Tyson Fury is a world-famous boxer. Braun Strowman is a world famous-professional wrestler. What do you get when you put them together? Great question I hear you ask. Well, I’ll tell you. A monumental mistake.
This is article isn’t here to say Tyson Fury shouldn’t or should be competing in the WWE. Personally, I don’t see a huge problem with it, plus it seems like he is willing to get involved more than other celebrities/fighters have in the past. Plus, more mainstream crossover for wrestling is better, not worse. What I do have a problem with, however, is the decision to pair Tyson Fury against Braun Strowman. In a match that will likely do more harm to the Strowman than Fury, it leaves myself questioning why WWE and its creative team would even book themselves into this situation.
We have seen many fighters transition to WWE over the years. Boxers like Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather spring to mind as well as MMA fighters like Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler. One thing all of these names have in common is they were all made to look strong during their time with WWE. Mike Tyson didn’t really wrestle aside from being apart of a tag team match on RAW in 2010, but still famously knocked out Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XIV. The others however competed properly, with Mayweather beating Big Show at Wrestlemania WrestleMania XXIV, Rousey dominating during her WWE run and Baszler holding the NXT Women’s Title for a combined total around 500 days in her two reigns. Case in point, WWE love it when legitimate fighters come to wrestle in the WWE. Plus, they very rarely lose. Floyd Mayweather was obviously never going to lose in his match against Big Show, as he is very fond of his perfect boxing record.
Admittedly, I didn’t follow Fury or know much about his career other than his name and him being a boxer before finding out he was coming to WWE. Though through some research, I found he has had a rather colourful career, with a few controversies along the way. The most important discovery I made though, was that he was undefeated. Before beginning my research, I knew he was a good boxer, but was not aware of his undefeated status. This changed everything in my eyes in regards to my thoughts on the match.
It feels like Strowman has been a bit of a crossroads for the past couple of years of his WWE career. Every time it looks like WWE has been about to pull the trigger and give him a big victory, they don’t. Despite looking good in matches against Roman Reigns at the beginning of 2017, even beating “The Big Dog” on a few occasions, Strowman has fallen over when it comes to two things, the Universal Title and Brock Lesnar. Strowman can’t seem to beat Brock Lesnar, losing every match he has had against Lesnar including Universal Championship matches. After all his dominant showings, Strowman is yet to hold a singles title in WWE. The one that was the worst, however, was the match him and Lesnar had at Crown Jewel in 2018, a match many believed Strowman should’ve won, only for Lesnar to squash him in about three minutes.
This leads to the question, how is booking Fury against Strowman a good idea for the full-time WWE wrestler? More importantly, who wins? Or a better question is, who should win? Through simply looking at WWE TV, it’s hard to tell. But when you do some more research into other factors, this changes significantly when checking the odds for the match. Immediately, Tyson Fury opened as a -600 favourite against Braun Strowman (+350 underdog) for the match at Crown Jewel (odds via SBD). Whilst the WWE creative team can be known to come up with some memorable twists and turns, they are usually rather predictable in these kinds of situations and bringing in an undefeated heavyweight boxing champion to lose to Braun Strowman isn’t going to be the difference. As mentioned earlier, undefeated boxers jealously protect their perfect records, and Fury wouldn’t be doing this if he was set up to lose.
Now it becomes a broader question of how does this benefit anyone. If Fury never comes back, which is a definite possibility, he just beat one of WWE’s top babyfaces, leaving him looking like an idiot. If Fury does stay, who do you possibly put over him when the time comes? Brock Lesnar? Roman Reigns? Plus, it makes all the WWE guys look like chumps, as if Strowman can’t beat Fury, how can any of the wrestlers Strowman beats look any better (which is a lot of the roster). A Tyson Fury win is basically a sure thing and it doesn’t really bode well for Strowman.
Let’s say Strowman managed to do the impossible and actually win. It would put him over huge and make him look like a legitimate megastar. Imagine the media headlines:
WWE Superstar Braun Strowman Defeats Undefeated Boxing Champion Tyson Fury at Crown Jewel!”
Whilst this would be great for Strowman and arguably benefit WWE as a whole, this wouldn’t happen. The WWE are content with having their name read out amongst Tyson Fury’s, regardless of how this makes Strowman look. There are two ways you can look at this. WWE isn’t relying on Strowman to shift the company so why not use him to build a blockbuster match and then gain the headlines. Alternatively, it makes the current product look worse as Fury will leave and Strowman will just look like more of a loser. Plus if Fury never comes back, they’ve been burned in this situation.
I don’t think this match is a good idea. Sure it’s going to get some publicity and headlines, and probably some buys for the WWE Network or PPV. But at the end of the day, it just makes Strowman look weak in the scheme of things and potentially damages him long term. Hopefully WWE’s creative team has a trick up their sleeve for Crown Jewel, otherwise Strowman faces another humiliating loss.