Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Kevin Owens' Return, Finn Balor and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

The year 2018 has not been a banner one for WWE by any means, and as it comes to its conclusion, the injury bug continues to dominate the headlines.

Which Superstar is at risk of missing out on the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view Sunday and which one is on the road to recovery and hopeful of being back sooner than later?

Find out with this recap of backstage WWE rumors.

        

Finn Balor's TLC Status

John Pollock of Post Wrestling reported Finn Balor has not been cleared to compete at TLC as of yet due to an illness that "requires clearance for physical contact."

While there was no further clarification as to what the illness is, Pollock did suggest that if he cannot go, the Irishman's attack at the hands of Drew McIntyre will be used to explain his absence.

Balor has played a substantial role in the build to TLC, and it would be a major disappointment if he was not able to compete at the pay-per-view. With that said, he was probably on track to lose to McIntyre, so having the Scot take responsibility for beating him to a pulp is just as effective.

Still, the last thing Balor can afford as he looks to make the most of his latest opportunity is an extended absence.

        

Kevin Owens' Return Timetable

Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported Kevin Owens should be clear to compete in late February but WWE officials may hold off any possible return until WrestleMania 35.

KO has been out of action since wrapping up his feud with Bobby Lashley over the summer and the Raw brand was forced to scramble in his absence. Lashley was turned heel specifically to negate the detriment to the heel roster that Owens' absence would be.

His promo skills, intensity and credibility have all been lacking from the flagship show. When he returns from his injury hiatus, he will likely be embraced as a babyface by fans who genuinely missed him in his absence. And Owens is good enough to take that role on and be as good, if not even better, than he already was.

         

Title Changes at TLC

According to Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats, WWE is looking at three championship changes at Sunday's TLC pay-per-view.

The WWE Championship should not change hands as Daniel Bryan looks to continue riding the wave of momentum his heel turn has brought him. Ronda Rousey will not lose the Raw Women's Championship to Nia Jax, nor will Buddy Murphy be dropping the Cruiserweight Championship.

That leaves the possibility that Becky Lynch loses her SmackDown Women's Championship, The Bar drops the SmackDown Tag Team titles and intercontinental champion Seth Rollins loses his to Dean Ambrose.

The Lynch loss would be the most controversial but could serve as the spark she needs to continue building her character as the rebellious, badass anti-hero that fans have come to love. The Bar standing tall to close out their SmackDown segment all but dooms their title reign, and Ambrose defeating Rollins seemingly allows them to continue their program into the future.

Either way, three seems about right.

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