Braun Strowman won the Intercontinental Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura on the latest episode of Friday Night SmackDown. However, while the occasion was momentous for Strowman as he finally won his first singles title in WWE, the original plan was to make his victory a bigger deal.
Citing Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Radio, Sportskeeda reports that “The Monster Among Men” was supposed to chase Nakamura for the championship and win it on a grander stage — until WWE decided to abandon those plans.
“It was supposed to be on the December PPV, then it was going to be on the January PPV, then, they just put it on TV and it wasn’t even a chase. It was just like a Powerslam win.”
Nakamura’s title reign was underwhelming in the eyes of the WWE Universe, though the championship has been an afterthought for a while now. However, the planned feud between Nakamura and Strowman was reportedly booked in order to elevate the title to prestigious heights once again, because a superstar like Strowman holding the title will undoubtedly raise its profile. After all, while he hasn’t won any World Championships at the time of this writing, he has been a dominant main event performer since he debuted on the main roster.
The original plan was reportedly stalled due to Strowman receiving an untimely injury back in December, which is why he didn’t win the title at Tables, Ladders & Chairs. Furthermore, at last weekend’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view, he competed in the titular Battle Royale match instead.
It remains to be seen if WWE will continue to book the feud between Nakamura and Strowman going forward, or if they’ll move past it and give the new champion fresh opponents. According to Meltzer, no plans have been revealed at the time of this writing about who the next challenger will be.
“I don’t know who Strowman would be going for with the Intercontinental title going forward. Maybe it will still be Nakamura.”
Nakamura is affiliated with Cesaro, so perhaps “The Swiss Superman” will step up to the plate. His size makes him an ideal opponent for Strowman as both of them are big men, and Cesaro will be able to put on a great match with WWE’s resident monster.
However, as The Inquisitr previously reported, Sheamus has his eye on the title as well. Putting the championship on “The Celtic Warrior” right away could kill Strowman’s momentum, but he’d also be a worthy contender if WWE wants to elevate the title.