There are conflicting reports circulating as to why WWE decided to have Finn Balor pin John Cena to win Raw's main event this week.
For the first time since Vince McMahon promised changes on Raw, this week's offering felt like a breath of fresh air. The Women's Tag Titles were unveiled, Bobby Lashley became Intercontinental Champion, and Braun Strowman was removed from the upcoming Universal Title match. The biggest news of all, however, was the man who will be replacing him, Finn Balor.
After Strowman was removed from the title match by Mr. McMahon, the boss proceeded to put together a match to decide his replacement. That match featured Balor, John Cena, Drew McIntyre, and Baron Corbin. Not only was it a surprise The Irishman won following McMahon's comments about him earlier in the show, but the man he covered for the victory was even more surprising.
Rather than take the easy way out and have Balor pin Corbin, the first-ever Universal Champion defeated Cena in order to pick up the win. Cena then proceeded to congratulate Balor after the match, telling him that he just earned himself another believer. There was a rumor that Cena took the loss as punishment for skipping out on Crown Jewel in 2018, however, apparently that is not the case.
Sports Illustrated has since reported that Cena asked to be the one who got pinned by Balor. The 16-time World Champion wanted Balor's win to be as big a deal as possible heading into his title match with Brock Lesnar. What better way to do that than by pinning a legacy star who has been at the top of WWE for almost his entire 17 years and counting main roster career?
What WWE and Cena need to be careful of is The Franchise Player "putting over" too many stars. If Cena returns to the ring a few times a year and just loses match after match, a time will come when those losses don't mean anything. We might have already arrived at that juncture, to be honest. Even after Balor's impressive showing on Raw, do you really believe that he will go on to beat Lesnar at Royal Rumble?