The WWE doesn't usually tell their stories with the long-term future in mind, but they often have matches for big events (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Summerslam and Survivor Series) planned ahead of time. With that in mind, it was widely known that Finn Balor challenging Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble was penciled in as a main event.
That may have just been changed. According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, the WWE—or more specifically Vince McMahon—officially nixed the plan to have the leader of the Balor Club challenge The Beast, because in Meltzer’s words “he lost faith in Balor and doesn’t think he’s over enough.”
When he was promoted to the main roster, Balor was drafted fifth overall, and the third pick for Raw, which showed they had very high hopes for him on the main roster. Unfortunately, like so many others from NXT, Balor has been let down by poor booking (and an injury) over the past 16 months. So while McMahon may be right in this case, it’s not Balor’s fault. He has done everything asked of him and is still one of the top performers in the WWE today, but in the end, this may work out in Balor's favor.
We all know that WWE is building to Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. So the result of this match would have been 100 percent obvious, and perhaps using Finn to challenge for the title he never lost so early would have been a mistake anyway. Yet, this leaves the main event of Royal Rumble completely up in the air.
Does WWE go back to Samoa Joe or Braun Strowman vs Lesnar to give him a credible opponent? It’s unlikely as both men were beaten clean, and neither should lose clean again anytime soon. Do they rely on an old star like John Cena or Triple H to fill the void? It would be a good match, but one we’ve seen plenty before. Do they go to someone like Seth Rollins or Dean Ambrose? Unlikely, as again the result would not be in doubt, so it could make for a less intriguing contest.
If the WWE has indeed gone away from the Balor vs Lesnar plans, there is only one matchup that they go to instead—Bray Wyatt vs Brock Lesnar. This may not be too appealing as we would know the result (both as a result of what’s been mentioned and the fact that Wyatt can never win the big one), but it’s a rivalry that’s never been fully explored and might make for a very interesting match. It could potentially bring about the reuniting of The Wyatt Family (as it looks entirely possible the Bludgeon Brothers will be dead on arrival), but either way, it’s the only plausible replacement we can see for Balor.
So what do you guys think? Is this a good move on WWE’s part? Is McMahon wrong about Balor not being over? Do you even care considering we all know Lesnar is going to win clean again? Let us know in the comments below.