If you've heard the news that Finn Balor is on the outs with WWE management, namely Vince McMahon, you might be thinking, 'huh?' How is it that a fan favorite like Balor is considered not main event worthy material and pulled from a match with Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Alas, that is the rumor and while Balor himself is having some social media fun with the speculation, it's not necessarily a laughing matter if the rumors are true.
If Vince McMahon has determined that Balor isn't as popular as he'd hoped and that he's not big-ticket or main event material, this is a problem for Balor, the WWE and all of the Balor Club who are eagerly waiting for both Balor and the "Demon King" to return to Universal Championship status.
A strong argument can be made that McMahon is wrong. Here are five reasons we think he might be.
5. His History In Japan
The WWE doesn't give much credit to wrestlers who make their name in Japan and then come to North America. You can see it in the lack of push given to guys like Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows or the fact WWE believes they need to rebrand and remarket a guy like Shinsuke Nakamura. Yes, not every WWE fan knows the product in Japan, but McMahon shouldn't ignore the legacies these wrestlers have created either.
Balor was one of, if not the most popular wrestler in Japan for years. It's the sole reason Triple H went out and signed Balor (then Price Devitt) to a contract in NXT. Balor has a loyal fanbase from a market the WWE is losing out to and McMahon has long wanted to do better in the Asian market. WWE would be wise to embrace his history there, not ignore or hide it.
4. The Balor Club
Some might call the "Balor Club" name cheesy because it's an obvious take or variation on another faction name very similar (one that Balor started), but there is no denying the fact that Balor has a bunch of fans who consider themselves part of the Balor Club. At one point, it was rumored that he was second in merch sales to only Roman Reigns. Even still, after months of no real push to the main event scene, you can see fans everywhere sporting Balor's stuff.
His popularity is undeniable and unless his merch sales have plummeted, you'd think McMahon might use people wanting his gear as a sign fans have a keen interest in Balor doing well.
3. The Demon King
Admittedly, McMahon likes "The Demon King" persona of Finn Balor. Unfortunately, it appears that's the only thing he likes. The word is that McMahon finds Balor too vanilla and boring when he isn't the "Demon King", but it would be unwise to turn Balor into that alter-ego full time. If WWE did so, it wouldn't be long before Balor was viewed in the same way Goldust or Kane are now. The "Demon King" would grow stale and that would be bad.
That said, "The Demon King" still has massive market appeal and fans absolutely love it. They love his entrance, the love his body and face paint and they look forward to when he breaks out the character. It would a shame to relegate that to a mid or lower card status.
2. His In-Ring Ability
Like Dolph Ziggler (who Balor has recently been compared to), Balor is a great in-ring performer. McMahon just doesn't seem to think that's enough. It's not that Balor is boring, because he isn't. It's not that Balor can't talk, because he can. McMahon just doesn't look at talented wrestlers who aren't big guys the same way a lot of fans do.
If McMahon would just let Balor run in matches with the likes of AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn or other top wrestlers in the company, he might be surprised how much the fans get into it. Balor can absolutely go in the ring. You don't want to alienate all your talent who have the most skill in that regard.
1. The Bullet Club
The Bullet Club is a like cuss word to Vince McMahon. The reason? Because the Bullet Club is hugely popular and he didn't come up with the idea. He can't use it, he can't steal it he can't market or make money off of it and it irks him. It doesn't change the fact that Balor is wildly popular because of his association with that group.
Balor was one of the founding members of the Bullet Club and the WWE Universe is begging WWE to put Balor back together with Gallows and Anderson (two other founding members). Vince needs to at least try and see what comes out of that partnership before he throws the baby out with the bath water. No one knows how good that group could be until they try it.