In two weeks' time, at the WWE PPV Crown Jewel, former champion Brock Lesnar, former MITB holder Braun Strowman, and current Universal Champion Roman Reigns will all fight for Raw's top title in a Triple Threat Match that has the potential to not only tear down the house in Saudi Arabia, but also tear up the landscape of WWE as we know it.
Here's how we ended up with this colossal clash between three of Raw's top stars: it all began in the main event of the Hell in a Cell PPV in September. Reigns speared Strowman through a table, and though Strowman was able to just barely kick out, both men were left unmoving afterwards.
The rest of the Shield as well as Ziggler & McIntyre came out to brawl with on another on top and on the side of the cage. And right after Rollins and Ziggler crashed through the tables, Lesnar's music began to play.
The Beast and his Advocate marched down to the cage, where Lesnar proceeded to kick open the door to the cell. He laid out both Strowman and Reigns with shots to the back with a piece of wood and two F5s. The Beast left carnage in his wake, and Reigns & Strowman were unable to continue.
However, since the match had a false finish, Braun Strowman had technically not lost his MITB cash-in. Therefore, he was obligated to receive a rematch. At the same time, Brock Lesnar was slated to receive for the title he lost to Reigns at Summerslam. So, acting General Manger Baron Corbin decided to have Reigns defend the strap against both Lesnar and Strowman in a massive Triple Threat at Crown Jewel.
With that being said, Reigns is currently favored heavily by the betting odds to retain his title, and titles do not often change hands at international events. However, it would be a mistake for WWE to make that booking decision. Here are three reasons why it is Braun Strowman's time to claim the world championship that has so far eluded him.
3. He can't afford to take a clean pinfall loss
You might be thinking that if Reigns is indeed going to retain the title, since it is a triple threat, he can simply pin the other opponent and Strowman will come out of the match without looking weaker or having his unstoppable character diminished.
However, recall that the other man, or rather beast, in this fight, is none other than Brock Lesnar. Many call Lesnar the most protected man in WWE. While he does not have matches as often as others, it is exceedingly rare to see him lose, let alone get pinned.
Lesnar's last truly clean pinfall loss came to Goldberg at Survivor Series 2016: Reigns's title win at Summerslam this year was marred by Lesnar being distracted by Strowman.
Ever if Lesnar is unlikely to win the Universal title or be a main focus of the company for the next few months due to his fight for the UFC heavyweight title, that does not mean he is going to simply take a pinfall loss, and there is little to no chance that his shoulders are pinned to the mat for a 3-count.
Strowman, on the other hand, is not nearly as protected: he has been pinned three times so far: first at Fastlane in 2017 By Reigns, then at No Mercy in 2017 by then-champion Lesnar, and finally at Elimination Chamber 2018 by Reigns again. If Reigns is to retain the title as the betting odds and rumors suggest, it is likely that Strowman will take the pin.
And that will significantly damage the Monster Among Men's in-ring character: recently, he has been painted as an indestructible force who can rip through everyone and everything. If Reigns pins him for a 3rd time during this match, Strowman will come out looking much weaker to the WWE Universe than he was before.
He has not taken a pinfall loss in the past several months, and suddenly doing so now would destroy the powerful persona he has built up in that time. WWE has put themselves in a difficult situation here with three protected competitors: however, if Strowman is to continue to be a top Superstar on Raw, he must not take the pin, or ultimately lose, here.
Such a loss would fully cement Reigns as the top dog but would ensure that Strowman cannot have the coveted top position.