The decision to have Kane beat Finn Balor on Raw felt like a strange one, and some people backstage at WWE agree.
On Sunday night at TLC, the WWE Universe was treated to a dream match. Finn Balor took on AJ Styles and it did not disappoint. With Balor in his demon paint and the potential trajectory that the Irishman is on, the end result shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. Balor picked up the win, but fans didn't care who was victorious.
The following night on Raw, Balor had a very different opponent, The Big Red Machine Kane. This one was a little harder to call since both men are seemingly on the up right now in WWE. It felt like interference from Braun Strowman was imminent. However, The Monster Among Men never came. Kane delivered three straight chokeslams to Balor and then covered him for the one, two, three.
It was a very strange booking decision indeed, and a line of thinking that was backed up by Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio. Meltzer claimed that he spoke with some talent backstage at WWE since the match took place and even they were confused by the decision to have Balor lose to Kane. Meltzer even said that some of the people he spoke to are normally guilty of attempting to defend some of Vince McMahon's more bizarre decisions.
There has been speculation that Balor is actually being punished by WWE for something that happened at TLC. Following his match with AJ Styles, he and The Phenomenal One both made the Too Sweet hand gesture, a symbol of the Bullet Club and a very touchy subject at this moment in time. That seems an extremely unlikely decision though since the image of the two men doing exactly that is still the header image on WWE's Twitter account.
Whatever the thinking was behind Balor's match with Kane on Monday night, it wouldn't have done the former Universal Champion any favors. Apparently, Balor is being touted as the next challenger to Brock Lesnar and his title, but losses like the one on Raw won't help his credibility or legitimacy in a match where he's already considered a massive underdog. Hopefully, the plan is more complex than that. Balor in his demon paint hasn't lost on the main roster, and maybe the selling point behind his potential showdown with The Beast is that when he's The Demon, he can't be beaten.