The Universal Championship match at WrestleMania 36 caused many issues for places like Betway who were attempting to offer online odds for the WWE’s biggest show of the year. Due to the COVID-19 situation the WrestleMania 36 card had to be rejigged, leading to one of the more unlikely results of the show when “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman won the Universal Championship defeating hall of famer Goldberg to walk away with Smackdown’s top championship in a result that many weren’t expecting.
Some may believe holding WrestleMania in the midst of a pandemic is an unsafe choice but much like UFC fighters, professional wrestlers are not protected by an “Ali Act”. At the end of the day, the performers understand that for them and the WWE to make money they must perform and fulfill broadcasting obligations. Like most lower card UFC fighters the lower card WWE superstars aren’t rich and don’t have a lot of negotiating power with the WWE so if a show is going ahead they will be asked to perform. And most will perform because working for the WWE is their dream and they love professional wrestling.
Just one month prior to the “Showcase Of The Immortals” Braun Strowman was losing his intercontinental championship to the midcard act known as the Artist Collective of Sami Zayn, Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura. Titleless and without a storyline the few places offering online odds for WrestleMania would’ve predicted that Strowman would leave WrestleMania with any title let alone the top championship of his brand.
Luck would side with Braun Strowman however as Roman Reigns would be pulled from the WrestleMania 36 card due to his past battles with Leukemia making it a risk for him to take part in the event. Strowman would be slotted into Reigns’ place on the last edition of Smackdown before Mania and after a short battle with Goldberg emerged victorious as the new universal champion, just two short days after being added to the match. From probably being off of the card to standing atop the mountain Strowman’s unlikely victory was a shock to many, it remains to be seen if the lack of build hurts his reign as Smackdown currently lacks credible main event talent and even Strowman alone can’t carry the main event scene on his very broad shoulders
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