Braun Strowman, Big Cass and WWE's Renaissance of Big Men Superstars

Friday, July 14, 2017

 
Feed Source: WWE Bleacher Report

As Braun Strowman and Big Cass' rampages have made clear, the time of the giants is not over in WWE.

A new generation of behemoths have emerged, their massive shadows stretching across the ring. Strowman and Cass lead a wave of big men poised to be among WWE's keystones. 

It looked for a time as if the Davids would overtake the Goliaths, that smaller wrestlers would reign in the New Era. But the Raw, SmackDown and NXT rosters are becoming increasingly loaded with 300-pound hosses

Strowman is Raw's hottest act. Big Cass is charging up the ladder as a solo star. Monsters like The Authors of Pain stalk the NXT plains.

It's undeniable at this point—big is back.



For years, a good number of WWE's biggest names were average-sized athletes. Daniel Bryan became WWE's most popular star in 2014. CM Punk grew to be an idolized anti-hero atop the company. And after them, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins went on to win the WWE title, headline pay-per-views and serve as flag-bearers for a generation.

Not one of those wrestlers weighs in at more than 250 pounds. None sports an imposing stature.

It looked as if the evolution of pro wrestling would echo real life—the dinosaurs would give way to smaller, faster creatures. 



The last generation of WWE big men is on its way out. An aging Undertaker wrestled his last match at this past WrestleMania. Kane is busy running a mayoral campaign. Mark Henry and Big Show make only sporadic appearances for WWE. And at 46 and 45, respectively, they don't have many years left in them.

But just as those giants lumber toward the horizon, others have arrived to replace them. 

Strowman barreled his way to a top spot on Raw in the past year. He roars, overwhelms and devours. He is the most compelling monster WWE has seen in ages.

And at 6'8", 385 pounds, he's one of the biggest, as well.

But Strowman is no oversized novelty act. He's a bonafide main eventer in the making. His feuds with Sami Zayn and Roman Reigns in the past months have been consistently the highlight of Raw.



Jason Diamond of Rolling Stone pointed out the skills that have allowed The Monster Among Men to keep ascending: "Strowman, with that combination of freakish strength, anger and quick moves for a man his size, keeps proving he's ready to go to the top of the WWE."

Big Cass looks ready to join Strowman there.

The Babe Ruth of Beatdowns broke away from his friend and tag team partner Enzo Amore in heartbreaking fashion in June. He has since adopted a darker, more aggressive persona, becoming a man dead set on title glory no matter the cost.



The split from Amore is part of an expected push up the WWE ladder.

And while Cass is no magician on the mat, he has the size and stature the company has long coveted. He commands attention from moment one. He's a seven-foot gladiator with a larger-than-life presence.

Miami Herald columnist Scott Fishman is among those who see big things for Big Cass ahead:



After gobbling up Amore at the Great Balls of Fire PPV, Big Cass has made it clear that he wants a crack at Brock Lesnar and the Universal Championship.

He may not have to wait long for that opportunity, either. WWE's history tells us that the massive often get to skip ahead in the line. See The Great Khali, Yokozuna, Zeus. 

Strowman and Cass won't be alone in towering over foes in the WWE spotlight.

Baron Corbin (6'8", 275 lbs) holds the Money in the Bank briefcase, giving him a WWE title shot at the time and place of his choosing. He's steadily improved, both as a hard-hitter in the ring and as a condescending bully on the microphone.



It's a safe bet The Lone Wolf will be among SmackDown's top names for years to come. And at 32 years old, he is just hitting his athletic prime.

Corbin is not nearly as large a human being as past big men like Big Show or Andre the Giant, but in a time where 5'10' is the new normal, he can certainly play the colossus in many a WWE epic. 

NXT, meanwhile, is cultivating a whole new crop of big men.

The developmental brand has stocked up on the hefty and the huge in recent years. The 322-pound Killian Dain serves as Sanity's barrel-chested enforcer. Both Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic of the smashmouth team Heavy Machinery are over 300 pounds.

The NXT tag champs The Authors of Pain are a pair of unsettling powerhouses.



Rezar is a 330-pound former MMA fighter who makes men look like children when he powerbombs them. His partner, Akam, is a bit smaller at 290 pounds but is equally intimidating. Together, they are a wrecking crew that dwarfs teams like The Revival and #DIY.

These aren't just a bunch of beefy guys. Each of them is among NXT's most promising talents. Not everyone of them will hit, but the numbers suggest the main roster will soon be flush with big men.

Strowman, Big Cass and others will carry on the tradition of largeness and intimidation.

WWE needs to reinforce its rings and warn the cruiserweights. The giants are ready to reign again.

        

All heights and weights courtesy of WWE.com.


Read more Pro Wrestling news on BleacherReport.com








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