Why it's too early for Braun Strowman to win the WWE Royal Rumble
Braun Strowman is on his way to the top, but winning the Royal Rumble would be the wrong direction for his character.
Braun Strowman went from the voiceless enforcer for Bray Wyatt to one of the most dangerous men on the roster in 2016, and the first few weeks of 2017 saw him continue his rise to the top of the roster.
Many have selected him as one of the favourites to win The Royal Rumble, and it's easy to see why. He is big enough to make it hard for anyone to eliminate him, and his power and speed will make it easy for him to throw just about anyone over the top rope.
The problem with the idea of Strowman winning the Rumble is that it's just too soon. He will have a great career if he can continue to perform the way he has been, but pushing him into the race for a world title this soon can have some unintended backlash.
All you have to do is look at Roman Reigns to see how this is possible. The enforcer for The Shield was the guy getting the biggest reaction every time he was tagged into one of the group's matches, but as soon as management threw its weight behind him, the fans changed their tune.
Nowadays, Reigns getting a mixed reaction is the best WWE can hope for, but more often than not, the majority of the fans in attendance will boo him like he kicked a puppy and then laughed about it.
Cena has been experiencing the same thing for the better part of a decade. He was the most popular Superstar during the height of his rise to stardom, but continually being portrayed as a musclebound underdog who always overcomes ridiculous obstacles turned him into a pariah.
No matter how hard Cena and Reigns try, some fans refuse to cheer for them, and they are not the only people to suffer from being overexposed too soon. Alberto Del Rio is another example of a monster push gone wrong.
During his first run with the company, Del Rio won the Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank and the WWE Championship in short succession, but it was all downhill from there. His last year with WWE saw him treated as a glorified midcard star who wasn't even in contention for the title.
Strowman is unique in many ways, but he is not immune to the same problems Cena, Reigns and Del Rio had when they were put in the spotlight. In fact, Strowman is more likely to encounter these problems because he doesn't have the same kind of mainstream appeal.
Cena, Reigns and Del Rio can go on talk shows and promote the product, but WWE might not be as willing to put Strowman in a suit and parade him out on The Today Show to laugh with the hosts because it would go against his image.
Having the look of a deranged lumberjack is intimidating, but it also limits him in certain ways. While Strowman might be willing to do all of the same things Cena does, it doesn't mean the company wants to use him the same way.
WWE needs to slow down with Strowman and let him continue to evolve naturally, winning the Rumble this early in his career would likely lead to him having a short push instead of an extended run as a top star.
The Rumble is a great way to elevate a Superstar to the next level, and it would definitely give Strowman a boost, but with his career in its infancy, it will do more harm than good. Thankfully, it looks like WWE may be going in a different direction.
Monday saw Big Show return looking better than he has in years. In fact, he looked like he was in better shape than he was when he first debuted for the company back in 1999. He has slimmed down and added muscle, making him look even more dangerous than he used to.
When Big Show came out to the ring, he had his sights set firmly on Strowman, and the former Wyatt Family disciple backed down from the challenge, at least for now. If the two end up in the ring together during the Rumble, it's going to make for an interesting confrontation.
An extended feud between Strowman and Big Show could help keep both men busy until WrestleMania season, and it would allow Strowman more time to develop his character before WWE thrusts him into the hunt for one of its major championships.
While Strowman needs to have a strong showing in the Royal Rumble to continue his reign of terror, having him win the whole thing would be the wrong move. He has to develop at a natural rate. Having him break Reigns’ record for most eliminations would be a much better option than having him win the whole thing.
We'll just have to wait until the Rumble to see what WWE decides to do.
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