Braun Strowman's WWE In-Ring Return Announced

For the first time in over 16 months, Braun Strowman will wrestle a match for WWE on next week's "SmackDown" in Salt Lake City, Utah.

It was announced on this week's show that Strowman will face Otis in his first match back to the company. The match was set up after "The Monster Among Men" had a physical altercation with Otis & Chad Gable of Alpha Academy. Strowman had initially taken out Ma.çé and Mån.sôör as the Maximum Male Models prepared to walk down the ramp to display their "Back to School" collection. After Strowman annihilated the MMM members, Gable would run down to the ring to confront him, a week after Strowman had attacked Alpha Academy in his official return to the blue brand show. 

Although Alpha Academy managed to exact some revenge on Strowman, with Otis hitting the former Universal Champion with a big splash from the corner, followed by a World's Strongest Slam, Strowman kept getting back up before Otis & Gable retreated to the back.  

Strowman last wrestled a match for WWE on May 16, 2021, at the WrestleMania Backlash premium live event, where he and Drew McIntyre unsuccessfully challenged Bobby Lashley in a Triple-Threat Match for the WWE Championship. Following his WWE release on June 2, 2021, Strowman went on to wrestle eight matches on the independent circuit, nearly all of them for the CYN and GLCW promotions.

In a recent interview with Corey Graves on the "After the Bell" podcast, Strowman stressed he had no intention to wrestle for another major promotion during his time away from WWE. While he described the release as "disheartening," Strowman revealed he had no ill feelings towards WWE, and realized that "business is business."