How Our Hatred of Roman Reigns Is Helping Braun Strowman
Could we see a double turn at Payback between Roman reigns and Braun Strowman?
Prepare yourself for this huge understatement. Are you sat down for it? Good, because here goes: People don’t like Roman Reigns. I know, shocking. In fact, I could go as far as to say people hate The Big Dog.
The Roman Reigns experiment has become a symbol of WWE Creative, Vince McMahon especially, becoming out of touch. A shadowy cabal that refuses to listen to the most vocal sections of the WWE Universe. But perhaps we should give them more credit. They’re turning a negative into a positive by utilising this heat to get Braun Strowman over.
Think about it. The guy went from a midcard monster and Wyatt Family lackey to a proper main event player on Raw after some interactions with Roman. Coming out at the Royal Rumble to decimate the Roman Empire during the Universal Championship match, he received one of the biggest pops of the night and practically turned babyface.
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Fans were willing to get behind Braun, who has proven over the past few months that he can go in the ring. Sure, he’s not going to be putting Cruiserweights to shame, but with an almost terrifying blend of speed and power, you have to respect the feats he is capable of in the squared circle.
His loss to Roman at Fastlane only helped to further the narrative that Reigns has become Cena 2.0, turning fans against Roman yet organically building support for the Monster Among Men. I’m not suggesting that we’ll see a double turn at Payback when the two face off, but fan support for Braun has increased considerably since they’ve started feuding.
Of course, Braun’s popularity reached new heights during last week’s Monday Night Raw when he assaulted Roman twice backstage, before declaring “he wasn’t finished” with him yet and casually flipped an ambulance. All by himself too. No help at all. No, you shut up. It’s still real to me!
The crowd reaction to each segment grew as the night progressed, as fans delighted in seeing The Big Dog get decimated. Of course, this only served to aid Strowman, who can now add a highlight reel worthy moment to his career. It’s a YouTube video I endeavour to watch daily until the moment I perish.
Even this week’s Raw was a star making show for Strowman, with plenty of memorable moments. The pop he received after announcing that Roman wouldn’t be appearing that night was huge, and the backstage spots where he assaulted other members of the roster were fantastic. Braun chucking Kalisto in a dumpster is a gif waiting to happen/already happened.
Even the main event vs Big Show, which saw two titans wage war with each other, provided another standout moment for the goliath. The ring breaking spot might not be as special as the first time it happened on SmackDown with Big Show and Brock, but Braun getting back up so soon afterwards despite medical officials tending to everyone else was a defining moment to close out the show.
In the end, WWE Creative have been wise to hitch the wagon of Braun Strowman to the star of Roman Reigns. Even if the pet project that is The Big Dog isn’t getting the reaction they’d like, you can argue it’s created a new star in Braun. Believe that.