COMMENTARY – You cannot blame WWE for trying. After the loss of Braun Strowman to injury, the company has had to backpedal a bit in its booking options. The “Fatal Five Way” match announced at Extreme Rules is a step in the right direction. When Raw general manager Kurt Angle made the announcement Monday night, it opened floodgates. The red team needs a shot in the arm. It may just come in the idea of new matched and programs.
This isn’t a solution to all of WWE’s problems, but it can ease the loss of the company’s biggest and baddest heel, who may be out as much as six months.
Per WWE’s website…
“Immediately after the assault on Strowman’s injured shoulder and elbow by the former WWE Champion, The Monster Among Men left Raw in an ambulance and was able to get back to the United States for an evaluation this past Wednesday. Following the medical consultation, Strowman underwent surgery on Thursday in Birmingham, Ala. with Dr. Jeffrey Dugas. During the procedure, it was revealed, among his other injuries, that Strowman’s elbow had been shattered, and he is expected to miss up to six months of action as a result.”
Now that WWE has planned to put five of its biggest stars in one ring – Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt and Finn Balor – all bets are off as to who wins. More important, WWE wants to come up with the best possible match for Brock Lesnar and the highjacked Universal Title.
Of everyone announced for this match, Joe is the only one who has not held gold on the main roster.
Will WWE finally give Joe the shot at being the top heel on the red brand? Does Balor match up with the power of The Beast Incarnate? Would Seth Rollins handle a title run as a babyface instead of his usual heel role? Can Wyatt summons the buzzards to give Lesnar a beating? How great would a verbal joust with Paul Heyman get over with the fans?
Then there is the question of whether the company has the testicular fortitude to give Reigns the belt, knowing the fans would hate the idea?
The possibilities are endless, giving fans a chance to see new feuds, more brutality and the hope Lesnar and Heyman walk out of the back with the title in hand. While Lesnar is still a huge draw with WWE, the fact he is in hibernation more than he is defending his title is preposterous. He should have been stripped of the belt already for not defending it within 30 days. Sonny Scott and Jack Tunney wouldn’t have stood for it.
The best thing WWE could do is put Joe or Wyatt in the match with Lesnar. Joe-Lesnar is a dream match. Wyatt presents plenty of juicy sidebars and anecdotes. Balor will more than likely win (if you read the tarot cards), but I really don’t like the matchup. It’s Rey Mysterio versus Kevin Nash in theory. Reigns won’t get the chance because it is too predictable. Rollins still has a fight with Joe with The Miz a strong possibility.
The Dean Ambrose heel turn may factor into how WWE books The Architect.
In all, the company did the right thing in deciding a No. 1 contender for the Universal Title. Whoever wins the “Fatal Five Way” at Extreme Rules is just keeping the seat warm until Strowman returns.
By then, WWE should have flipped the switch on storylines many times over. Especially given the injuries in this business. The company is finally doing something to write through the loss of Strowman. And this time, it may have finally hit on something great.