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Do You Believe?

Universal championship match

Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Finn Balor

A series of extraordinary events led us to this moment – but can Finn finish the Beast?

The Road to Royal Rumble

What a month for Finn Balor.

For much of December, Balor was embroiled in a three-way feud with Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler. Balor drew McIntyre’s ire when the Irishman distracted the Scotsman, which caused McIntyre’s first pin fall loss since his return to the main roster.

McIntyre had a chance to make Balor pay at TLC, but with the help of a distraction from Ziggler, Balor was able to escape with the victory.

Late December delivered much of the same. Balor had a Triple Threat match on the Christmas Eve edition of Raw and fled with another victory. He was gaining some steam, but where could it go with the Intercontinental Championship tied up and Braun Strowman locked in for a Universal Championship match? Balor seemed slated for the Royal Rumble match...until Strowman crossed the Boss.

Furious with Strowman’s reckless destruction of his personal property, Vince McMahon stripped the Monster of his Universal Championship shot. Instead, he booked a fatal four-way match between four men to determine a new Universal challenger at the Royal Rumble: Balor, McIntyre, John Cena, and Baron Corbin. Balor also had to go through Jinder Mahal for his title shot, but Balor prevailed.

...And yet, no one gives the Extraordinary Man much of a shot of slaying the Beast. Paul Heyman complained about the change in opponent on such short notice, citing how it has interfered with Lesnar’s training regimen - but even that hasn’t provided Balor with any backers. A disgruntled Strowman expressed his doubts last week, as did Vince McMahon. That hasn’t stopped Balor from getting in people’s faces and attempting to show them why they should believe.

What’s at stake?

Beyond the Universal Championship? Plenty.

Finn Balor has lost every title shot he’s gotten in human form since his days in NXT. A report earlier this week claimed that Balor was not going to summon the Demon for this encounter. And while that might change, this match is huge for Balor’s reputation without his paint. You want us to believe, Balor? Make us believe.

For Brock Lesnar, there’s a general disgruntled undertone that emerges when people talk about the Universal Championship. What was supposed to be the most prestigious title in WWE three years ago is now something that’s rarely seen on television. Lesnar needs to provide a monumental effort at the Royal Rumble to remind people why the title exists as Raw’s top title in the first place.

This “new era” is at stake as well. Brock Lesnar has been on top of Raw for the greater part of two years now. As he’s held the title, there’s been enough outcry from the fans that the McMahons felt compelled to shake up the brands in December and try something new. Can they claim a new era if we get the usual Brock Lesnar match?


Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Finn Balor
    (587 votes)
  • 38%
    Brock Lesnar
    (372 votes)
959 votes total Vote Now

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