For many wrestling fans, Brock Lesnar’s victory over Braun Strowman in a match for the vacant Universal Championship was one of the biggest surprises at last week’s Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia. While some cited Baron Corbin’s pre-match interference as a storyline-related justification for Strowman’s loss, a new report suggests there might be another reason why the “Monster Among Men” has yet to win the Universal Championship despite often being favored to do so.
On Wednesday, Wrestling News cited a recent member’s only broadcast on PWInsider where the site’s Mike Johnson said that he had gleaned some information from “four different people,” all of whom claimed that Strowman has had some backstage issues that have prevented WWE’s creative team from giving him the opportunities fans believe he deserves.
“There are times where Strowman is negligent when it comes to showing up on time. He has a reputation at times for leaving a little early and sometimes he makes mistakes in terms of etiquette backstage [or] in the locker room,” said Johnson, as quoted by Wrestling News.
According to Wrestling News, the above allegations can be considered “ironic,” as Lesnar has been known to leave shows right after his segments wrap up, without having to face any sanctions from WWE officials for not remaining backstage with the rest of the roster until the show is finished.
Aside from his alleged issues with tardiness and leaving shows early, Braun Strowman was also described as someone who could be his “own worst enemy,” thus making WWE hesitant to go all-in on him as a top-tier performer on the Monday Night Raw brand.
“They would be high on him and just when he gets to the point where you would think the next step is putting him into the centerpiece position for the company, something happens and he makes some sort of misstep backstage and people within management kind of cool on him and they take a step back.”
— NoDQ.com: WWE Survivor Series news #SurvivorSeries (@nodqdotcom) November 8, 2018
Prior to Crown Jewel, Strowman failed to win the Universal Championship at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view in September. As recapped on the WWE website, Braun’s match against then-champion Roman Reigns was declared a no-contest after Lesnar made a surprise appearance and attacked both men with his F-5 finisher. This also resulted in Strowman’s cash-in attempt as WWE’s “Mr. Money in the Bank” getting wasted, as he was “so sure” of becoming Universal Champion that he decided to use Hell in a Cell’s titular main event as his cash-in match.
Commenting on Johnson’s report, Cageside Seats stressed that the longtime PWInsider writer did not explicitly say that Braun Strowman’s alleged backstage heat was the deciding factor for WWE officials to give Brock Lesnar the Universal Championship win at Crown Jewel and did not mention either any specific examples of how Strowman’s actions led to WWE punishing him by making him look inferior in the ring. However, the publication opined that the backstage issues pointed out by Johnson could be just one of several reasons why Strowman lost to Lesnar, as the former’s lingering knee issues and the latter’s reportedly lucrative contract could also be driving factors behind the booking decision at Crown Jewel.