Going for Broke(n Arms)

Come for the Fugees references, stay for the Oprah references. Raw Regurgitated on the internet, just for you!

As someone who, while I don’t identify, comes from a family of Talls and counts Talls among some of my best friends, Braun Strowman’s “human” personality (as opposed to his Monster Amongst Men schtick) is something that always struck me as hyperrealistic. As the great Mark Macyk — one of those Talls I consider both family and a friend — once wrote about Brook Lopez for The Classical:

He’s polite to women, a weird guy and a seemingly legitimate non-conformist. In short, Lopez is the perfect Big Dude, transcending race and falling into a group of likable tall people who can only be described as Muppet-esque — making Jason Segal the prime example of the modern Big Dude phenomenon, which is presumably how he nabbed Michelle Williams. A Big Dude is the kind of baller you want your daughter to bring home: big enough to protect her, but with a demeanor more likely to end fights than start them. He knows with bigness comes certain responsibilities.

It’s that last idea, that “with bigness comes certain responsibilities,” which most embodies the Strowman aesthetic in this context: He has spent his entire life trying to put people at ease through a combination of deliberate body language and measured language, calmly articulated. He didn’t say “TAKE BELT BACKS, IF NOT, BRAUN SMASH KURT!” but instead, “I hate to think about it, let alone say it out loud, but we’re going to have to relinquish the Raw Tag Team Titles. Nicholas has a scheduling conflict… he’s still in the fourth grade.”

It’s why he worked so well with Nicholas — the child of a WWE ref they seemed to choose for his ability to appear calm on camera and not do so in a way where they are making anything about them — who gets to finish the segment, obviously, by angrily shouting Strowman’s famous “GET THESE HANDS” catchphrase. Braun understands that just being a normal human being in a framing device like his body requires him to constantly be aware of how he’s interacting with the space he’s occupying, a finely honed skill which also allows people like him — and the Big Show, Kane and Andre, most notably — to be particularly great professional wrestlers.

Whether or not No Way Jose will get there is unclear — just kidding, Braun is the only worthy Odinson — but his NXT entrance translating so seamlessly to Raw had to make anyone who lived through the Adam Rose Experience slightly worried. But then you realize Adam Rose was not good in the ring, had a terrible song — his NXT theme, like Jose’s, SLAPPED, but unlike Jose, they changed it on the main roster — and was also a creep, both in and out of kayfabe. Jose has the kind of likability which he can swing either way, but at worse, he’s the rich man’s Ricky Ortiz and we’ve always needed one of those.

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