Braun Strowman is a relatively new face in the WWE, and his star keeps rising. The WWE’s newest big man joins a long history of wrestling giants that includes The Undertaker, The Big Show, Mark Henry, King Kong Bundy and, of course, Andre the Giant.
The 6-foot-8, 385-pound monstrosity of a man gained instant popularity as a member of the Wyatt Family, and has since electrified crowds with his feats of strength in and around the ring. He most recently helped headline WWE’s SummerSlam 2017 as part of a fatal 4-way match with Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe for the Universal Championship.
While Strowman didn’t leave SummerSlam with the title, he did further solidify his standing as a dominant force in the WWE. Here are 11 things you probably didn’t know about the WWE giant Braun Strowman:
1. Braun Strowman was born as Adam Scherr on September 6, 1983. He has one sister. Growing up, Scherr was average size for his age, at least until high school. From ninth grade to twelfth grade, he grew almost a foot and added over 100 pounds.
2. Scherr describes himself as a true country boy at heart, having grown up in the tiny village of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina. Scherr was a three-sport athlete at Bandys High School in Catawba, North Carolina: football, wrestling and track, in which he threw the shot put and discus. He says that he had very poor grades in high school, even attending night school at a point to catch up to his classmates. He didn’t go to college.
3. Scherr briefly worked as a nightclub security guard in Charlotte, North Carolina, near his hometown. This profession combined his love of nightlife with his natural gift of intimidating size. Any club-goer would surely behave themselves after locking eyes with someone his size. He also had the ability to, as he put it, “talk most people out of doing something silly.”
4. Scherr briefly pursued a football career. With his sheer size, a stint playing football was inevitable. He played semi-pro for four years in North Carolina and was even invited to the 2007 NFL Combine, however he was never scouted by any teams because he lacked a college career.
5. Prior to his WWE career, Scherr was a skilled strongman competitor. He competed in his first competition in September of 2009 and turned pro in November of 2011, the fastest any American strongman got his pro card. At the peak of his strongman career in 2012, he recorded a dead lift of 905 pounds, and could squat 775 pounds.
6. To keep up with his grueling daily routine, Scherr would consume 12,000 calories a day and 1000+ grams of protein — including a daily visit to Burger King for a Triple Whopper Combo with Cheese. He was so large, in fact, that his girlfriend at the time had to tie his shoelaces for him because he couldn’t bend down to tie them himself.
7. Not only was he a successful strongman competitor, Scherr was actually a strongman champion. He won the 2012 Arnold Amateur Strongman Competition, which sent him to the 2013 Arnold Classic. Unfortunately, Scherr tore his bicep in the first round of this competition, which would result in his last-place finish. Soon after this loss, he left the strongman circuit for good to begin his wrestling career.
8. Fellow strongman-turned-WWE star Mark Henry introduced Scherr to the wrestling world. Scherr was a fan of Henry’s wrestling career, and they became acquaintances during their strongman competitions. Henry told the WWE to check out Scherr after competing with him on several occasions, including at the 2010 Arnold Strongman Classic.
9. Scherr believes his personality in front of the judges set him apart from other strongman competitors, and was the main reason why the WWE noticed him. He told The Steve Austin Show, “I think that was one of the big things that drew WWE to me, is seeing the fact that I enjoy going out and entertaining, that I am basically an attention whore.”
10. Scherr went through an early-career name change. He was first listed as Braun Stowman before the ‘r’ was added in to create his present stage name, Braun Strowman.
11. Scherr is very new to the wrestling world as compared to other pro wrestling stars — he signed with WWE in May of 2013. His WWE career began with the developmental spinoff, NXT. His debut match was a shock for WWE fans, when the then-unknown Braun Strowman entered the ring as a member of the Wyatt Family. He stayed on as part of the bearded trio until July 2016, when he was traded from SmackDown to RAW as part of the WWE 2016 draft.
12. After his RAW trade, Strowman finally began to compete in singles matches without his Wyatt Family posse. He went undefeated from the time of the trade until last December’s Roadblock: End of the Line match, where he ‘lost’ to Sami Zayn only after the clock ran out at the time-limit-style match.
13. Strowman has “slimmed down” somewhat since joining the WWE; he now weighs in at a solid 375 pounds. On the road, where he spends much of his time these days, he eats Chipotle at least a few times each week, not to mention piles of protein bars. Like many pro wrestlers, he pays careful attention to what he puts in his body, though he still manages to consume 5000-7000 calories per day.
14. Strowman has several nicknames in the WWE and beyond. In the ring, he is known as the “Monster Among Men” and “A Mountain of a Man,” clearly referring to his intimidating size and looks. As a strongman, his nicknames included “Big Country” and “Mansquatch.”
15. Strowman has some experience behind the camera outside of the WWE. He starred in a 2016 independent movie called Three Count prior to his WWE career. The film is only 50 minutes long and never ran in theaters, but it can be viewed for free on YouTube. Braun is, of course, credited as ‘Strongman’ for his role.
Sydney Cantor is a Content Intern at CBS Local.