Roman Reigns’ visit to Vince McMahon’s doghouse last summer coincided with Finn Balor’s promotion to the main roster as the WWE embarked on their latest brand extension experiment. Reigns had just violated the WWE Wellness Policy and wasn’t getting over as the top babyface the way officials had hoped. Balor got called up during the draft to take the spot Reigns had vacated, and Roman would slide down the card as a form of punishment.
Balor, of course, would beat Reigns clean in the main event during Finn’s first night on RAW to advance to SummerSlam, where he would face Seth Rollins to determine the first-ever WWE Universal Champion. The victory over Reigns was preceded by a win over Kevin Owens, Cesaro, and Rusev during one of the two fatal four-way qualifying matches that night, cementing Balor’s debut as one of the most successful ever.
Balor would go on to become Universal Champion, but that monumental victory at SummerSlam came with a price. The Demon King suffered a shoulder injury that’s kept him out of action since, forcing him to relinquish the title less than 24 hours later. His predicted recovery time varied, as some reports had him on the shelf for four to six months while others weren’t as optimistic, sidelining him for six to eight months.