capable of doing it,” said Austin.
Although Braun Strowman had most recently qualified for next month’s men’s Money in the Bank ladder match at the pay-per-view of the same name, Sportskeeda agreed with Austin’s comments, saying that Strowman is “seemingly without direction” and “hard to take seriously,” given his recent booking and lack of a feud in the weeks after WrestleMania. Likewise, several Cageside Seats readers shared similar sentiments, with one describing him as a “clown who yells ‘get these hands,'” and multiple readers agreeing that Braun has indeed lost some momentum in recent months.