WWE announced the release of Braun Strowman last week along with several other big name talents. The other names released last week were Lana, Aleister Black, Ruby Riott, Buddy Murphy and Santana Garrett.
On the latest episode of the Hall of Fame Podcast, Booker T spoke about the release of Strowman in length, given that he’s been in the main event picture, including just last month being involved in the WWE Championship match at WWE WrestleMania Backlash. Booker spoke about how shocked he initially was by the release, but also stated that the amount of money he was making could have been a factor.
“It definitely made me go wow,” Booker said. “Then I started looking at it from a business perspective, if it’s true, rumors out there saying Braun Strowman had a huge contract, he was making a lot of money. If you’re doing budget cuts, that’s the one thing you gotta be thinking about man, who do we really need? Who’s the guy that we really need here to keep this thing running? Take nothing away from Braun Strowman, he was an enigma. He was a guy that was somewhat of a throwback to the guys that did it once before him.
“Look at Braun Strowman, even being the enigma that he was, it was kind of hard to match Braun Strowman up with more than two or three guys on the roster. I could be wrong, but there again he was like a throwback to the way the wrestler was back in the day. Nothing against him as a wrestler but just think about it, in Japan back in the day, you had the battle of the giants. The way they wrestle now is totally different.”
Strowman’s WWE release wasn’t the most surprising of the group due to the massive contract he signed in 2019 that lasted until 2023. Booker T noted how he truly believed that Strowman could have been the next Kane or Undertaker, and that things just didn’t workout.
“Don’t think I’m trying to throw any shade or anything like that but there again you look at the guys and say who are the guys that we’re really going to need to fuel this thing to take us to the next level and take us to where we want to be,” Booker said. “Is Braun Strowman one of the guys? Obviously they didn’t think he was one of the guys or there could’ve been something underlying that I don’t even know about as far as contract dispute, thinking grass is greener on the other side or maybe [Braun] wanted to get [out of WWE].
“I’m always thinking about a guy like Braun Strowman when he comes around, this is the guy that’s going to replace Kane for the next 20 years, this is the guy that’s going to replace The Undertaker for the next 20 years, just think about it. Those days are well over and they will never ever come back.”
Braun won the Universal Championship at last year’s WrestleMania against Goldberg=. The 5x WCW Champion spoke about the underwhelming reign Braun had with the belt, saying you can see why him being champion won’t work because there aren’t a lot of guys on the roster who can work with Strowman.
“There again, with the title on a guy like Braun Strowman, there’s only two or three guys on the card that he can wrestle,” Booker said. “That he can actually go out and compete with. It didn’t favour him a whole lot as being a guy that they say ‘Let me use this guy for the next 15 years.’ When I think about talent and signing them to a major contract, a big contract, this is a guy that’s going to be around for quite some time and I’ve got to get my money out of this guy.
“You look at a guy like Braun, I wouldn’t call him injury prone, but a guy who’s had injuries, what are we paying him, what are we getting out of him out of a 365 day period? Is he a guy that I thought would’ve been on the radar, on the list? No I didn’t. Maybe things could be going in a totally different direction and Braun Strowman just got caught up in the middle of things that happened in this business. Nothing lasts forever.”
Immediately after Strowman was released by WWE, rumors of him joining other wrestling companies started. One of the names swirling around social media of course was AEW, but the two time WWE Hall of Famer said the issue with Braun going there is that he’s just too big for the roster there.
“That’s the thing, Braun Strowman runs through that whole roster,” Booker said. “I really rely on the past in certain ways to fuel what we got going on today. Just imagine, we may not be talking about Kevin Nash the way we talk about him if he wasn’t the bodyguard for Shawn Michaels in the beginning. The way big Kev was introduced, he wasn’t a guy that was just thrown out there to be a star. He was a star and the fans knew it and they wanted to get behind them because he was Big Sexy, Big Daddy Cool, Diesel. He had some charisma and the fans gravitated to that. A guy like Braun Strowman, we just threw him out there to become a star and sometimes it’s really really difficult when you’re put out there under the bright lights to pull it off. Not saying that he didn’t do a hell of a job but being introduced the way that he was introduced, as the Monster Among Men, he had to be bigger than everybody every single night. To rise to that occasion man, that’s a rough task.
“There’s like two matches over there for him,” Booker continued to mention. “Lance Archer, Brian Cage, Miro. There’s two or three guys that Braun Strowman [can face]. Mark Henry.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Hall of Fame Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.