The will-he, won’t-he, when-will-he saga of Finn Balor’s promotion has been one of the most discussed elements among WWE fans not promoted on RAW or SmackDown. Balor is ready for one of those main roster shows and has been for a while. His call-up has been long overdue, but that moment will likely finally come this July. But how Balor will be presented and packaged remains to be seen, with one option appearing to be taken off the table even before his debut.
In a report from the Daily Wrestling News, the WWE has dropped its trademark for the term Balor Club as of June 22. The application to trademark the name had been in an “Oppose to Register” stage since this past January of this year because Baylor University filed an opposition. However, Baylor University did not file an official opposition as of June 22 when WWE deserted their application.
What does this all mean to the WWE layman fan? It appears as if Finn Balor will not be bringing the Balor Club with him to the main roster when he is finally promoted.
By no means does this rule out the possibility of Balor joining former Bullet Club members Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in WWE, nor does it automatically disqualify him from joining AJ Styles, the superstar who succeeded Balor as the Bullet Club leader in New Japan. Styles, Anderson, and Gallows have since formed their own version of the group in WWE, simply known as The Club. We don’t know if Balor will be inserted into the faction, but we do now know that it won’t be under the Balor Club moniker.
What’s interesting to note is that WWE’s merchandise store is still selling Balor Club clothing at full price despite the trademark abandonment happening last week. It’s also worth mentioning that they are also still selling shirts and sweatshirts with another version of the name, the Bulletproof Balor Club. That is a completely different trademark at WWE’s disposal should they decide to go in that direction. WWE went with The Club for two reasons: 1) New Japan owns the naming rights to The Bullet Club and 2) WWE caters towards a more family-friendly audience, so dropping Bullet from The Club was in their best interests. Whether the Bulletproof name falls under the latter category remains to be seen.
There have been no reasons reported for WWE dropping the application, but it’s similar to their abandonment of the Legion of Doom application recently as well. It was rumored WWE were contemplating giving that name to the Authors of Pain, the new NXT tag team that debuted by attacking American Alpha with Paul Ellering looking on as some kind of adviser.
Again, the impending brand split will have a major impact on what WWE decides to do with NXT’s crown jewel, Finn Balor. His (spoiler alert) loss to Shinsuke Nakamura at the most recent NXT tapings last week should indicate his promotion is imminent. But in what capacity he is used is still anyone’s guess at this point. At this point, it’d be hard to imagine aligning Balor with the rest of The Club for the simple reason that they are heels. Yes, Balor shined as a heel leading the Bullet Club in Japan, but fans are extremely behind him right now.
It could certainly provide for an interesting dynamic if WWE decides to book Balor and Styles, Anderson and Gallows together in any kind of program. At least for the near future, Styles seems to be locked into a major angle with John Cena that is expected to last until SummerSlam. Regardless of when Balor arrives, he should be involved in key storylines, just not as the leader of the Balor Club.
[Image via WWE]