While WWE rumors continue over who will face “The Beast” Brock Lesnar at WWE’s WrestleMania 34 next year, two superstars should receive serious consideration from the powers that be. Roman Reigns has continued to receive push after push on the Raw roster, mostly because he’s yet to be sidelined by any serious injuries. In the case of his fellow Raw superstars, Braun Strowman and Finn Balor, both are deserving of a big title win at WrestleMania 34 pay-per-view.
When looking at the latest Paddy Power sportsbook odds for favorites to hold the WWE Universal title once WrestleMania 34 has ended, Roman Reigns leads all contenders at 4 to 6 odds. John Cena is second on that list with odds of 2 to 1, while Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins are tied at 4 to 1 odds. Finn Balor rounds out the top four with odds of 8 to 1, while Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman each have odds of 10 to 1 to walk away as the WWE Universal Champion at Mania.
One could argue that several of the names listed above should get the push and title win instead of Reigns, Lesnar, or Cena. While Cena is looking to break Ric Flair’s record for total championships, he could possibly do that by challenging for the WWE Championship from SmackDown Live. That leaves a spot open for Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, or Braun Strowman to win the title from Brock Lesnar. All three stars could get a major boost in terms of their status on the roster, and it would show fans that WWE is still able to push newer stars instead of the same ones.
However, Brock has been built up as a destructive beast, and he’s already managed to put down both Joe and Strowman in the ring in main event title matches at pay-per-views. Finn Balor has never had the chance to face Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship he held for just one day last year after SummerSlam. It’s hard to imagine he would have any better shot at defeating “The Beast,” but if WWE really wanted to push him as one of their newer stars on the roster, it would make sense for him to find a way to win. In that situation, he’d gain more sympathy from the fans for finding a crafty way to defeat the man who has been so unbeatable.
One has to think that Braun Strowman and Finn Balor’s potential pushes towards the Universal title were sidetracked by injuries, though. In Strowman’s case, he was really gaining momentum but then had to take time off for a medical process on his arm or elbow. He resumed his feud with Roman Reigns and eventually got a shot at Lesnar for the WWE Universal title. He failed in that attempt, and in some fans’ minds, it made Strowman look much weaker than he really is. One F5 was all that was needed to put him down.
It wasn’t the first time he had a shot at the major championship on the roster, either. Strowman got to challenge Kevin Owens at one point when “The Prizefighter” was holding the Universal title.
In the case of “The Demon,” Balor has been involved in top contender matches for the title since his return, but he hasn’t received much of a chance to win the title. He seems deserving of the spot in order to help clear up the fact he can hold the title for longer than one day. Finn Balor has been able to defeat the guy who is now the WWE Champion on SmackDown Live, so it’s strange that WWE can’t see any value in giving him a title shot at Brock. With that said, WWE may simply be planning to make Balor an Intercontinental Champion first before getting him back into the bigger picture.
If Balor is the one who eventually takes the Intercontinental title from Reigns, it may also put him in line for a future Universal title shot should Reigns win it. As of right now, Balor has continued to joke around with the fact that the “powers that be” such as Vince McMahon don’t believe he’s “over” enough with fans to qualify for the title shot.
Still, there’s no reason WWE couldn’t swerve the fans and have Braun Strowman win the 2018 Royal Rumble match to really shake things up. The fact of the matter is, he needs to be pushed right now, especially with the switch to fan favorite. He could win the No. 1 contender spot for Mania and then be held back by Triple H and The Authority somehow based on how Braun slammed Hunter after the Survivor Series win. From there, he’d be constantly put into different situations by HHH and Steph to try to take away his title shot, but Braun would overcome them and continue to get cheered by fans all the way through a title win at Mania.
The unfortunate aspect of this all is the fact that a Roman Reigns injury or other complication would be the only way he’s removed from the title picture. It’s expected he’s going to be the man headlining WrestleMania 34 against Lesnar as WWE continues to give him that arrogant push to try to get the fans to love him more. However, a change of plans and a new champ like Braun Strowman or Finn Balor with a “WrestleMania moment” would certainly go a long way towards showing fans there are more stars capable of leading the new generation.
[Featured Image by WWE]