It has been two weeks since the wrestling world was shocked by the sudden arrival of Braun Strowman, the massive new member of The Wyatt Family. Dubbed "The Black Sheep," he has repeatedly demolished both Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, leaving them lying in displays of sheer dominance and good, old-fashioned wrestling booking.
There is no story more simple to tell—and more effective with fans—than that of the monster heel.
Over the course of professional wrestling history, promoters have debuted monstrous new villains to unsuspecting crowds. They have booked them over everyone from the local enhancement talent to some of the top midcard stars. They were unbeatable, billed as the most unstoppable force in the sport.
Eventually, a surging babyface would be built up to vanquish the baddie and emerge triumphantly.
It was easy, a story fans of all ages could understand and invest themselves in.
At some point, though, the arrival of soap opera and entertainment writers to the fold led to more complex and convoluted storylines than were really necessary to connect with the audience. Recently, though, WWE has returned to a more traditional way of booking, as fans witnessed with Rusev.
The Bulgarian Brute went one full year without being convincingly beaten, then fell to John Cena at WrestleMania this past April.
Now with Strowman, the company has an even bigger, scarier, more intimidating villain they have already begun propping up as the next unstoppable monster for some smiling hero to conquer.
The manner in which he has systematically picked apart Reigns and Ambrose is particularly impressive because they are among the strongest babyfaces in the company and are typically protected. That he has done so by himself is even more interesting.
That alone demonstrates that the company is invested in booking Strowman in the same manner as they did someone like Andre the Giant so that, when someone finally beats him, it means something. After all, there is a reason 93,173 fans packed into the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan to see Hogan finally conquer the unconquerable.
The key will be not sacrificing what could be another year-long story for the sake of putting someone over that does not need it.
Cena is as bulletproof as they come right now, and Reigns is strong enough in the eyes of the fans that putting him over Strowman would be unpredictable. The only way that the story can be properly paid off is for a fresh face to arrive and knock the new giant off his perch.
With a roster full of young talent in NXT, that should not be a problem.
For now, Strowman will follow in the footsteps of Kane, Giant Gonzalez, The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and the aforementioned Rusev as Dr. McMahon's latest monster. The havoc he unleashes and the pain and punishment he deals out should make for entertaining television.
"It's alive!" indeed, and for anyone opposing The Wyatt Family, it is a very bad thing.