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WWE News: Braun Strowman voted Most Improved Wrestler of 2017 in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards

SENIOR ANALYST
News
4.75K   //    19 Mar 2018, 08:26 IST

Anyone that talks smack about Braun will get...those...hands
Anyone that talks smack about Braun will get...those...hands

What’s the story?

Braun Strowman, one of the biggest stars in WWE (both in terms of popularity and actual stature) has been named the Most Improved Wrestler of 2017 by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

In case you didn’t know…

This award is given to that wrestler that experiences the most significant and dramatic change between the previous year and the year of the award (so, in Strowman’s case, it’d be between end of 2016 and end of 2017).

These wrestlers are the ones that show the most significant development and growth as performers, whether that means an improvement in their wrestling ability, promo skills, presentation, or a combination of these and other attributes.

Previous winners of this award include: Kurt Angle in 2000, Randy Orton in 2004, Dolph Ziggler in 2011, and Kazuchika Okada in 2012. For each of these men, they were significantly better during the years in which they won when compared to the year prior.

Only two men have ever won this award twice, and in both case it was in consecutive years. Brock Lesnar won in 2002 and in 2003, and The Miz won in 2008 and 2009.

The heart of the matter

Braun Strowman narrowly won the award, winning slightly more votes than Juice Robinson (the former CJ Parker) and significantly more than Velveteen Dream, who was in third place in the votes. No other WWE Superstar received enough votes to make the top ten of this award.

What’s next?

On the 12 March 2018 episode of RAW, Strowman won a battle royal singlehandedly to become the new #1 contender for the RAW Tag Team titles. As of this writing, no information has been given on whether Strowman will be looking for a partner, or if he’ll challenge The Bar by himself.

Author’s take

Braun Strowman absolutely deserved to win this award, because he experienced such a significant transformation between 2016 and 2017. During the 2016 calendar year, Strowman became more comfortable in the ring, moving more fluidly and more naturally as a pro wrestler, instead of moving stiffly like a powerlifter.

He had more interesting matches, got better at promos, improved in his ability to control the crowd with his motions and words, and had some of the most interesting feuds of 2017. He has now become arguably the most popular wrestler on RAW and could very well become a top champion in WWE in the coming months.

It goes to show you that sometimes, being a big man without much of a wrestling background doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll be a bad pro wrestler.


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SENIOR ANALYST
Alex is a lifelong professional wrestling fan that loves to write about it just as much as he enjoys watching it.
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