For most of 2017, Finn Balor has done his best to remind the WWE Universe that he's still due his Universal Championship rematch. However, it looks like Vince McMahon himself has officially killed that notion.
On a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, internet wrestling czar, Dave Meltzer noted that even though Balor was originally thought to get his shot at Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, WWE has abandoned those plans. As to why Meltzer says that McMahon reasoned that Balor wasn't "over enough."
While this writing was on the proverbial wall, this clear rejection of Balor as a main event talent all but locks him into WWE's mid-card for the foreseeable future.
After his signature win over AJ Styles at TLC, it appeared that WWE was ready to reinvest in Balor. However, in bitter irony, the next night on RAW Finn lost cleanly to Kane. The untimely loss outraged his fans however it looks like WWE will be continuing to supply heartbreak for Balor and his supporters.
While there's still some time to make corrections, it appears that Finn Balor in WWE may prove to be a cautionary tale for any independent wrestling hero. During his 18 months of being a part of WWE's main roster, Balor has two crowning achievements, both of which came with crippling caveats. After becoming the first ever Universal Champion at SummerSlam 2016, Balor was forced to relinquish the title less than 24 hours later on the following episode of RAW.
Vince souring in Balor is certainly damning, but it's more about protecting Brock Lesnar than it is incident Balor. A WWE Matches to WrestleMania 34, their top priority is making sure Lesnar and the Universal Championship look impeccable A Royal Rumble match against a floundering Balor is not the best way to do that.
At the moment, there doesn't look to be a clear front-runner to face Lesnar at the Rumble, but we can officially cross Balor off of the list.