Finn Bálor recently said he would gladly wait in NXT for two years again if it meant his RAW debut went the way it did two weeks ago. Bálor was immediately thrust into the spotlight at the WWE Draft on the first Tuesday night edition of Smackdown Live, getting selected in the first round and fifth overall.
Considering Bálor went ahead the likes of Roman Reigns, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Randy Orton, it seemed plenty clear that the WWE had big plans for The Demon, investing in a future main event star. The future quickly turned into the present, however. Bálor won his first RAW match, which isn’t all that unusual, but it came against Rusev, Cesaro and Kevin Owens and advanced him to the show’s main event that evening.
His match and eventual victory over Roman Reigns was a major indication of WWE turning the page and opening up the top babyface spot on the roster while knocking Reigns down a peg or two. One week, fans were complaining that Bálor was being held back in developmental, and the next week he found himself booked in a match against Seth Rollins for the newly-created WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam. That spot, of course, was originally reserved for Reigns.
We’ve reported on several occasions in the past how Vince McMahon and Triple H have not seen eye-to-eye on certain talents or certain booking decisions. It’s primarily revolved around recently-promoted superstars just called up from NXT, but the most notable recent example centered around the main event at Money In The Bank. In the case of Finn Balor, though, Vince and his son-in-law are on the same page.
According to Cageside Seats, McMahon and Triple H have indicated their full support for Finn Bálor. That might not be a complete surprise considering how he’s been booked in his first two weeks on the main roster. But that support is also translating into the bosses favoring Bálor in his SummerSlam match against Rollins to become the first-ever WWE Universal Champion.
A Bálor victory would be considered an upset at this point in the game, but would also go against the booking philosophy of the crowd-favorite chasing the title, culminating with an emotional and satisfying win down the road. The most recent examples of this, of course, involved Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns, with Reigns’ win over Sheamus on an episode of RAW considered a success.
By giving the title to Bálor immediately, there’s an obvious investment into a top star right out of the gates. There’s also a second aspect to the report that claims the Universal Championship will be considered the top prize in the company, with Smackdown‘s WWE World Championship sliding down a notch. Many had hoped WWE would learn from past mistakes when the World Heavyweight Championship was viewed as a glorified mid-card title to the WWE Championship.
With split-branded pay-per-views, they’ll still have the opportunity to make both titles feel equal, but the new Universal Championship will certainly get pushed more considering the circumstances around its unveiling. We might get a better indication of which belt is more “important” based on what match closes out SummerSlam. WWE has four legitimate contenders and would have had five had they pursued plans of a Shane McMahon-Triple H showdown.
As far as championship challengers go, Finn Bálor certainly has more momentum than Dolph Ziggler at the moment. Ziggler has three weeks to get built into a legit main-eventer after being buried down the card for the last three years. Bálor did more on his first night than most do in a year. But most importantly for his fans, they can feel at ease knowing Vince McMahon and Triple H are in agreement in regards to his star-power.
[Image via WWE]