Finn Balor won a chance to face Brock Lesnar at the WWE Royal Rumble event. This was done on television as a spur-of-the-moment decision from Vince McMahon, but the truth is that this has been WWE’s backup plan for a while.
Mike Johnson explained on PW Insider Elite audio that he has new information about when WWE decided that Balor was their guy in case Braun Strowman was unable to make the show, in fact, it seems that Finn Balor was their choice for a while
“I got a little bit more background on this. The Balor plan was actually in place quietly within a small circle in WWE from the moment that they knew Braun Strowman was gonna need elbow surgery.”
“This was always the plan to build up to Braun and then remove Braun out if he was not cleared, but more so to build to Balor vs Lesnar because they felt the story would be stronger. It would be a better match for a big show which if you saw Braun vs Brock at No Mercy I would tend to agree with that vision.”
“This was about building up babyfaces and using Braun to get some more heat on the heels and they felt like at that point that they needed some more heat on the heels.”
“This was not a last-second decision, but you know previously in my reporting I had said it was a couple of weeks. It was actually prior to that. It was back to where Braun first injured his elbow that that determination was made that they were gonna slide Finn Balor in the backdoor.”
We have heard conflicting reports about the timing of this decision by WWE regarding the Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble. Mike Johnson not only corrected his previous report, but he was able to shed new light on the subject as well without repeating himself entirely.
Therefore, it seems WWE had Finn Balor in mind to place him into the Royal Rumble match and the decision was made when WWE discovered Braun was injured. Since Strowman isn’t cleared yet they went with that option.
Braun Strowman might be actually okay by the time January 27th rolls around for the Royal Rumble at Chase Field. However, WWE already has their match where Balor has another chance to reclaim the Universal Title which he never fairly lost in the first place.
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