WWE Hot Take: Timing Is Right to Swerve Fans with Finn Balor Win vs Brock Lesnar

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2019


The McMahon family stood in the ring not too long ago and beat the "change is coming" drum in response to poor ratings and a stale product going nowhere. 

Ripping the universal title off Brock Lesnar via Finn Balor is a good way to start. 

To WWE's credit, some refreshing things have started to happen. The random promos of eventual NXT call-ups is a fun idea. They put a nix in the ruined Dean Ambrose-Seth Rollins feud, realized Braun Strowman has cooled off and continue to head toward what seems to be a women's main event at WrestleMania 35. 

However, WWE has yet to address its biggest problem—the fact the top title on its supposed top brand is never around in any capacity. 

With Balor winning the right to face Lesnar at Royal Rumble, though, WWE has a unique opportunity to pull off something the majority doesn't see coming.

Not only does the Irishman always get the weird start-stop pushes, he looks like the typical filler challenge so Lesnar—the big casual draw and UFC crossover—can still go into WrestleMania with the strap and perhaps lose it there.

And why give Balor the John Cena pin and endorsement if he isn't winning? 

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This time? There isn't any sense in waiting. 

In fact, it swings back in the other direction—Balor has to win now. He is going to look like a million bucks in this match regardless, but nobody can say it isn't believable.

Some of Lesnar's best matches over the past few years have come against smaller guys such as Balor. Remember AJ Styles almost taking him down? Or Daniel Bryan's epic comeback that almost resulted in a win? 

Now think about The Demon landing on his feet after an attempted suplex. Or a flip out of an F-5. And like Styles' elbow, the Coup de Grace is a believable giant-killer to end a match if it has to be. 

And The Demon is a whole different conversation. 

WWE has smartly—at least to a degree—used Lesnar's part-time status to their advantage, making him serve as a final boss of sorts. He's the guy the Raw roster strives to claw up toward before trying to pull off an upset. The company threw the rub of beating Undertaker's streak on his shoulders and ran with it. 

The developments with Roman Reigns changed things, of course. The Beast Incarnate is back to serving in the same role again despite losses to guys like Goldberg, Undertaker and now The Big Dog.

While the Reigns situation obviously can't be helped, Lesnar in the same role after losses and long after ending The Streak is starting to wear thin. 

The Demon as a final-boss type, though? Brilliant. 

Balor rarely busts out The Demon persona, but when he does, it has been booked like the most unstoppable thing running in WWE. And that should continue—there isn't any reason Balor wouldn't transform for the match against Lesnar at Royal Rumble.

The Irishman did just that for a random feud with Baron Corbin, so if he comes out with a popped-collar jacket and a smile against Lesnar, it would go down as one of the biggest mistakes in modern WWE history.

No exaggeration—it would not only signal a predictable outcome via a Lesnar win, it would also make Balor look outright silly and possibly ruin his character completely. 

Anyway, Balor's Demon still gives WWE more flexibility in the final-boss role than it ever had with Lesnar. The Irishman is, after all, a full-time talent who can fight anyone, anywhere. And the fact he rarely uses the Demon creates a rare situation—non-Demon Balor can drop the title at any point and not hurt the Demon persona. Not only is this just great outright, it creates some interesting storyline angles. 

And the contender who finally beats The Demon for the first time on the main roster is going to get a bigger rub than they would by taking down Lesnar at this point. The Demon is undefeated while The Beast is a monster, but he's been shown to be simply human lately. 

Balor pulling off the upset doesn't hurt WrestleMania, either. Strowman is still out there and wanting a fight with Lesnar.

The monster vs. monster angle for WrestleMania doesn't need a title at stake, and Strowman has cooled off enough he probably shouldn't have the belt anyway.

There is an interesting idea here too where Lesnar loses to Balor and demands his rematch before being informed (like others have so often lately in storylines) that the rematch clause doesn't exist anymore. He quits and runs off to UFC before someone like Strowman coaxes him back. 

Dream booking aside, if Lesnar retains and goes to WrestleMania as champ, his UFC future and WWE contract will leave the most important pay-per-view of the year facing a predictable result.

The Beast isn't walking out of WrestleMania as champ, and the only thing WWE can do to make it less boring is turn it into a Triple Threat or Fatal 4-Way match in the hopes of obscuring who ends up winning. 

Or Balor wins now. He takes the title into The Show of Shows for a classic against Seth Rollins or the Royal Rumble winner, maybe an AJ Styles? No matter who, the shock of a Balor win and the shake-up it means for Raw from top to bottom is more valuable than anything involving a Lesnar win at this point. 

WWE says it is changing and still stands by the idea it is out to create moments. Well, here's a moment: Balor takes down Lesnar. In doing so, his alter ego becomes the new, perhaps even more respectable, final boss-type for the Raw roster to chase, creating even better moments down the road. 

The new direction and era is staring WWE right in the face, even if it is a little monstrous-looking after a transformation.