Braun Strowman scaled the ladder at Money in the Bank last night in Chicago, and unhooked the briefcase and now he has a shot at the WWE Universal Championship whenever, and wherever, he wants. But there’s only one way to make Strowman look strong coming out of this situation.
He absolutely, positively, needs to announce his intentions to challenge for the Universal Title ahead of time, and he has to do it well in advance.
Strowman has enough things working against him as a babyface as it is. The crowd supports him, which is all that really matters, but Strowman’s size puts him at a physical advantage over almost every single one of his opponents. That makes it easy to root against him. Obviously, he has a coolness factor that WWE fans are drawn to, and it’s why he’s getting the big babyface reactions he’s getting.
Traditionally, the Money in the Bank winner catches the champion at a moment of weakness, cashes in and “steals” the title, for lack of a better term. Look at what WWE did last night with Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax. Bliss attacked Ronda Rousey and cost her the title match, then she attached Jax and cashed in on Jax just a couple of hours after winning the briefcase.
That’s not the route to take with Strowman. It’s a heel move, first of all (it’s amazing that this tactic has worked with babyfaces in the past, but I think it goes to show you how excited people get to see the title change, no matter how they’re going to see it). Strowman needs to go the Daniel Bryan route.
When Bryan won the Money in the Bank contract in 2013 and challenged John Cena at SummerSlam, he challenged Cena well ahead of time. The match was billed as a main event and there was nothing sneak or nefarious about it.
Well, at the time, Bryan’s “Yes!” movement was just beginning to take hold, and WWE couldn’t afford to see it’s top babyface — even if the company didn’t want to treat him that way — steal the title from another one of the company’s top babyfaces.
The title isn’t on a babyface this time around, it’s on Brock Lesnar, but even though he’s been billed as a heel he might as well be treated like a babyface. Lesnar’s latest feud was against Roman Reigns … guess who the majority of the crowd supported?
Strowman vs. Lesnar is a match people want to see. We’ve had a little taste – last year – but it’s probably the biggest match WWE could promote at the moment. WWE often overuses the term “big-fight feel” but Lesnar vs. Strowman would attract that.
Strowman should announce tonight, on Raw, that he’s challenging Lesnar in two months at SummerSlam. That’s your SummerSlam main event. That’s when Strowman is finally crowned as the king of the Raw brand.