Jim Ross Names His Rightful Heir to WWE's Throne

Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Braun Strowman may have just entered a race to determine WWE's next poster boy. And Jim Ross knows who he's picking.

On a recent episode of the Ross Report, the WWE Hall of Famer made a stiff prediction regarding The Monster Among Men.

"I like the continued advancement of Braun Strowman. He's not being force fed to me. I think he's going to be the next big thing in 2019. I wouldn't do it before then. I don't think he's quite ready for it. But man you can see him getting better and better every week. Braun Strowman, in my opinion, the future lead mule in the WWE," he said.

The easy thing to do would have been for Ross to run out the old rationale of Reigns Gets the Loudest Reaction, but Ross cut against the company grain by heavily endorsing Strowman.

He may not be the only mind within WWE's snowglobe that sees it this way as there was once a rumor about WWE decision makers dividing over Reigns and Strowman. That may be wholly untrue, but it's at least a fun image to think about.

Per custom, Reigns has been wounded by a WrestleMania boo-fest. There's simply no way, his consecutive championship losses to Brock Lesnar was the company plan as of 2017. Vince McMahon audibled, but that doesn't mean he's switching quarterbacks, at least not yet. Still, Reigns remain the odds-on favorite to be the next Universal Champion.

But that still doesn't make him a permanent face of the company. I mean, Finn Balor was the first Universal Champion and he can't even get a rematch.

Before Seth Rollins' sonic boom, it was sexy to say Strowman had the truest claim to WWE's highest echelon. However, Strowman's arbitrary WrestleMania allowed Rollins to zip by, now within sniffing distance of Reigns. It's worth noting this week's RAW saw Rollins play hero and hot tag while Reigns was handed an obvious second fiddle.

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Stowman was hot like this not too long ago, but WWE seems happy to let him simmer for a while. I doubt he becomes the next Mr. Money in the Bank—that could be awesome—but I do think he's next year's Royal Rumble winner. It seems like WWE is still planning to ride Reigns for the rest of this year, but when 2019 comes, they may be ready to pivot.

[H/T Cagesideseats]