Those who were expecting Erick Rowan or even Bo Dallas to align with Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper to restore The Wyatt Family to a trio got a major shock this past week on Raw when mystery man Braun Strowman debuted to join forces with the mysterious duo.
Little was known about the man—a fact summed up by the Brooklyn crowd's chants of "Who are you?" at the monster when he emerged to take down Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in quite unique and brutal fashion.
But a cryptic and typically Bray Wyatt promo at least revealed more about the guy—starting with the fact that his name is Braun Strowman. Wyatt mentioned that he's Sister Abigail's "Black Sheep"—and first things first, the guy is beyond creepy to look at. In terms of fitting The Wyatt Family image, this guy is spot-on.
But before his explosive and incredible debut, what else is there to learn about the man now known as Braun Strowman?
Strowman (real name: Adam Scherr) was born in North Carolina in September of 1983, making him 31—a decent enough age to debut on the main roster.
But as seems to be the growing trend with wrestlers in this day and age, Strowman's beginnings weren't in the squared circle, but in a completely different sport: strongman competitions.
Baron Corbin and Roman Reigns had football backgrounds, and Strowman also didn't begin in professional wrestling at such a young age. There's a feeling that WWE tends to prefer big guys—with a couple of notable exceptions of course—and in that sense, Strowman fits the bill. He's listed as 6’8" and 385 pounds, which is a fair size.
Scherr qualified as a professional strongman competitor by winning a card way back in November 2011, as noted by IronMind.com. Since then and even before, a quick glance at his records on the Strongman Corporation website makes for impressive reading:
- 1st North American Strongman Nationals 2009: 16th
- Arnold Amateur World Championship 2009: 15th
- Monsters of the Midland 2010: 1st
- Europa Battle of Champions 2010: 3rd
- Central GA Strongest Man 2011: 1st
- Summer Fest Strongest Man 2011: 1st
- West Carry Fall Festival of Power 2011: 1st
- North American Strongman Nationals 2011: 1st
- Arnold Amateur World Championships 2012: 1st
- Arnold Strongman Classic: 10th
That's pretty impressive. But in 2013, Strowman underwent a major occupational shift and took the leap many competitors from other sports took: He signed with WWE and went straight into its developmental center in Florida.
Early WWE Days
After signing with WWE and making his way through the developmental system, Strowman eventually headed for NXT at Full Sail University.
It took him a fair while to get to NXT, mind—after signing in May of 2013, he wouldn't make his bow on the promotion until December of 2014, when he beat Chad Gable via pinball.
According to ProFightDB.com, those who've seen either live shows or dark matches before the actual TV tapings will have had the privilege of seeing Strowman in action—but not many others will. He's had just seven matches on the brand, and not a single one of those has been on TV.
A dark match on NXT and a similar experience on Main Event—both which ended in victories over Dash Wilder and an "unknown male wrestler," according to the database—are the closest he's come to a TV appearance.
That's what makes this promotion to the main roster such a surprise—the usual mode of action with NXT in this day and age is for stars to earn their stripes there before making the leap up. It's rare these days to see anyone jump up without any TV experience, especially a guy who's only been wrestling professionally for two years and has had seven matches to date.
One thing that is interesting to note is that a lot of media reports have Strowman's name down as "Stowman" in the past, so there has been a slight adaption of the character's name.
Seen Him Before?
On first glance he looks slightly familiar, and those who are incredibly attentive when it comes to entourages will have seen Strowman before.
You know the deal with entourages; after all, CM Punk was in John Cena's entourage when he made his way to the ring at WrestleMania 22, a bout which was Punk's on-screen debut, even though he didn't wrestle.
And Strowman's first showing on a TV taping was on the May 26, 2014 Raw, when he showed up as none other than one of Adam Rose's Rosebuds.
According to this report from Wrestle Zone (h/t F4WOnline), he and Becky Lynch (as well as Simon Gotch of The Vaudevillians) were alongside Rose. So if he's familiar to look at, that's why.