Will Finn Balor be at Royal Rumble 2017 as a surprise entrant? Currently, he’s still listed as injured and has yet to be cleared to return after suffering a shoulder injury in August. It’s been about five months since that injury, which had a four-to-six-month timeline for recovery, and people are talking about “The Demon King” as a possible Royal Rumble match entrant. However, if there was any seriousness as to the recent tweet from Balor, fans shouldn’t expect to see him at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Sunday as one of the 30 men taking part in Royal Rumble 2017’s main event.
When Finn Balor was one of the top picks in the July 2016 brand draft, as well as the first selection from NXT, there seemed to be nothing stopping the Irishman’s stratospheric rise up the card. Previously known as Prince Devitt as the founder of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Bullet Club stable, Balor joined NXT in 2014, and as he moved to WWE’s main roster last July, he was catapulted to the main event. He became WWE’s first Universal Champion, defeating Seth Rollins at SummerSlam in August, but one day later he had relinquished his title belt, on account of a labrum tear he suffered during the match.
Since then, “The Demon King” has been the subject of many return rumors, many of which fired up as he was making appearances for WWE in a non-wrestling capacity. Most of these rumors suggested that Finn Balor would be back in time for Royal Rumble 2017, or if not as early as then, WrestleMania 33. And when it comes to the former rumors, Balor decided to “have some fun” with fans asking him on Twitter about the status of his injury and when he will be returning to the ring.
According to Wrestling Inc, Balor jokingly tweeted “thanks, Doctor,” in reply to someone who had suggested that Finn has already been cleared to return at Royal Rumble. But when another fan asked him about the odds of a return at this Sunday’s big pay-per-view event, Balor seemed to douse cold water on the return rumors, telling the fan that the odds are at “30-1,” suggesting it’s hardly likely that he will be among Royal Rumble 2017’s surprise entrants for the main event battle royal.
Back in December, The Inquisitr cited Balor’s appearance on the podcast Gorilla Position, where he had stated that he is most likely to return in time for WrestleMania 33, which had always been his target return date since he injured his shoulder. He gave himself a one- to two-week window before WrestleMania as an optimistic projection, but by the tone of his words then, it seems like he and WWE don’t want to rush things and risk a setback to his injury.
However, that’s not stopping prognosticators from suggesting that Finn Balor is a likely Royal Rumble 2017 surprise entrant, with emphasis on surprise. Bleacher Report still has him as one of its seven most likely surprises for the Royal Rumble match, which could tie in with the storylines ahead of his injury. Regardless whether it’s Kevin Owens or Roman Reigns who walks away from the Alamodome as Universal Champion, Balor has some history with both men, and would make a sensible challenger to either one, should he win the Rumble match.
“Although a timetable for Balor’s in-ring return remains unknown, it is safe to assume he could be back at any time between now and WrestleMania 33. He has to be considered a dark horse to win the Rumble, given that it makes perfect sense from a storyline standpoint.”
According to the man himself, a Finn Balor Royal Rumble 2017 surprise entry is a longshot. However, considering that part of the main event battle royal’s appeal is based on shocking returns, who knows — maybe “The Demon King” has something planned for the WWE Universe come Sunday.
[Featured Image by WWE]