In continuing a side story that’s been slowly, steadily brewing over time, WWE may have signaled a major WrestleMania match that was probably not on most people’s predicted list of matches for either night.
If the Feb. 22 WWE Raw is further proof, WWE is going to schedule a Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strowman match at ‘Mania.
These two do share some history, even if some of that is tangential to each other. Don’t forget that McMahon basically ran Raw Underground when it was still a thing, a place where Strowman has appeared in the past.
McMahon has also shown up to book some of Strowman’s matches, such as this one against Sami Zayn in 2019.
With that little historical preamble aside, let’s move on to the moment.
MOMENT: Strowman calls out Shane McMahon for having “a vendetta” against him
In case you missed it, here’s the segment featuring Strowman and McMahon.
After reiterating his gripes about not being in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, Strowman turned to Adam “Scrap Daddy” Pearce and said, “It’s pretty damn clear that you and Shane McMahon got a vendetta against me, and that’s why you kept me out of the Elimination Chamber match last night.”
He also said he’s more “clarified” than Bobby Lashley to be WWE Champion, but I’m going to take a gamble here and say that he meant “qualified.”
McMahon’s music hit shortly after. He threw some not-so-subtle shade at Pearce about not being able to run a “tight ship” (I guess that’s better than the patronizing condescension from before?), then literally insulted Strowman’s intelligence.
He said, “In case there’s a few neurons left in your brain that didn’t quite grasp the concept of [the] Elimination Chamber, that was for former WWE Champions to compete in, and Braun, you just said yourself, again, you were never WWE Champion.”
It doesn’t help Strowman that he epitomized McMahon’s insults with his best clapback being, “Yeah, well I think that sucks!” He demanded a WWE Championship match much like an entitled child would for some candy or, if it was me as a kid, some chocolate.
McMahon further insulted Strowman by rejecting his demand and saying, “I think that idea kind of sucks.” So, yeah, talk about being brought down a peg.
Strowman’s character is essentially a very big man with the temperament, vocabulary, and intelligence of a sixth-grade bully.
To quote the great pairing of ESPN’s Neil Everett and Stan Verrett, “Is that bad?”
“It’s not good.”
Now, these attacks at each other, as I noted earlier, didn’t come out of thin air in the macro. Even in the micro, this started with Strowman telling Pearce to have McMahon “make this right” or it’s “not going to be pretty around here” just last week.
Knowing McMahon and his history at WrestleMania, coupled with Strowman’s…lack of a reputation as a ring general, it should be some kind of gimmick match. I’m going to say it will be either a Falls Count Anywhere or Street Fight/No Disqualification match.
While I originally thought we might be heading for a McMahon-A.J. Styles match at WrestleMania again mainly because of McMahon eyeing Omos a few weeks ago and my belief that McMahon can’t resist jumping off of something onto Omos, I now believe it will be Strowman vs. McMahon. The dots all connect.
The real question, though, is: Does anyone want to see this match? Let me ask it another way. Take away the inevitable McMahon spot of ridiculousness from the equation; do you want to see the match?
I’ll give them credit for at least building a foundation for the match and for not trying to build with only two weeks (or less) before WrestleMania. Strowman’s loss to Lashley opens him up to pursue who he probably believes is the reason he isn’t WWE Champion: Shane McMahon.
Sure, McMahon gave him that match with Lashley for the “opportunity,” but in Strowman’s mind, he shouldn’t have had to go through Lashley in the first place. Remember, Strowman believed he should have had a WWE Championship match last night.
McMahon’s sudden appearance a few weeks ago was generally panned, mostly because it seemed underwhelming for him to return for the Chamber match announcement. Now, however, it seems obvious he returned to set up his annual ‘Mania match.
Long-term booking (a month is long-term in WWE)? Color me surprised indeed.