Big Change To Planned Royal Rumble Title Match

The long-rumored Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor feud won’t be happening. For months, there have been reports that Balor was lined up to be Brock Lesnar’s next big challenger. The match was tentatively planned for January’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view, but Dave Meltzer reports that Vince McMahon made the call on Monday morning to go in a different direction.

In the main event of Sunday’s Survivor Series pay-per-view, Balor was the first member of Team RAW to be eliminated. Meltzer stated on Wrestling Observer Radio,

“Vince McMahon felt that Finn Balor wasn’t over enough. I think obviously he decided even before, with how that match was laid out. Finn Balor wasn’t put in that match to shine.”

The following night on RAW, Balor lost clean to Samoa Joe, getting choked out by Joe’s Coquina Clutch. If it wasn’t clear after Survivor Series that Balor wasn’t being protected for a Universal title feud, it was pretty clear after RAW.

Balor is still one of the top stars on RAW and one of the best workers in the company. He was WWE’s first Universal Champion and has a built-in storyline to be a contender for that title. Balor was injured by Seth Rollins in the very match he won to become champion at SummerSlam 2016 and was forced to surrender the gold the following night on RAW. Unfortunately, the decision has been made that Balor is not a credible opponent for Lesnar at this time.

WWE has yet to decide who will challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the Rumble, which takes place on January 28th from Philadelphia.