Contrary to reports that Finn Balor was pulled from a potential Universal Championship Match against Brock Lesnar, a report by Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated claims Balor was never even in the mix for the match.
According to the report, Balor is slowly transitioning into “a newer version of Dolph Ziggler.” He is seen as a wrestler who can have great matches but with no reward atop the card or faith from the office.
A source close to WWE creative claimed that Vince McMahon sees Balor as bland when he is not portraying “The Demon” character.
Barrasso adds, “Balor is not an exceptional promo, considered small by even the newer WWE size standards, has visibly lost some of his confidence, and is not connecting at the moment with the audience.”
In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer says a Universal Championship Match between Balor and Lesnar was planned for the Royal Rumble on January 28, 2018, as recently as a few days ago. The idea, however, was completely scrapped on Monday due to concern from McMahon that Balor isn’t over enough for the slot.
Meltzer wrote, “As of the weekend, Lesnar vs. Balor was still the Rumble non-Rumble main event, but Vince McMahon was concerned that Balor wasn’t over enough for the position. The way he was booked in the Raw vs. Smackdown elimination match main event, as an afterthought, being pinned by Randy Orton’s RKO, told me Vince had already made up his mind. The next day Vince made the call to go in another direction.”
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