When Finn Balor arrived on WWE's main roster one year ago, it was clear from the moment he set foot on the Raw stage management saw him as an elite star with the flagship show.
He immediately became the top contender to the newly created WWE Universal Championship, and at SummerSlam 2016, he defeated Seth Rollins to capture the title.
An injury suffered during that match with Rollins not only forced him to relinquish his newly won title, it also sidelined him for nearly seven months, forcing him to watch from a distance as the brand moved on without him. He missed WrestleMania 33 despite being cleared to compete, and when he did finally return to television, he found himself an afterthought of sorts.
That has not changed now, some three months after he exploded back on to the scene.
Balor has been directionless, wrestling guys without rhyme or reason, or putting bigger stars over as a stepping stone to more significant rivalries or opportunities. All the while, he has engaged B-level NXT export "The Drifter" Elias Samson in a brief television feud.
As the one-year anniversary of his triumphant battle at The Biggest Party of the Summer draws near, Balor is in need of a rivalry that will reignite his heat and reinstate him in the main event scene. These are a few programs that will make that happen and, perhaps, reintroduce the WWE Universe to The Demon King.
Tied at one apiece, the series between Finn Balor and Roman Reigns is in desperate need of a high-profile, pay-per-view rubber match that WWE could sell as the people's champion versus the chosen one.
Both of their previous encounters occurred on free television, robbing them and fans of a more prestigious and meaningful match. Bringing their competitive rivalry to a head at a show such as SummerSlam or Survivor Series would give them the stage and spotlight they have earned to wrap up their story.
WWE Creative would not even necessarily have to delve into the book of convoluted wrestling angles, either. They each have one win and they want to know who the better man is. It is storytelling at the simplest level during a time where everything has to be bigger, louder and more complicated than it should be.
Working alongside the biggest full-time star the promotion has to offer would instantly deliver that spark Balor needs to return to the main event scene and interject himself into the Universal Championship picture. Say what you will about Reigns, but anyone who shares the ring with him is elevated by proxy, thanks to the effort that goes into his programs and his own personal work between the ropes.
The in-ring chemistry is certainly there, as we have seen in the past two occasions, suggesting such a marquee match would deliver on its promise and steal the show.
Of all of the potential options, this one makes the most the most sense and would most certainly deliver the desired outcome.
When Wyatt returned to the Raw brand during the Superstar Shake-Up this past spring, it appeared as though he and Balor were on a collision course of sorts. The Eater of Worlds interrupted Balor with a cryptic promo but nothing ever came of the tease.
Other than a Fatal 5-Way match that also featured Reigns, Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe, Balor and Wyatt's interactions have been non-existent.
With The Reaper of Souls advancing past Seth Rollins in the wake of Great Balls of Fire, and Balor having no obvious next feud, a showdown between them appears to make the most sense.
So why would working with Wyatt, often scrutinized for the booking that accompanies him and the fact that he rarely wins matches and entire feuds, benefit Balor? Simple: the supernatural element of Wyatt would force Balor to reinstate The Demon King. In doing so, he would surely remind management of the marketability that exists in the character and reignite his push.
Whereas the suggested rivalry with Reigns would be steeped in reality, a feud with Wyatt would be a display of Hollywood smoke and mirrors; heavy on the mind games and supernatural. It would likely defy logic but be hellishly fun to watch as The Eater of Worlds battles The Demon King.
The Beast Incarnate and Balor have never crossed paths, but prior to Extreme Rules this past June, the former universal and NXT champion had a verbal confrontation with advocate Paul Heyman that served as a teaser for fans.
Heyman put Balor over as the most interesting potential challenger for Lesnar, but when the time came for Balor to win the No. 1 contendership at Extreme Rules, the decision was made to go with Samoa Joe instead.
Anyone who is selected to work with Lesnar benefits exponentially. The high-profile nature of the storyline, the star power Lesnar brings with him and the attention of fans who otherwise may not watch the product all lead to more exposure for his opponent.
Balor would undisputedly receive the kick in the ass his character has needed since his return and, more importantly, he would be put over immensely if he could hang with the violent Beast Incarnate.