Braun Strowman is one of the most popular wrestlers on WWE's main roster in 2018.
In theory this shouldn't be possible. In the cynical world of modern pro wrestling fandom where the loudest group (men age 18-40) are loudly booing any wrestler they can tell WWE management is backing because they fit the mold as "They Guy," he gets cheered. For all the fumbling the writing team does with big, muscle-bound brutes like Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley, Strowman seems to walk away clean every week.
It doesn't matter how many times Michael Cole screams "The Monster Among Men!" as he stomps to the ring. It doesn't matter that he's forced to "overcome the odds" in most of his programs. And it definitely doesn't matter that his first championship win came by teaming up with a 10-year-old.
Strowman is, without hesitation or irony, over.
For any other promotion this wouldn't be a problem. But this is the WWE, where stubbornness often rules the day. Brock Lesnar is still your Universal Champion. Roman Reigns is still being positioned as the top babyface on Monday Night Raw. That hasn't changed in well over a year, and it likely won't by the time SummerSlam roles around. We're staring down the barrel of a repeat main event from WrestleMania 34, complete with a stadium full of uninterested and unhappy fans.
All the while there's Strowman, somebody fans clearly want to see get a shot at WWE's top prize, kept at an arm's distance. And just like with Daniel Bryan ahead of WrestleMania XXX, fans may not stay content with that idea for much longer. Sooner or later, "We Want Strowman" chants are going to be ringing through arenas. And just like the "Yes!" chants, they'll become too loud to ignore.
So let's play a game. Let's pretend the WWE brass is open to a new idea for SummerSlam's main event. Let's pretend they give a shot to Strowman.
We start at Money in the Bank. Strowman, despite the combined efforts of the other seven men to eliminate him from the match early, manages to rip down the Money in the Bank briefcase. The next night on Raw he comes out and demands a cash-in against Brock Lesnar right there on the spot. But there's a problem — Lesnar isn't in the building and had no plans of showing up. This will happen for a number of weeks, with Strowman calling Lesnar out for running and hiding. Kurt Angle will try to appease him, saying there's nothing he can do, but it only makes Strowman angrier and he takes out his frustration on anyone one (or anything) he finds backstage.
Then at Extreme Rules, Lesnar finally does make an appearance, only he's not there to wrestle. Instead, Paul Heyman cuts a promo saying Lesnar won't be defending the championship at SummerSlam the following month because "no one in the WWE is worthy." Out comes Strowman with the briefcase in-hand and the two start to brawl before the bell rings. Just as Strowman gains the upper hand and is about to cash-in, Lesnar heads for the hills.
On Raw the next night Strowman opens the show saying he's tired of Lesnar's running, so he's found a way to force "The Beast" to come out into the open. He officially cashes in his Money in the Bank contract for a one-on-one match at SummerSlam (a la Rob Van Dam back in 2006). Angle takes things a step further and says Lesnar must answer the challenge or he'll be stripped of the title on the spot.
Then in Brooklyn we get our clash of the titans. It'll play out like most Lesnar matches, only this time Strowman will able to manhandle and overpower him. The show will end with Strowman standing triumphantly as the entire Barlcays Center crowd screams "BRAUN!" when he lifts the title above his head.
Now tell me that doesn't sound better than Lesnar vs. Reigns again.