At the Money in the Bank PPV, Braun Strowman saw off Bray Wyatt for his first successful title defence since winning the big one at Wrestlemania.
Notice where it says ‘Bray Wyatt’, and not ‘The Fiend.’? That’s important, that bit.
As odd as it is, having two characters means that Wyatt can put over Strowman without making his main character of The Fiend lose any (more) momentum and for all intents and purposes Wyatt and Fiend are two separate wrestlers (Wyatt treats it as such).
I have no doubt that going forward Strowman will end up in a feud with The Fiend which should realistically culminate in a main event Summerslam encounter at the end of August (please please PLEASE let the crowds be allowed back by then!).
How should it be booked? This is how I’d go with it.
For the next few weeks, let Strowman get back to being a monster. Let’s get him back to squashing mid-carders and setting up a few mini-feuds. Give him some believable opponents but none that are a serious threat.
Since Smackdown premiered its new home on Fox on the 4th October 2019 Strowman has been involved in more televised tag team matches than he has one on one matches. Nine tag matches, seven singles and one handicap match.
From his last five matches where he’s gone out alone he has won and lost the Intercontinental title and then won the Universal Championship. Still, he went into MITB as the underdog.
Nobody of his size, speed, charisma and intensity should be going into a championship match as an underdog. You wouldn’t EVER see Brock Lesnar as an underdog and he doesn’t even have the charisma bit! (Brock, I’m sorry, it’s a throwaway line for a cheap laugh. Stay quarantined, stay safe…)
Braun has it all. He has everything WWE looks for in a champion and could very well be built back up to being the Monster Among Men like he was a few years back but they need to get started straight away. Leave Wyatt (and the Fiend) to one side for now. There’s no need to make Braun a fighting champion, having him defend the title week in and week out, they just need to make sure he’s fighting.
Have him squash Robert Roode one week, Dolph Ziggler the next. Following that, have him squash Ziggler and Roode in a handicap match. BANG, two squashes for the price of one, like a true monster.
Does this harm Roode or Ziggler? Not one bit, they’re both veterans in what I’ll politely call the latter half of their wrestling careers. Plus, getting destroyed by a man of his size does not in the slightest make you look weak.
What about Otis and his briefcase? Glad you asked! Each week have Otis backstage watching the action. Have Tucker with him (way too early to be breaking them up) and have them talk about how intense Strowman is looking. Present a bit of doubt creeping in when Otis talks. Mandy Rose can tell him she’s kind of worried about him cashing in.
The next Friday Otis and Tucker are backstage, along with the MITB briefcase. Tucker asks when he thinks he’ll cash in, they’re interrupted by Braun who informs Otis he doesn’t have what it takes to cash in against him and that he’s off to the ring to wait for an opponent. Otis looks worked up. He follows Braun.
Braun is in the ring, pacing and waiting. Heavy Machinery’s music hits, it’s TUCKER! Go on Tuck!
Tucker puts on a decent showing, very decent indeed. He gives Strowman a much harder-fought match than he was expecting and has Braun run into the ring steps at LEAST once to show a bit of injury. Tucker comes close a couple times. Inevitably, Braun hits the slam and gets the pin.
Suddenly, HEAVY MACHINERY’S MUSIC HITS AGAIN AND OH MY LIFE IT’S OTIS!
Otis gets in the ring with the briefcase and squares up, pushing the case into Braun. Braun nods and calls for a referee. Suddenly, the lights go out and when they come back up Otis is laid out on the floor, The Fiend stands over him, he then nods at Braun. Lights off, lights on. Braun is left looking confused.
Michael Cole on commentary is LOSING it! Did the Fiend do that to make sure that Braun wouldn’t lose the belt? Did the Fiend HELP Braun? WHO KNOWS?!
Be interesting to find out though, no?