Braun Strowman Beats Miz, Morrison; Retains Universal Title at WWE Backlash 2020

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 11:  WWE wrestler Braun Strowman is introduced at a WWE news conference at T-Mobile Arena on October 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Strowman will face heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury and WWE champion Brock Lesnar will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez at the WWE's Crown Jewel event at Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 31.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Braun Strowman defeated The Miz and John Morrison in a handicap match at WWE Backlash on Sunday to retain the Universal Championship.

Whereas The Miz and Morrison initially thought they’d be co-champions if they toppled Strowman, the wrestler who made the pinfall would actually become the sole titleholder. That created a dynamic in which the tag partners were effectively pitted against one another.

And at one point, The A-Lister pulled Morrison off The Monster Among Men when it seemed they might have had him beat.

WWE Universe @WWEUniverse

Herein lies the dilemma for @mikethemiz & @TheRealMorrison with the #UniversalChampionship on the line… #WWEBacklash https://t.co/nw6rpfZgyl

That helped the champion regain his senses and take over. He chokeslammed The Miz and hit the running powerslam on Morrison for the victory. 

WWE @WWE

THE MONSTER STANDS TALL.

#WWEBacklash @BraunStrowman https://t.co/sZTN0bJV5r

After Strowman retained the title against Bray Wyatt at Money in the Bank, he was thrust into a rivalry with The Miz and Morrison when men’s Money in the Bank ladder match winner Otis asked him to team up with him.

The Monster Among Men appeared to think Otis was attempting to lay a trap at first, but he ultimately agreed and helped him beat Miz and Morrison in a tag team match after they tried to embarrass the Heavy Machinery man on Miz TV.

The following week on SmackDown, The Miz and Morrison talked trash about Strowman on an edition of The Dirt Sheet, which led to The Monster making his way to the ring to confront them.

Morrison volunteered The A-Lister to face Strowman in a singles match. The Miz did get some offense in with help from his teammate, but he ultimately couldn’t overcome the size and strength of the titleholder.

Morrison got on the mic after Miz’s loss and laid down a unique challenge to Strowman. He called for the champion to face both himself and Miz at Backlash in a handicap match with the universal belt on the line, and it wasn’t long before The Monster accepted.

Strowman is no stranger to handicap matches, but he hasn’t always had the best luck in them. Back at Elimination Chamber in February, he put the Intercontinental Championship on the line against Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro.

The numbers game proved too much, though, and Zayn pinned him to become the new IC champion.

The Miz is a former WWE champion with the knowledge of what it takes to reach the top of the mountain in the company.

Even so, Strowman was a pretty heavy favorite entering Sunday’s match for several reasons, including the notion that his rivalry with The Miz and Morrison was merely a way for WWE to bide time before unleashing “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt on him.

With Strowman retaining at Backlash, the door is now open for him and The Fiend to have matches at Extreme Rules and perhaps even SummerSlam with the universal title up for grabs.

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