If you missed Raw last night, there’s at least one segment you should go out of your way to watch, and not on the official WWE YouTube page or the (sure to be edited) Hulu version, but wherever the original, uncut show can be found. It’s the segment where Braun Strowman repeatedly destroys Roman Reigns in increasingly cartoonish fashion for what feels like twenty minutes or so, as the fans cheer and sarcastically chant “you deserve it.”
Here’s the condensed version on that YouTube page, with the crowd sounds muted:
If you know the internet, you know everything that ever happens in the world inevitably gets compared to at least one scene from The Simpsons at some point, and usually multiple scenes. This, of course, was no different, from the old reliable Poochie references to GIFs of Sideshow Bob endlessly stepping onto one rake after another.
We turn to Twitter:
And the world of GIFs:
Strowman’s absurd destruction of the most unpopular top star in WWE history will go down as one of the most memorable segments of Raw, and not just because of its length. In attempting to reestablish Strowman as the biggest monster heel in ages, WWE turned him into the most beloved babyface since Daniel Bryan, at least among the wrestling fans who long ago grew sick of the Roman Reigns experiment. The Reigns situation is pretty much unique: yeah, there’s a history of faces and top stars getting booed by so-called “hardcore” fans, but never has a promotion stuck so long with a guy who has been so resoundingly refused by such a large portion of its audience. Last night’s comical beatdown should by all rights keep Reigns off TV for many weeks, but since the Big Dawg always overcomes, it’s natural to expect him back in a Raw ring next Monday. (If he doesn’t show up on SmackDown tonight during the “Superstar Shake-up.”) Whenever Reigns does return, there’s only one thing WWE should do to maintain this momentum: recreate this scene in its entirety, but with Reigns in the chair and Strowman giving it a nudge.