During the first Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania, which is widely hailed as being one of the best shows of the year, former WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor returned to help Seth Rollins defeat Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens in the main event tag team match. The question now is, where does WWE go from here with The Demon King?
Balor went on hiatus back in August after he suffered a torn labrum in the main event of SummerSlam, where he defeated Rollins to become the first Universal Champion, forcing him to relinquish the championship he won at the biggest party of the summer. Now that he has returned, Balor has a number of options to pursue.
During Raw on Monday, Vince McMahon announced there would be a “Superstar Shake-Up” next week, meaning any number of superstars could switch brands. So that brings about the option of having former WWE Champion AJ Styles come to the flagship show.
Styles and Balor both were, at one point, leaders of the notorious Bullet Club, made famous in New Japan Pro Wrestling. However, they missed interacting with each other as Balor was leaving as Styles was coming in from a 13-year run in TNA.
So with former Bullet Club members Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson already on Raw, we could see the two former leaders join forces to create a dominating force on the red brand. Or we could see the two jockey for position as the head guy with one eventually beating out the other.
Either way, this stuff writes itself as fans could see Balor and Styles leading the most dominant force in WWE since The Shield or you could see a dream match between two of the biggest stars in the world. It is a win-win.
But as I said, this is not the only option for WWE and Balor. If you are basing The Demon King’s future off of what happened Monday Night, we could very well see one of the best feuds from NXT return as Balor could go after Owens and his newly-won United States Championship.
Now, that will not happen at Payback as we already know that Owens will defend against former champion Chris Jericho in three weeks. However, Owens will likely win that match and that opens the door for what could be the best feud of the year.
As stated earlier, Balor had to relinquish the Universal Championship the night after SummerSlam due to his severe shoulder injury. It is very possible that he wants to go after the championship he never lost.
Brock Lesnar is the Universal Champion and on Monday, it was made abundantly clear that he wants to go after Roman Reigns, the only other man that has ever beaten The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Braun Strowman also staked his claim for the Universal Championship, so it certainly looks like Lesnar will be busy for a while.
However, Balor and Lesnar is the real money match. Even if Balor cannot slay the Beast, a monstrous main event between the two at SummerSlam later this year could be just what the doctor order, pun not intended.
Imagine if Balor goes after Lesnar, we get an amazing build for the August show and then he walks out the champion at the same show he first won the championship. It would be the ultimate feel-good story, especially if a healthy Balor gets to defend the championship.
But what if the Superstar Shake-Up is a disappointment? What if Raw has bigger plans for Owens and the United States Championship? What if they are really going to build Reigns/Lesnar for a year? Where does that leave Balor?
Well, the one feud that makes the most sense is between the two men where this all started eight months ago. Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins needs to happen and needs to have a proper build.
Rollins, incidentally, took away Balor’s Universal Championship, eight months of his career and his shot at WrestleMania after he powerbombed him into the barricade and injured his shoulder. I imagine Balor is still miffed about that, accidental or not.
Having Balor and Rollins team up the first night the former returns is a perfect way to start this feud. Rollins finally has someone to fight The Authority with and it looks like they could bring a stop to this reign of terror.
They work together well for the first few weeks or even months. Then, you get the heel turn from Balor and the feud is on.
No, Balor will not join Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. It is not his intention to be a corporate lackey nor to bring down The Authority.
He just wants his revenge.
The two could have this amazing build up to SummerSlam and it comes full circle as they face off in what could be the match of the year. Plus, The Demon King against The Kingslayer kind of writes itself, doesn’t it?
What do you think about these options for Balor? What should WWE do with him going forward?