When word of the Royal Rumble first got out, fans of the annual pre-WrestleMania event were hopeful that Finn Balor — the first-ever Universal champion — would return to the ring in a blaze of glory after a long convalescence. However, much to the great chagrin of many fans, Finn Balor was absent from the Royal Rumble. However, even though fans were disappointed, the question begs itself: what really happened?
Finn posted this on Instagram pic.twitter.com/cXqWs1saM4
— Finn Bálor Updates (@BalorCentral) January 30, 2017
One theory as to why Finn Balor was absent from the Royal Rumble comes to us courtesy of The Sun. Originally, he was set to be the 30th wrestler to come out to fight in the ring — and instead, Roman Reigns came out. While Finn’s name became a worldwide trending topic, and fans were howling about Roman Reigns coming out, Balor posted the picture above on his Instagram page, which made reference to the injury that sidelined him in the first place. And while the posting of the photo of the mug certainly raised some questions about Balor’s injury, and whether he’d truly recovered from it, others questioned if this was just more promotion for the upcoming WrestleMania match.
— Slice Returns (@SliceWrestling) January 26, 2017
Another theory as to why Finn Balor was absent from the Royal Rumble comes to us courtesy of Heavy.com. Like many outlets, Heavy initially predicted that Balor would be participating in the Royal Rumble, and were sorely disappointed when that turned out not to be the case.
The outlet suggests that Balor underwent the requisite medical testing to see if he would be cleared for the Royal Rumble, and based on his absence, the Demon King was not cleared to play at the event. It had been previously suggested by Balor’s doctor that his shoulder injury was “more severe” than previously thought, and proper healing would require extensive convalescence. As a result, warned his doctors, he may not be cleared to fight in the Royal Rumble, and fans shouldn’t get their hopes up of seeing him fight in the match.
“It was never a sure thing that Balor would return at Royal Rumble, but when he suffered an injury back in August, WWE doctors said that this kind of thing would typically put a person out of action for between four and six months. If Balor returned at Royal Rumble, it would have been five months since the injury, and so he wouldn’t be coming back that much earlier than expected. Plus, there’s precedent for superstars returning from injury somewhat sooner than originally thought, as John Cena famously entered the Royal Rumble match in 2008 months before he was expected to be cleared for in-ring competition.”
— Jordy Garcia (@jordyegarcia) January 21, 2017
Finally, Rolling Stone has a theory of why Finn Balor was absent from the Royal Rumble, and it had to do with the fact that, his shoulder injury — or lack thereof — aside, he simply wasn’t ready to return.
Part of Balor’s appeal has to do with the fact that he makes a grand entrance everywhere he goes. And, frankly, having to enter the ring half-heartedly at the Royal Rumble — simply as being a part of an ensemble — wasn’t in Finn Balor’s modus operandi, and never was. The only way for Balor to make the entrance both he — and his fans — deserve is at WrestleMania, where — according to the outlet — is where he will face off against John Cena.
What do you think of the theories of why Finn Balor was absent from the Royal Rumble? Leave your thoughts about why you think Finn Balor was absent from the Royal Rumble in the comments below.
[Featured Image by WWE]