Earlier this week, former WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor spoke with ESPN, and he teased a Royal Rumble return by saying that if Vince McMahon asked him to be a part of the match, he probably would end up being one of the surprise entrants.
“You know, that’s obviously a huge rumor, and I would never be one to fuel the rumor mills. But to be a surprise entrant in the Rumble would be a huge moment for me. I’m sure it would create quite a buzz. If the day of the Royal Rumble Vince McMahon says, ‘You got your gear with you?’ then I’m sure I’ll be around.”
Sadly, though, it looks like the huge moment won’t be happening on January 29, as Cageside Seats has reported that Finn Balor won’t be one of the surprise entrants in the 2017 Royal Rumble match.
Back in August, Balor underwent shoulder surgery following his Universal Championship match with Seth Rollins at SummerSlam. Prior to the surgery, the injury was believed to be significant, but doctors found out that it was way more severe than they had originally thought during the operation. Following the surgery, doctors told Balor that the prognosis for his return was six months.
Last month, the Inquisitr reported that Finn Balor’s recovery was ahead of schedule and that he could return as early as the Roadblock: End of the Line show on December 18. Well, the date has come and gone, and Balor didn’t return.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter has suggested that Balor will return in either late-February or early-March, depending on what WWE’s plans for him are.
During a recent interview on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, Balor said that his target return date is WrestleMania 33 on April 2. Of course, if Balor is going to be a part of WWE’s biggest show of the year, he’ll likely return to television several weeks before it takes place so the company can build up to whatever he’s going to do on the show.
When Balor was forced to relinquish the Universal Championship less than 24 hours after winning it, WWE teased a future showdown between him and Seth Rollins. But, it doesn’t look like we’ll get to see a rematch between The Demon King and The Architect, at least not at WrestleMania 33.
Currently, Rollins is scheduled to take on Triple H at WrestleMania 33. So, unless plans change, Balor and Rollins won’t be in the ring with each other on April 2.
As for who Balor could be in the ring with next April, well, that’s still a complete mystery, and it depends on whether or not he enters the Royal Rumble match on January 29. If the Cageside Seats report ends up being true, then Balor probably won’t be in the Universal Championship picture upon his return. But, if it ends up being false, then Balor will probably win the annual 30-man match and go on to challenge for the title that he never lost at WWE’s biggest show of the year.
There’s some speculation that WWE might end up doing a brand vs. brand match between AJ Styles and Finn Balor, which would really be something special. It’s a match that hardcore wrestling fans have been dying to see for years now, but, despite the fact that both of them have been in a lot of the same promotions throughout their respective careers, they’ve never met inside the ring.
We’re just over a month away from the Royal Rumble, which is WWE’s second biggest show of the year behind WrestleMania. Will Balor show up there? Wrestling fans all over the world are hoping the answer to that question is yes.
[Featured Image by WWE]