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Is Braun Strowman Ready to Be Realistic Threat for Rollins' WWE Universal Title?

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

After floundering for the better part of 2019, Braun Strowman finally appears to be on the cusp of greatness on WWE Raw as he prepares to re-enter the Universal Championship picture for the first time in nearly a year.

Although Strowman vs. Seth Rollins for the universal title has yet to be officially announced for the Clash of Champions pay-per-view on September 15, it certainly looks like WWE is headed in that direction.

The unlikely allies are fresh off becoming the Raw tag team champions last week, which marks The Monster Among Men's second reign with the twin titles.

Of course, Strowman and Rollins are not long for the tag team division, and it's only a matter of time before one of them turns on the other. Despite the momentum he's built up as of late, it's hard to forget the many months of bad booking he's endured leading up to this point.

Braun Strowman @BraunStrowman

Any given night. 2x #Raw Tag Team Championship. #HistoryMakingMonster https://t.co/Tj4TR2NOnU

At this time two years ago, he was easily one of the hottest stars on the WWE roster. He could haveand arguably should havebeen the one to beat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship during his first title reign, but the company failed to pull the trigger.

He was given several more shots at The Beast Incarnate and his prized possession throughout 2018 but narrowly fell short of victory on every occasion. Each loss, including his unsuccessful Money in the Bank cash-in at Hell in a Cell, did undeniable damage to his popularity.

More recently, Strowman was hardly a fixture on the flagship show from week to week. Aside from his back-to-back wins over Bobby Lashley on pay-per-view, he has largely flown under the radar in 2019.

Although he hasn't been focused on whatsoever this summer, The Monster getting another chance at the Universal Championship at Clash of Champions should not come as a surprise.

Rollins has already defeated a majority of the Raw roster. Furthermore, AJ Styles is busy with the United States Championship, The Architect vs. Baron Corbin has been done to death, and Drew McIntyre isn't quite at that level yet.

By process of elimination, this year's Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner is among the few stars who could logically feud with Rollins at the moment. That doesn't necessarily mean he will be taken seriously by the masses as a legitimate threat to the title, though.

Rollins not only took the title from Lesnar at SummerSlam, he also did so in decisive fashion. Along with Kurt Angle and Goldberg, he is one of only three men to ever slay The Conqueror twice, a feat not even Strowman could accomplish once.

That isn't to say Rollins is the most beloved babyface in the world these days (especially after the backlash he received for comments made in interviews and online earlier this year), but based off how he's been handled, it's unrealistic to think he would lose the title so soon to Strowman.

If WWE can continue to give The Monster Among Men important wins, him capturing the Universal Championship down the road may not be too far-fetched. Clash of Champions wouldn't be the right time, as the company hasn't done enough to convince viewers he's ready for that type of spotlight.

Credit: WWE.com

Strowman's inconsistent character development over the past two years hasn't helped his cause, either. His abrupt heel turn in August 2018 derailed his push and later led to him getting bumped from the universal title match against Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, never to receive a rematch.

Truth be told, he is merely the best of what Raw has to offer right now in terms of championship challengers. The match might be decent from an in-ring standpoint, but don't expect there to be much drama in Strowman actually winning the belt.

It couldn't be more apparent that Rollins is devoid of compelling challengers as he kicks off his second stint as universal champion—and rushing Strowman into that spot isn't the answer.

         

Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.