Throughout 2017, Braun Strowman has continued to establish himself as not only one of the top names on the WWE Raw brand, but the entire company. When he first defected away from his former leader, Bray Wyatt, many were skeptical that this move was premature, and he would just wallow into a status that did not fit his monstrous figure. When WWE first showcased him on Raw, it was weekly squash matches against one or more jobbers. Then, after this became extremely tired and redundant, the company incorporated both then-Raw General Manager Mick Foley, as well as Sami Zayn.
While Strowman was demanding competition, Zayn was trying to prove his worth to the authority figures, namely Stephanie McMahon. Zayn ended up defeating Strowman in a match that stated he would win if he lasted 10 minutes. However, he would eventually get repeatedly pummeled by Strowman, making many forget that he actually has a check mark in the victory column against him.
Since then, Strowman has rapidly ascended up the rankings, being face-to-face with names such as The Undertaker, Goldberg, and Brock Lesnar, as well as commencing a feud with former WWE Champion Roman Reigns, defeating him at the most recent WWE Payback event. Although many expected Strowman to defeat Reigns since he was taped up from an angle a few weeks back, Reigns was attacked even after the match, and bled from the mouth after getting the steel steps smashed on his ribs. This was specifically surprising that this occurred just a month after Reigns potentially retired The Undertaker after The Deadman made 25 appearances at WrestleMania and has been with the company since 1990. Strowman also gained momentum after imploding the ring following a top-rope suplex to the Big Show on an episode of Raw.
With the oddly-named Great Balls of Fire event approaching in July, the strong speculation was that Strowman was going to compete against Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship. However, like many competitors before him, and ill-timed injury has stopped his momentum right in its tracks. According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, Strowman suffered an elbow injury that will require surgery, thus shelving him for four to eight weeks. As a result, he will be missing the Extreme Rules event scheduled for June 4, and most likely the aforementioned Great Balls of Fire event, scheduled for July 9.
So, with Strowman out, who will be the person to replace him? Right now, there are three main feuds on Raw, stemming from the aftermath of the Intercontinental Championship triple threat match. Those feuds are the continued feud between Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe, along with Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz for the IC title, and Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt.
One match that would be worth the watch would be a fatal four-way match between Lesnar, Rollins, Balor, and Wyatt. Lesnar vs. Balor has been teased, but the dynamic of that match may be a bit too unbelievable. Rollins still has not competed against Lesnar in a one-on-one match for a title, as he mentioned during his in-ring promo letting the WWE Universe know what his immediate plans were. Wyatt still has unfinished business with Lesnar, stemming from their short feud in early 2015.
For Roman Reigns, holding him off for Lesnar until next WrestleMania could still occur. Samoa Joe can start a feud with Reigns after Rollins getting double-teamed from Triple H and Joe following their match at Extreme Rules. Reigns can make the save, which can shift the focus to him competing against Joe. This feud can be a placeholder until Strowman returns, which could lead to a match between he and Reigns at SummerSlam.
[Featured Image By WWE]