Should Braun Strowman be 2017’s WWE Wrestler of the Year?
The WWE’s new monster has had an incredible rise in 2017, but should he claim Wrestler of the Year?
Vince McMahon’s love of big men is well known, and when Braun Strowman showed up in 2015 it was clear why he was there. As a brawling destroyer he was fine, but uninspiring. However, since the brand split Braun Strowman has been growing into an unstoppable and incredibly popular force of nature. His 2017 has involved fun matches, wild brawls, ridiculous backstage beatdowns, and phenomenal character growth. But is it enough to take Wrestler of the Year in a crowded field?
Strowman’s size lends itself to some tropes that have been played out for a long time, but WWE have done a terrific job in making this monster different from the rest. It’s not just the no-selling, or hurling people through tables. They have been inventive with the ways he has been presented as an unstoppable powerhouse.
His feud with Roman Reigns started out like most feuds with Roman do, underwhelmingly. And then chaos reigned. He assaulted Reigns everywhere, he tossed an ambulance onto its side. It was silly, and yet Braun’s unbridled rage was intoxicating. He and Reigns put on some legitimate wars, and that lead into a SummerSlam fatal four-way in which he not only dominated Brock Lesnar but completely won over the crowd.
Strowman started off the year as something of a dull monster heel and he is finishing it as the most over man on the company. If that isn’t a strong enough argument for Wrestler of the Year I’m not sure what is.
The case against him
In a world of amazing performers, Braun’s size is all that makes him stand out in the ring. He has been well protected both by booking and by match stipulations. He has rarely had a straight one-on-one fight, either getting the use of a cage, tables, or an ambulance to help enhance the action.
When he has had to go one-on-one with someone it has been generally disappointing. The prime example of that is his extremely poor match with Brock Lesnar that was a huge letdown for everyone. That match showed just how green Strowman is compared to most of the WWE roster who have been wrestling for 10+ years.
WWE have put a scaffold of gimmicks and production around Strowman to keep him propped, and while he can do squash matches and blow up announce tables, his inability to have a strong one-on-one match is a big red flag against his name when it comes to beating out the likes of AJ Styles or Roman Reigns to Wrestler of the Year.
Strowman shouldn’t be talking much. The character doesn’t need it, and he has done his best work when simply roaring or yelling “I’M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU!!!”. However, in WWE you can’t do that forever, and eventually they started putting a mic under his nose. This is another big hole in Strowman’s game, because when he has to deliver a monology it is often extremely clunky. Monsters shouldn’t be going on long diatribes, and it is one of the few miss-steps WWE have made with his character. They have exposed another flaw as well as taken away some of the uniqueness of Strowman.
Will he win?
If this was a Most Improved of the Year it would have been Strowman’s in May. However, he is going against stiff competition from elite talkers and sensational wrestlers for this one, and I don’t think he has done enough between the ropes to close the gap to his more experiences competition. Strowman has been incredibly entertaining in 2017, but he hasn’t been the very best.
Do you think Braun Strowman has earned the right to be WWE’s Wrestler of the Year for 2017?