With the recent releases of more WWE talent, something I discussed in a recent article, there will obviously be some discussion about where some of them will go next or what potential opportunities will be there for them, even if it’s not a full-time gig. Someone like Murphy, who is a very talented athlete, but never had the chance to do anything worth while as a character in the WWE, might be brought in for a New Japan tour after more travel restrictions are lifted, but that doesn’t automatically translate to a full schedule with the Japanese group. Among the half dozen competitors that got their walking papers, Braun Strowman was probably the most surprising release, simply because he was a current top guy for the organization, and at various points, the company invested a major amount of TV time into a push to establish him. If WWE brass or the writing team maximized those minutes is a completely different discussion. Still, there was a point a few years ago that the argument could be made that Strowman was the most over performer on the roster.
Of course, we know that Braun was a victim of circumstances in some ways because he got over in the middle of the Roman Reigns forced baby face push so there was a ceiling to how far management was going to go with anyone else so the rest of the roster was automatically going to be cast as secondary to Roman Reigns.
Recently, Mark Henry, who just signed with All Elite Wrestling as a broadcaster, spoke with TMZ and mentioned that he would recommend that AEW sign Strowman. First, I had the chance to meet Mark Henry a few years ago and he’s one of the politest wrestlers I’ve met so I don’t mean this as anything against him. In fact, if Mark Henry can sign another big money deal at this point in his career, I’m all for it, but at the same time, you have to wonder, other than Henry being mostly retired, why exactly is he on commentary? Besides the fact that he’s a former WWE star, what exactly was the reason to sign Mark Henry? Please keep in mind, I’m happy for him to make the cash, but it wasn’t as though he was known for his electric mic skills during his career so other than getting the chance to “steal” another name from Vince McMahon, what exactly did Tony Khan accomplish with this signing? Granted, I could be wrong, and The World’s Strongest Man might be a great addition to the upcoming Friday night show, but on the surface, his deal seems like signing another WWE name just to sign another name.
That said, Strowman is the topic of conversation, and reportedly, the former strongman competitor was inked to a $1.2 million per year WWE contract, which might’ve been the reason he got fired since the budget cut looks good for the stockholders. However, the more important point is that unless he goes on a spending spree, Braun might be financially secure so it would take a major money offer from Tony Khan to sign him. The question is, would Braun Strowman be worth the investment for AEW, and is there a place for him in the organization?
On the surface, the answer is yes, but it’s not quite that simple of a situation. Based on the size, speed, and the level of popularity he had a few years ago, it might seem like an easy choice to offer him the major money to debut for AEW. But, it must be mentioned that the way he was booked and how he was presented for at least the past two years under the WWE banner really minimized his star power. Let’s not forget, there was a segment where he was thrown into a garbage truck, instead of being in the main event of Wrestlemania at the most popular point of his career he won the tag titles with a kid, he was booked in the horrendous swamp fight that could’ve ruined his career, and when he finally won the title, it was in a three-minute match in an empty building about three years after he should’ve already been in the main event.
Basically, the “stain” of WWE booking is upon him and it might damage the perception of him outside of the promotion.
At the same time, if there’s truly a role for Strowman in All Elite Wrestling is another aspect to the whole scenario. In many respects, Braun Strowman is the prototypical WWE television wrestler, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but since he was trained entirely within the WWE system, his style might not necessarily translate to other companies. Again, signing former WWE names just because they are WWE names is cannon fodder for AEW so assuming Strowman debuts there, if there progress for his career or more importantly money to be made? Yes, Braun is a very agile big man, but he had injuries the past few years, and if he can work a more fast-paced style in All Elite Wrestling remains to be seen. The 37-year-old athlete could definitely have some years left in his career, specifically a five-year time frame of what could still be considered his prime so there’s certainly potential to do business with AEW, but I don’t think any of that is a given based on how much his stock fell after he was booked for so many lame segments in recent years.
Strowman’s storyline for Wrestlemania this year was based on Shane McMahon calling him stupid so it’s doubtful that the writing team had major plans for him. Sure, Strowman was involved in the title picture the month prior to his release, but that was probably just to add some variety to the Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley angle. Again, I could be wrong, but between the injuries, the terrible booking that hindered his star power, and the overall structure of the company, I don’t think Braun Strowman would automatically be a great signing for AEW. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if Strowman eventually signs a contract and if he’s successful in the company.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.
Until next week
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