WWE Fastlane Preview: Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns

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Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
Photo: WWE.com

Ever since his emergence into World Wrestling Entertainment at Survivor Series 2012, Roman Reigns hasn’t had too many difficulties in plowing through anyone who has stood in his path.

As a member of the fearsome Shield, Reigns scored four consecutive eliminations at Survivor Series 2013 en route to garnering his team a victory. At Royal Rumble 2014, he broke Kane’s thirteen year record of most eliminations in a single Roya Rumble match.He was a key component in The Shield’s ability to hand a reunited Evolution two straight losses in back to back pay-per-views.

On his own he has toppled authority figures Triple H and Vince McMahon survived Bray Wyatt’s relentless onslaught, , stood toe to toe with Brock Lesnar, won three WWE World Titles, and ended Rusev’s second reign as United States Champion.

With that impressive resume, it has come to the surprise of many that the one force the “Big Dog” has to yet to figure out is the “Monster Among Men”

Upon being unleashed by Bray Wyatt the night after Summerslam 2015, Braun Strowman has ensured Reigns knows exactly who he is.

The Wyatt Family became even deadlier with his addition and it took everything for Reigns and close friend Dean Ambrose to fend them off.  Reigns took an ungodly amount of punishment; as it turned out, that was only a sign of things to come.

In January 2017 both Reigns and Strowman entered themselves into the Royal Rumble match but neither waited until the 30 Man free for all to get reacquainted.

On the first ever edition of the Kevin Owens Show, Strowman stood front and center staring down both Reigns and Bill Goldberg.  The end result was a thunderous spear that took Strowman off his feet, a rare occurrence for the big man.

At the Rumble itself, Strowman exacted revenge when he directly cost Reigns his match against Universal Champion Kevin Owens by taking full advantage of the match’s No Disqualification stipulation.

The following night Reigns repaid the favor by attacking Strowman during his own Universal Championship match against Owens.  Strowman would win via DQ but leave with nothing but rage.

That would be the last time to date Reigns would get one up on Strowman.  Though, it wouldn’t be for lack of effort. After Raw General Manager Mick Foley made a singles match between the two official  for Fastlane, Reign would continue his pursuit of retribution only to run into a wall, sometimes quite literally. Strowman again played a part in a Reigns loss, this time to Samoa Joe, then proceeded to drive him through the security wall with a mighty running power slam.

For two weeks in a row Reigns came looking for revenge.

After Strowman’s wins over Mark Henry and The Big Show respectively,  the former World Champion kept bringing the fight. He rocked Strowman with punches and clotheslines but the end result was the same; Strowman would not leave his feet and put Reigns down with dropkicks and his patented running power slam. Strowman was so dominant that he demanded Reigns sign an official contract as assurance he wouldn’t be backing out of their match.

Not unexpectedly, Reigns was in no mood for simply putting pen to paper.

The two giants went tooth and nail, ending with Strowman once again leaving Reigns in a crumpled heap on the canvas.This time however, Roman wouldn’t stay down. As Strowman headed towards backstage, he looked back to admire his destruction.  What he saw instead was Reigns somehow recovering and signing the contract as intended.

Outlook:

It’s going to be an uphill battle for Reigns, one unlike he has ever experienced before in his short but storied career.He has faced adversity before but that has been often against the numbers game. Against factions like Evolution, The Wyatts, The League of Nations, and The Authority he has always had to fend off multiple men with the united purpose of taking him out. Braun Strowman is a lone man he hasn’t been able to damage at all.

When Strowman was drafted to Raw away from Bray, many wondered if he would be able to stand on his own two feet.  He was a powerful component of the Wyatts but was still something of a mystery. In the nearly nine months since then, he has cemented himself as one of the biggest dangers on Team Red. Aside from a time limit loss to Sami Zayn last December, nobody has been able to defeat him or even extend a competitive challenge.

Reigns will have to deviate from his usual offensive strikes because they haven’t worked out too well for him thus far.  If he could mix in leg kicks or isolate a limb of Strowman, he stands a better chance at wearing him down for his Superman Punch/Spear combination.

Strowman will have to turn up the intensity even more than he already has.  His biggest weakness is overconfidence, which cost him that aforementioned defeat at the hands of Zayn. Reigns has proven he won’t go down without a fight so it is key Braun never allow him to get a sustained offense going.  It may take more than one or even two power slams to get the job done.

In the end, either Reigns will record his biggest conquest yet or become roadkill in the Fastlane. Wrestlemania may very well be permanently detoured.

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