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Cup of coffee in the big time: A near perfect WWE Raw segment

I believe in Finn Balor.

I mean, when I turn off the part of my brain that understands how things work in WWE and let myself go along for the ride ... then I believe in Finn Balor.

There’s little denying Balor is an outstanding in-ring talent with a hard-to-duplicate connection with the fans — unless you’re Vince McMahon in 2017.

Balor has been put in the position to challenge Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble despite rarely having been treated like a “top guy” since he became the first ever Universal champion. While suddenly vaulting someone to the top of the top isn’t out of the ordinary for WWE, a little polishing them up never hurts.

That’s what the opening portion of Raw did for Finn last night.

Balor’s storyline refusal to be overshadowed by a looming Brock Lesnar/Braun Strowman showdown or broken by Vince McMahon’s doubts did a great job of building him up.

As the two giants postured, Balor went to work, showing his total lack of fear.

Every time Strowman took his eye off the ball during the match, looking to posture for Lesnar, Balor fired back up and made him pay for overlooking him.

And Balor spent portions of the very solid match not only handling Strowman, but getting in some good shots on Lesnar as well.

The segment did a fantastic job of building up credibility for Balor’s challenge of Lesnar at the Rumble by making it clear the cost of overlooking him. It’d be easy to feel the focus on Lesnar and Strowman shifted Balor to the background, but I think that worked out perfectly to tell the larger story.

If Balor could handle Strowman, getting to the brink of victory before Lesnar interfered, with the Beast on the outside, it’s entirely believable he can handle Lesnar with just Paul Heyman circling the ring.

It wasn’t a great Raw, but it started off right and gave the WWE Universe even more reason to believe in Finn Balor.

Keep fighting the good fight!

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