It’s an old spot but it always works: two giants climb the turnbuckle, one superplexes the other, and then the entire ring collapses under their combined weight as they crash down on the mat. It happened once more on this week’s episode of Raw, as WWE’s newest giant (and unintentional top babyface) Braun Strowman used the Big Show’s 45-year-old body to completely wipe out the ring.
WWE didn’t create the ring break spot, but over the last 15 years or so it’s become synonymous with them, and particularly with the Big Show. You know that if the Show gets caught on top of that turnbuckle there’s a solid chance a ring explosion is on its way. For a company notorious for its absolute lack of patience, it’s surprising that WWE has used this spot so sparingly over the years. That’s what makes it so powerful and memorable whenever it happens, though. If they pulled it out once a year it would have stopped meaning anything over a decade ago.
The beauty of this particular occurrence isn’t necessarily in the explosion itself. It’s in how perfectly that explosion acts as an exclamation point to a surprisingly good bout between the big men. The match was a reminder that, even as wrestling fans are more accepting of a diverse array of body types than ever (assuming those bodies know how to work), a classic slobberknocker between two undeniable giants still holds a special allure. If this match happened in 2015, during Strowman’s earliest main roster appearances, it probably would’ve been an in-ring disaster remembered solely for the actual disaster that befell the ring itself at the end. Instead, a steadier and surer Strowman had a legitimately enjoyable slugfest with his venerable counterpart, flashing the confidence and experience he’s gained since his too-soon promotion. The brutal joys of a top notch big boy brawl should never be underestimated. And then, after those solid minutes of solid action, the ring shatters like a balsa wood chair, with two manbeasts rolling through the wreckage and poor ref John Cone taking the bump of the night with a hard tumble outside the ring.
Between this spot, the episode-long storyline of Strowman steamrolling chumps backstage, and the big man’s cartoonishly long beatdown of Roman Reigns last week, this has turned into a good month for the former “black sheep” of the Wyatt Family. Hopefully he can keep this momentum going no matter what obstacles are thrown in his way by WWE booking.