Finn Bálor is on his way to what could very well be the biggest match of his pro wrestling career. The Irish-born Superstar will step into the ring against Brock Lesnar at The Royal Rumble on Sunday, January 27. Lesnar’s Universal Championship will be on the line and so too is Finn’s main event reputation.
This is largely because of WWE, as the company has not really featured him in that all-important spot for the bulk of his run. Finn started off red-hot of course but he cooled off after his injury in 2016. Only now is the company finally elevating Finn back to the top.
The first-ever Universal champion recently appeared on Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness, where he talked about his showdown with The Beast Incarnate.
“It’s a matchup I’ve wanted for a long time. You’re never convinced that something’s gonna happen but like I said earlier, if you think about it enough and like if you kind of visualize it enough, I think like eventually if you put it out there in the universe enough, it’ll happen. It kind of came out of the blue, out of nowhere, it kind of blindsided me. But I’m excited.”
Bálor does seem pumped up about working Lesnar at the Rumble. But the real question is, will he win the Universal Championship? Brock is virtually unbeatable and he really always has been. Even when he’s lost matches, he always has a comeback and he always wins the return match. The last man to get an unanswered victory over Brock Lesnar was Roman Reigns.
Check out Finn’s interview with Edge and Christian!
But even though Finn didn’t shed any light on who will come out on top, he did say something curious. Bálor went on to talk about whether or not he had any sort of nerves going into his match with Brock and that’s when something interesting came out.
“It’s weird, cuz I’ve had big matches in the past where I’ve like been super nervous about you know, and this one I’m more calm than ever going into it, like no stress right now. My parents are flying in, my little brother’s flying in, they’re gonna watch ringside. So honestly, I’m just like treating like a weekend with my family and hopefully not get beat up too bad.”
The fact that Finn’s family will be at ringside does not necessarily mean that he will beat Lesnar. Superstars have had their families close at hand many times before and were crushed in their matches. Perhaps the addition of Bálor’s family has nothing at all to do with the match’s potential outcome.
But there’s always a chance that they’re coming in because Finn is indeed going to become the next Universal champion. It would be a feel good moment for one of the most popular Superstars in WWE. It would also mean a lot for fans who have believed in Bálor from the moment he arrived on the main roster.
Finn is a star and there is no denying that. He has the “it” factor, that one intangible that puts him head and shoulders above everyone else in the company. He’s a veteran talent that knows who he is and what he’s capable of in the ring. That confidence comes out whenever he steps between the ropes. Fans look at Finn’s work and they know they’re getting the best he has every time.
But even though Finn is a big fish, he’s swimming in an ocean on Monday Night Raw. The red brand features some of WWE’s heavy hitters, a few of whom have been at the top for much longer than Finn ever was. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens have all shared the spotlight during various points of their runs on Raw.
The same is true for Roman Reigns of course. Had The Big Dog not left the company due to health issues, he wold surely be there right now. He would also likely still be the Universal champion. But if that were the case, then it could very well be that Finn Bálor would not have the main event shot that he currently has.
Watch Finn vs Strowman from Raw!
His injury slowed him down to a crawl. There is no doubt about that. WWE seemed to lose all faith in him and when that happened, Finn began to fade. In a perfect world, this never would have happened and right now Bálor, Rollins and Reigns would all be fighting for dominance on Monday Night Raw. But it’s never a perfect situation all of the time in WWE.
Many fans believe that the ideal spot for Finn is not on Raw, but on SmackDown Live. He could potentially become the face of the blue brand and would probably be WWE champion as well. Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio would all be great opponents for Finn. Of course AJ Styles is there as well. If anyone should have a lengthy program with Bálor, it’s The Phenomenal One. Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura would also be prime opponents for Finn to renew rivalries with, while also tearing the house down every time.
But that is not Finn Bálor’s reality. The truth is that while Finn is at the top of his game and deserves the shot he’s getting, there is no guarantee that he will beat Brock Lesnar. So as his fans hope for the best, it’s perhaps best to remember that for Bálor, it’s about the journey, not the destination. Or could it be that WrestleMania 35 featuring the Universal champion Finn Bálor is the destination? Only time will tell.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live