wrestling / Columns

Finn Balor Is Over Now

January 17, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Finn Balor Raw 1-14-19

A little over a year ago, Finn Balor seemed to be in line for a Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble. At least that was the word around the campfire. Plans changed, as they often do within WWE, and that slot didn’t go to Balor. The reason given by the Internet reports?

Finn Balor wasn’t over.

Granted, there wasn’t much reason for him to be. Balor’s tenure on Raw has been a bit of a rollercoaster. He started out on the highest of highs, becoming the first Universal Champion by defeating Seth Rollins at SummerSlam 2016. That immediately led to the lowest of lows, with Balor needing to vacate the championship due to a shoulder injury suffered during the match. It was a fitting beginning for a championship that’s been plagued with champions either getting injured or never being around.

Upon his return, he briefly entered the title picture before being relegated into a series of feuds with the likes of Elias & Bray Wyatt. We saw a reunion with Balor & his old friends Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, but that was quickly forgotten so Gallows & Anderson could move over to SmackDown & do nothing while Balor did something worse than nothing…feud with Baron Corbin. I did gloss over a feud over the Intercontinental Championship with Balor, Seth Rollins & The Miz that people really liked. Unfortunately for Balor, the feud did more for Rollins & Miz. They didn’t have to move on to a Baron Corbin feud.

Drew McIntyre was a step in the right direction. Balor didn’t exactly get a lot of offense in his matches with Drew, but we got to see him at his best as a never-say-die babyface. Sometimes as fans, we forget its important for our heroes to look vulnerable. They can’t win all the time & overcome all the odds, or we get bored. Balor is very good at that aspect of the game. He might not win all the time, but he manages to keep fans interested.

Finn Balor is over. He might not have had the best of 2018s from an in-ring perspective, but his trials & tribulations kept people interested enough to prove a point to WWE management. If anybody in the office needed a reminder, they got one when Balor made a surprise appearance at NXT UK’s Takeover event in Blackpool.

I don’t know enough about Irish/English relations to know whether that qualifies as a “hometown pop”, but even if it did, it exceeded any of those that I’ve seen in a very long time. I get the feeling that certain people in WWE liked that a lot.

A lot of people were skeptical of this tweet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Vince McMahon had an appreciation for the NXT UK product. The chairman might not push guys purely based on wrestling ability, but he likes a good match as much as the rest of us do. Vince also had to get quite the charge out of that reaction to Balor, as it justified the plan to make a change in the Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble.

No, I’m not saying that Vince watched NXT UK’s Takeover show and that’s what made him decide on Finn Balor to replace Braun Strowman at the Royal Rumble. I will say that if Vince was on the fence about it, and on the verge of doing one of those famous Monday re-writes, the show pushed the scales over into Balor’s favor.

Did they push the scales far over enough for Balor to beat Brock Lesnar? No. The event wasn’t held at Wembley Stadium with 80,000 fans making that pop. Brock Lesnar will be Universal Champion heading into WrestleMania. I don’t know where Finn Balor will be on the card or what he’ll be doing.

All I know is that Finn Balor will be over.

article topics :

Finn Balor, Royal Rumble, WWE, Steve Cook