Finn Balor’s first singles match on the WWE main roster came against Roman Reigns in the main event of the July 25 episode of WWE RAW, but it wasn’t the only match for either superstar that night. Balor beat Kevin Owens, Cesaro and Rusev while Reigns defeated Sami Zayn, Chris Jericho and Sheamus in their respective fatal four way matches to qualify for the aforementioned main event.
The winner, of course, would go on to face Seth Rollins at last year’s WWE SummerSlam for the newly created WWE Universal Championship. Balor wound up pinning Reigns clean to the delight of the WWE Universe. Finn’s ascension to the main event scene coincided with Roman violating the WWE Wellness Policy and landing in Vince McMahon’s doghouse.
Unfortunately, Balor’s meteoric rise to the top of WWE’s food chain ended before it could really get started. He’d go on to beat Rollins for the WWE Universal Title, but was severely injured in the match, relinquished the belt a day later and has been out of action ever since. Reigns’ punishment did not last as long as originally planned and he was elevated back to the championship picture, but WWE officials did not go all the way this time.
Fast forward to the present where Roman Reigns is in position to face the Undertaker at WrestleMania, while Finn Balor has yet to reappear on WWE television. It’s been expected for several weeks that Balor will be on the WrestleMania card, but in what capacity remains to be seen. The Demon King has been a part of several backup plans for WWE’s biggest show of the year as it pertains to the angle with Triple H, Seth Rollins, and Samoa Joe, but that all hinges on Rollins’ availability.
Balor is currently scheduled for three pre-WrestleMania WWE live events this month, beginning this Friday in Buffalo, this Saturday in Toronto and then the week before ‘Mania inside Madison Square Garden in New York City. That could be a good indication that he’ll be back on WWE RAW next week seeing how the company likes to get any rust shaken off at house shows before bringing them back to tv.
It’s what’s scheduled for after WrestleMania that might be the most newsworthy in regards to both Finn Balor and Roman Reigns. As noted, Reigns will square off with the Undertaker on April 2 and Balor’s plans remain up in the air. But according to a new report, WWE live events following WrestleMania could tell the tale for both stars’ next feuds. Reigns is being paired with Braun Strowman again while Balor is matched up with Rusev.
As noted in the past, live event matches (are subject to change) are not always the exact indicator of what’s to play out on WWE television, but it shouldn’t be totally brushed aside either. In Roman’s case, he’ll need to transition to another opponent immediately after WrestleMania because the Undertaker doesn’t stick around past the event. But considering where Balor was positioned when he was injured and where Rusev is currently positioned, that would have to be considered surprising.
With Brock Lesnar expected to win the WWE Universal Championship in Orlando, there’s a chance that several RAW-branded pay-per-views may not have championship representation, much like Lesnar’s last WWE title reign. While Reigns could be in line for another major program with Brock, that won’t likely take place until the summer, and resuming a feud with Braun Strowman could make sense. Strowman was hot until this past Sunday and Monday, but he’s expected to be relegated to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
There has also been talk that Triple H is putting together a new stable that, so far, appears to consist of Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe. A fourth member is being ironed out, and while initial rumors pinpointed Finn Balor as that fourth member, it’s more likely he’d be on the babyface side going against the faction with Seth Rollins and perhaps, Sami Zayn. We’ll just have to see if this stuff with Rusev is real or just WWE live event filler.
[Featured Image by WWE]