Only three times in WWE history has someone failed to successfully cash in their Money in the Bank contract. That number will jump to four after Hell in a Cell.
Braun Strowman, the current Mr. Money in the Bank has scheduled his Universal Championship match in advance, challenging current champ Roman Reigns to a Hell in a Cell match. It will be another chapter in the perpetually entertaining Strowman-Reigns rivalry, though it likely won’t leave fans satisfied by its finish.
That’s because it’s a practical guarantee that Reigns retains his title. Turning Strowman heel on the latest installment of Monday Night Raw was a fairly confusing decision, and it’s worth wondering how far WWE will go to get Roman Reigns over. With rumors surfacing that The Rock will be facing Reigns for his Universal Championship at Wrestlemania 35, there may not be a limit.
It’s obvious, and has been for a while, that Reigns is supposed to be the top guy. His crowd reactions have slowly turned more positive, sells a ton of merchandise, and regularly puts on entertaining matches. Still, Braun Strowman does not need to be a sacrificial lamb in order for Reigns to rise.
Strowman’s character is built entirely around his invincibility. Being pinned by Reigns at Elimination Chamber and again inside Hell in a Cell delegitimizes his character almost completely, marking Strowman as a main event loser rather than a championship threat. It’s the path that eventually leads to a superstar being used as an insurmountable obstacle to overcome, like Kane or the Big Show, rather than a real threat to capture a title.
Of course, the Shield will influence the outcome of the match, partially to help Strowman appear strong in defeat. Nonetheless, losing another championship match – which would make Strowman 0-4 in Universal Championship opportunities – along with his Money in the Bank contract may wound Strowman’s character beyond repair.
Because of the way the crowd reacts, Braun Strowman will always have a prominent role on WWE programming. He just may never shed the label of being Roman Reigns’ punching bag if Hell in a Cell ends the way it’s expected to.