I've been right, too. Balor's arbitrary personality, middling promo skills, and negligible size have all contributed to his sputtering 2017. However, the guy is clearly talented and utterly handsome. With the help of thoughtful booking of his Demon gimmick, I thought Finn Balor would be a staple in the Intercontinental scene.
However, his booking has been questionable at best. Yet, fate seemed to intervene when Bray Wyatt fell ill and was replaced by AJ Styles for Sunday's TLC. But the magic was just getting started as Balor and Styles would go on to put on an instant classic at the dysfunctional TLC show. Finn's victory and his "Too Sweet" moment with Styles after the match gave him his first moment since winning the Universal Championship at SummerSlam 2016.
It felt that WWE was about to ride an organic wave of Balor-Mania, the one his fans believed was all but certain. Even I, the resident Balor skeptic, could no longer deny his arrival.
So when Kane beat him cleanly in the first hour of RAW last night, I like the rest of the WWE Universe, was left wondering: What the hell did they do that for?
Because WWE Loves Veteran Guys
While Kane hasn't been relevant to WWE's card in years, he still holds a position of influence. Aside from Goldust and Triple H, Kane is the only remaining relic from WWE's holiest of eras.
Kane has proven himself for literally decades that he is at minimum accountable. I recently spoke to WWE Hall of Famer, Jim Ross, and asked him what he looks for in a prospective WWE Superstar.
"When you're the guy that's hiring people, and you're paying them, and you're distributing their discretionary income, and you're all about them, all about their lives, you damn sure want something that's reciprocal. And they gotta be a lot about your life." And I know that when you're booked, you're gonna be at work" he explained. "And you're going to be at work with a good frame of mind, positive attitude, you're not gonna be cloudy judgment, you're not gonna be impaired or something stupid. You're not gonna be late, you're gonna be reliable. It comes back to that for me, every time, the reliability aspect," Ross concluded.
We can't argue that Kane has been exactly this and due to his commitment to the company, he's just going to get opportunities that younger, or in Balor's case newer, guys won't. And frankly, he's earned it.prevnext
Because Kane is Being Built for Braun Strowman
In terms of priority, Braun Strowman is high a top WWE's To Do List. Here's a reckless estimation as to what that list looks like.
1. Get Roman Reigns Cheered.
2. World Domination
3. Make Braun Strowman a mega star.
Items 2 and 3 may be interlinked, but the point is that Braun Strowman is a crucial part of WWE's future.
If you didn't catch it, Strowman is turning babyface. He was betrayed by his teammates at TLC and packed into a garbage truck to never be seen again. Even more, Kane cut a promo last night that indicated that he'll be the heel in his and Strowman's Survivor Series feud.
Strowman already had notes of being babyface monster, but now he'll be working against a true heel for the first time. For WWE, it's essential that Strowman defeats a strong, evil looking, opponent.
Professional wrestling is all about manipulating fans' perception of characters. WWE is certainly doing that, but they may have missed out on an opportunity to build an organically surging Balor.prevnext
Because WWE Just Isn't That Into Finn Balor
OK, if you're a Balor fan, this is going to be a sterile trip through reality.
At 36-years old and just barley 200 lbs, WWE likely doesn't take Finn Balor as seriously as you do.
Without his Demon, Finn Balor is highly replaceable. To WWE, Balor's Demon is a decent enough way to make some extra cash on merchandise and and bulk up a pay-per-view's midcard. But that may be it.0comments
At best, Balor will be Chris Benoit in WWE. However he lacks the tenacity and physicality of The Wolverine so he may never reach that apex.
If Finn Balor left WWE tomorrow, they'd be just fine. They know that and are treating him accordingly.prev