Most improved star goes to Braun Strowman
Submitted by Ryan Latino on 05/01/2017 at 11:01 AM

I've never been a big fan of the larger superstars. Watching professional wrestling for over 25 years and seeing guys in person like Yokozuna and the Great Khali I always got bored of grappling and punching with a clothesline for good measure. Limited technical wrestling and storytelling. I was always for technical guys and superstars I could relate too.

Over the years larger than life superstars have graced professional wrestling and made an impact based more on size than ability. I have always been sceptical when two big superstars get into a feud or have a match as it's limited in content and quality! I remember Mable versus Yokozuna in 1995. That wasn't my fondest memory or match in wrestling. The larger than life superstars come in and destroy the competition with squash matches using brut strength tossing their opponents around like rag dolls. I get its the way they have been booked and done to make them look strong but as a fan it does nothing for me.

Braun Strowman was brought in and booked the same way. Squash match after squash match. What I didn't like was the way he took apart his opponents and the way he wasn't protecting the talent due to trying to look ridiculously strong and super human. The way jobbers were landing was excruciating to watch and genuinely had me worried foe their safety. His feud with Sami Zayn was frustrating and the way it was booked had me tearing out my hair. I was struggling to find a positive in Strowman apart from Survivor Series and what he did to James Ellsworth! However in recent months there has been a real improvement due to booking and Strowman being allowed to showcase his talent and tell a story. His speed is freakish for a big guy and his agility is scary. How many near 400 pound guys can springboard from the canvas to their feet? His promo work still needs working on but he is translating well on screen and has become a legitimate big guy with technical ability and their hasn't been anyone like this close to his weight. Taker and Kane were closer to 300 pounds than 400 pounds. Like I've said I've not been a fan of big guy versus big guy but Strowman versus Big Show on RAW a couple of weeks ago was one of the best big man matches in recent memory. It helps that they have been working house shows together for a while now so know what the other one is capable of and they have worked on some unexpected spots. They told a story and the false finishes added to the climax at the end with the ring breaking. I think we all knew it was coming but the difference being Strowman standing up at the end which has never been done before.

If there is anyone to challenge Lesnar other than Reigns then it is Strowman and I'd be interested to see how this would be booked. What I also like is they haven't made him undefeatable and made him human. Too many superstars are being booked as too strong and indestructible and have nowhere to go or have realistic threats against them! Authors of Pain being one but that is for another column.

I hope Strowman keeps up the good work and I'm excited to see how he develops in the future. We might see a 400 pound shooting star press down the line and that would be must see TV!

Follow me @Ryan_Latino and check out my latest podcast at /straightupwrestling

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