When Braun Strowman takes part in the main event of SummerSlam on Aug. 20, it will mark nearly two years to do the day that he made his main roster debut with WWE. And he’s spent much of that time feuding and getting better acquainted with one man, who just so happens to be the top dog in the entire company.
Strowman introduced himself to the WWE Universe on the RAW after Summerslam in 2015. He was the black sheep of The Wyatt Family. Strowman made a surprise debut by attacking Reigns and Ambrose. For almost an year, the monster among men was just another star in the WWE Locker room.
The turning point in his career was the draft that took place in 2016. Strowman was drafted to RAW while the other Wyatt Family members joined the blue brand. He built his career for a few months by squashing local competitors and then by feuding with the likes of Sami Zayn. He impressed officials and then was slowly inserted in the big feuds. He became a fan favorite during his feud with The Big Dog.
Strowman, 33, seemed to reach a new level in popularity and critical respect when paired opposite the three-time WWE champion Reigns, who has main-evented the last three WrestleMania cards.
“Roman Reigns is, if not the best, one of the best performers in the world, hands down,” Strowman told CBS Sports on Wednesday during the “In This Corner” Podcast. “I don’t care what anybody says. He does it night after night, and it doesn’t matter who he’s with, they tear the place down. Lately, it has been me and him blowing the roof off the arena on every place we walk into on God’s green earth.”
The Reigns-Strowman feud began in February. Following a short break for WrestleMania, it picked up again with a bang in April. From there, the pair has gone on to produce one of WWE’s most consistently violent and action-packed programs in recent years.
“That’s the thing that people just don’t get and that’s the work ethic behind Roman Reigns,” Strowman said. “He’s just a tough S.O.B. I’ve spent so much time in this program, just nailing him and nailing him, and whether it’s stubbornness, stupidity or heart, he just keeps getting back up, which just keeps giving me a reason to knock him back down.”
Just two years later, the 6-foot-8 and 385-pound giant has completed an impressive leap to a viable main event attraction. In just over a week, he will join Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe in a Fatal 4-Way main event match for Lesnar’s WWE universal championship.